Locating the right nutritionist or dietitian is critical in eating disorder recovery. It’s important to work with someone who specializes in eating disorders or has a great deal of experience working with individuals who struggle with severe food-related disorders. This applies whether it’s recovery from anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder. You want a nutritionist who is familiar with the entire spectrum of eating disorders.
Only someone who has worked in this area can truly understand what recovery from an eating disorder looks like and the tremendous amount of time it usually takes to fully recover. Nutritionists with eating disorder experience also know how to identify and deal effectively with each of these distinct diseases. They are experienced at recognizing the thought processes that can interfere with recovery such as placing a value judgment on food, labeling certain foods “good” and others “bad.” Those with eating disorders also tend to view things in black and white; there’s very few gray tones in their perception of life. They deal in absolutes.
You may want to find a dietitian or nutritionist who is certified by the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp). The certification of CEDRD means they have met rigorous educational requirements, have accumulated a minimum number of hours of qualifying work experience, have successfully passed a written examination covering the eating disorders field, have made a commitment to stay abreast of current developments in the field through Continuing Education, and have agreed to comply with the Association’s Ethical Principles.
A referral can also be obtained through the following eating disorder organizations:
- National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD)
- National Eating Disorder Awareness (NEDA)
Remember, eating disorders treatment and recovery is a lengthy process and you could spend several years working with this individual.