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Eating Disorders

Students who present with concerns related to eating, exercise, and body image will be referred to an Eating Disorder Assessment. This is a three-session process to explore one’s relationship with food, exercise, and body, in order to clarify diagnosis, develop treatment recommendations, and connect the student with appropriate resources/referrals.

Integrative & Interdisciplinary Treatment

UHS takes an integrated and interdisciplinary team approach to treating eating disorders, with a treatment team consisting of counseling (individual and group), psychiatry, medical, and nutrition providers.  It’s common for recommendations from the assessment to be multi-disciplinary and involve services such as individual counseling, group counseling, psychiatry, medical/primary care, nutrition, and/or eating disorder-specific intensive programming (e.g. IOP, PHP, residential, inpatient care).

In line with best practices for eating disorder outcomes, it is important that students experiencing an eating disorder are seen regularly (typically weekly or biweekly) for individual counseling, for sufficient duration. Students in need of this eating disorder-specific counseling may be best served by community-based therapy providers to complement UHS services. Access to resources and identity are considered in treatment planning. 

Appointment series

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1. Eating Disorder Assessment Intake

The first appointment consists of an overview of Mental Health Services’ (MHS) model for treating eating disorders and an in-depth exploration of thoughts, behaviors, and emotions related to food, exercise, and body. You may be asked to sign releases of information from previous treatment providers, in order to allow consultation between a past treatment team and current UHS staff. This appointment will be facilitated by a MHS provider specialized in eating concerns.

2. Eating Disorder Assessment Follow-Up

The second appointment will complete the assessment with an exploration of general mental health and social history. Diagnosis and treatment recommendations will be discussed. This appointment will be facilitated by the same MHS provider you saw for your initial Eating Disorder Assessment

3. Care Management

The third appointment will be focused on getting you connected to the resources recommended in the Eating Disorder Assessment. This may include reviewing your insurance coverage, identifying treatment resources that can meet your specific needs, and support scheduling initial appointments.  This appointment will be facilitated by an MHS Care Manager. 

Eating Concerns Support Group

A space for students to explore their relationship with food, movement, and their bodies, and connect with peers around these shared experiences. Group facilitators are mental health professionals that foster a space that is open, affirming, and recovery-oriented for all members, with a focus on helping group members provide one another with encouragement and shared accountability. Anti-diet and Health at Every Size principles are foundational to the group.

Complete a pre-group orientation (PGO) to join the group.  To schedule a PGO, call MHS at 608-265-5600 (option 2). For information about the Eating Concerns Support Group and other MHS workshops and groups, visit the Group Counseling page.