• Eating Disorder Program

    Outpatient Services

    We specialize in comprehensive and effective treatment of eating disorders in an outpatient treatment setting designed to help stay in the home environment and seek to help prevent the need for more expensive residential and full-day programs that interrupt work and school.

    • Comprehensive Evaluations and Consultation Services
    • Psychiatric Evaluation and Medication Management
    • Individual Therapy and Eating Disorder Counseling Services
    • Dialectical Behavioral Treatment (DBT) and Skills Groups
    • Family and Couple Therapy for Eating Disorders
    • Parent Education and Training for Eating Disorders
    • Family Based Treatment (FBT) for Eating Disorders
    • Supported Meals
    • Exposure Therapy and Outings
    • Eating Disorder Coaching
    • Relapse Prevention Complimentary Groups
    • Complimentary Workshops for Parents and Caregivers
    • Nutrition Counseling and Meal Planning
    • Comprehensive Psychological Assessment and Testing

    You do not have to have meet the criteria for a full diagnosis of an eating disorder to benefit from therapy services.  In fact, early identification of problems can help prevent the development of more serious conditions. In the case of children and adolescents, parents may be afraid of over-reacting or causing problems.  However, obtaining help early can prevent long-term physical, emotional, and the treatment costs of eating disorders.  Often, the earlier you seek treatment, the better your outcome may be!  

    We also routinely work with individuals on body image, body empowerment, self-esteem, and resiliency.  We help provide skills to best manage life transitions and stressors. 

    The first step is to schedule an appointment for a confidential evaluation and a clinician will discuss appropriate treatment options based on your individual needs.

    Comprehensive Evaluations and Consultative Services for Eating Disorders

     

    An experienced diagnostician and licensed clinician will discuss your personal needs, conduct a thorough assessment of eating disorder symptoms as well as other associated problems, and develop recommendations based on this individual meeting.

     

    You may complete some questionnaires and family members are encouraged to participate in the evaluation process with you. 

     

    If your clinician recommends further treatment, he or she will discuss treatment options with you, and help guide you and your family through the next steps. The clinician will then coordinate services with other members of the treatment team if necessary.  Adjunctive therapies to individual sessions may include family therapy, nutritional counseling, psychiatric evaluation, and medical management.

    Psychiatric Evaluations and Medication Management

     

    Our Psychiatrists provide psychiatric evaluations and medication management. 

     

    Pharmacotherapy (therapy using pharmaceutical drugs) has shown to be an effective treatment of some eating disorder symptoms and related disorders when used in conjunction with evidenced based psychotherapies.  Symptoms that may show a positive response to medication include anxiety, obsessive thoughts, binge urges and impulsive behaviors, depression, and mood swings. 

     

    Our Psychiatrists provide assessments, discuss treatment recommendations and supervise medication interventions. You will benefit from a team of compassionate and skilled physicians who understand that you may have questions and concerns about medication as a treatment modality.  These personable physicians realize that adherence to a medication plan is strengthened by your understanding and agreement with a treatment plan. 

     

    Our Psychiatrists work closely with other members of your treatment team, such as individual and family therapists, to enhance the role of medication in treatment.

    Individual Psychotherapy and Eating Disorder Counseling Services

    Individual psychotherapy is the most commonly used form of treatment for eating disorders and consists of regular sessions with an individual therapist who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders.

    The first goal of eating disorder treatment is to alter unhealthy eating practices that put you at risk for medical complications.

    When developing a treatment plan for you, your therapist will consider many factors such as those that contribute to maintaining problem behaviors. Initial treatment goals may be to develop a positive support plan to change behaviors and to modify disturbances in thoughts and feelings. Therapy is most effective with treatment aligns your specific needs and goals.

    We design treatment to extend outside of sessions. Practicing new or more adaptive behavior, help to strengthen and speed change. We encourage family participation and support.

    Therapy focuses on developing new insights and life skills such as development of adaptive coping skills for stress and anxiety; learning to balance self-care with achievement; and communicating more effectively with family and friends.

    Dialectical Behavioral Treatment (DBT) for Eating Disorders

    We offer specialized DBT therapy services for eating disorders including a weekly Skills Group led by Randall Flanery, Ph.D.  DBT therapy is an evidence-based modality in the successful treatment of eating disorders. DBT therapy is based on four sets of behavioral skills:

    • Mindfulness:the practice of being fully aware and present in this one moment
    • Distress Tolerance:how to tolerate pain in difficult situations, not change it
    • Interpersonal Effectiveness:how to ask for what you want and say no while maintaining self-respect and relationships with others
    • Emotion Regulation:how to change emotions that you want to change


    Family and Couples Therapy for Eating Disorders

    Family and Couples Therapy is an important component of treatment.

    We often include Family Meetings as part of treatment in order to educate families about eating disorders, facilitate open communication, and help families support their   loved one’s recovery. 

    Family Therapy and Couples Therapy is when the focus of sessions are on the entire family system.  Therapy sessions may include identifying family member roles in promoting positive behaviors in each other.  Additional goals may include enhancing communication, validation of emotions, clarification of rules, rights and responsibilities among family members, as well as definition of boundaries and limits.

    Parent Education and Training for Eating Disorders

    Parents are crucial partners in the recovery of younger children and adolescents with eating disorders. You are the experts on your child and have the most influence and ability to extend treatment from the office into the home environment. 

    We encourage parents to active participation in therapy sessions in order to learn about eating disorders; to improve your understanding of their child’s condition; to assist with providing a structured and supportive home environment that encourages behavior change; to examine your own beliefs and actions that may be fueling their child’s eating disorder; and to encourage self-care. 

    Watching a child suffer and engage in life threatening behavior is terrifying and often overwhelming.  Even the most highly skilled, determined, and loving parent may become emotionally depleted and exhausted.

    This is sometimes a hidden family problem for many reasons. Some include; respect for confidentiality of your child or little support from extended family and friends who either do not know or do not understand.  We understand that parents also have other caregiver and work responsibilities.  The recovery process is very demanding on the entire family system.  We offer individual and marital therapy for parents who are coping with such stressful parenting challenges. 

    We also offer complimentary Parent Workshops; please click here for additional information.

    Family Based Treatment of Eating Disorders (Maudsley Approach)

    We offer Family Based Treatment (FBT) for adolescents and young adults with eating disorders (the Maudsley Approach). FBT is the only research supported effective treatment for adolescents with eating disorders.  Controlled research studies have demonstrated that FBT is an effective intervention for adolescents with anorexia nervosa with reported success rates as high as 80-90% within the home environment. These promising statistics can reduce costly admissions to residential or inpatient treatment facilities and allow the family to avoid the turmoil of separation. 

    The focus of FBT is empowering and supporting parents to take charge their child’s weight restoration and symptom reduction with the eventual goal of returning control to the child when it is determined he/she can be entrusted to resume their normal developmental path.

    Learn more about FBT from SLBMI’s Eating Disorders Program Director, Dr. Laura Huff, in the video below.

    We also offer complimentary Parent Workshops; please click here for additional information.


    Supported Meals
     

    We provide the opportunities to eat meals with a therapist for extra meal support based on individual appointments. They may involve a small group or 1:1 with the therapist depending on individual circumstances.  We offer meal support at a private rate of $15.00 per meal and are only available to individuals receiving individual therapy or in our IOP.  For additional information, please call Amanda Wycinowski, MSW at 636-532-9188.

    Exposures/Outings 

    Therapists and dietitians are available to accompany clients on outings to assist in facing fears/challenges associated with recovery goals.  We plan outings on an individual basis and according to individual treatment plans. They include such outings as to grocery stores and restaurants. 

    Coaching Sessions 

    Coaching sessions are available to clients receiving individual therapy, family therapy, or participating in the IOP.  We intend these sessions to supplement therapy services by offering additional help to accomplish specific recovery goals.  Clients, along with their treatment team, help to determine the focus of coaching sessions with the aim of providing additional support, structure, and intervention.  Individual coaching sessions  help provide additional intervention with meal planning, exposure plans, coping plans, quality sleep, body image, grounding techniques for trauma symptoms, and mindfulness.

    Please discuss with your individual therapist or call Amanda Wycinowski, MSW at 636-532-9188 to schedule an appointment. Coaching rate:   $65 per session.

    Free Relapse Prevention Weekly Eating Disorders Groups

    These complimentary groups are for those who have completed our Intensive Outpatient Eating Disorders Program. The groups are dedicated to active pro-recovery behaviors and/or maintenance of positive behavioral changes.  A meeting with the group facilitator is required prior to joining the group.  If interested, please call 314-289-9411 to schedule an appointment with the group facilitator. Space is limited.

    • Adolescent Relapse Prevention Group: meets Tuesday evenings 6:00-7:30pm.  Group facilitator, Cathy Lander-Goldberg, LCSW. West County Office, Suite 225.
    • Adult Relapse Prevention Group: meets Wednesday evenings 5:30-7:00pm.  Group facilitator Laura Huff, Ph.D. West County Office, Suite 225. 

    Understanding Child/Adolescent Eating Disorders: What Adult Caregivers Need to Know

    Free Community Workshop – Open to the Public
    Laura Huff, PhD is a licensed psychologist and is the director of the Eating Disorders Program

    • Who: Highly recommended for adult caregivers of children or adolescents who are struggling with eating disorders.
    • When:  Every third Saturday of the month, 8:00am- 10:00am.  RSVP required.  Please call 636-532-9188 by the prior Wednesday.
    • Where: St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute (SLBMI); 16216 Baxter Road, Suite 205; Chesterfield, MO 63017
    • How to get started:  RSVP required.  Please call 636-532-9188 by the prior Wednesday.


    Nutrition Counseling and Meal Planning

    Nutrition counseling is an important treatment component for individuals recovering from eating disorders.  Nutritionists address eating behaviors in order to achieve a healthy meal pattern and to assist with restoration to a healthy weight for individuals in an unhealthy weight range. 

    Our licensed nutritionists help create an individualized plan designed to re-nourish individuals who are engaging in unhealthy eating and weight control practices.  Often individuals who have not been receiving proper nourishment have difficulty with mental acuity and concentration as well as suffer from fatigue and low energy that make change difficult.  We believe “food is good medicine”.  Our goal is to establish a healthy relationship with food and your body!

    Comprehensive Psychological Assessment and Testing

    We offer a full range of psychological, psycho-educational, and neuro-psychological testing for the purpose of diagnosis, treatment planning, and/or educational interventions. In cases of eating disorders, testing is typically valid once an individual is nourished and at a healthy body weight.