For those struggling with disordered eating of any kind, it can be quite difficult to change the behaviors related to food and weight, even after receiving high quality psychotherapy or nutrition therapy. One of the main reasons for this is because these behaviors happen in secret and often soothe painful emotions that can be quite overwhelming. Our meal support coaches have extensive experience supporting clients recovering from all types of disordered eating and pathological dieting (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, emotional eating, orthorexia, and selective eating) and have the skills to confront these behavior patterns compassionately and without inducing shame. Adding meal support to your current outpatient treatment offers you opportunities to challenge your old patterns with support and increased accountability. Our meal support coaches will be in contact with your treatment team in order to provide them feedback about your progress and to enhance their understanding of your current struggles and your current successes. This additional support often helps clients move towards their goals more quickly and helps to prevent the common experience of slipping back into old patterns.
Our meal support coaches are also prepared to help you establish new skills and patterns by accompanying you on certain outings that are often dreaded by those in recovery, such as clothes shopping, going to restaurants, doing “exposures” such as going to the beach, movement or exercise “exposures”, cooking skills, and even attending a party, if necessary. They will work with you at your own pace and help you navigate these challenging situations by encouraging you to use healthier coping skills.
All of our meal support coaches are fully trained in mindful eating techniques and do not support eating that might appear restrictive or rigid. Clients will find that our meal support coaches do not focus on weight as an indicator of recovery, but rather on the process of healing one’s relationship with food and exercise. Our goal is help clients move away from the tyranny of numbers and reconnect with their own body’s unique vitality and health.
Several of our meal support coaches are fully bilingual in Spanish and English. (Nuestros coaches de apoyo alimenticio son completamente bilingües en español e inglés.) See below our eating disorder help services:
Our trained meal support coaches can work with you or your family in the privacy of your own home to help you meet your nutritional goals, which can be challenging to those struggling with disordered eating behaviors. Coaching parents identify and address problem behaviors as they are happening in “real time” helps them develop the confidence and skills needed to support their child in his or her recovery.
For all clients who struggle with disordered eating, there are certain foods that will consistently elicit a higher level of fear or anxiety. Our coaches are specifically trained in working systematically with clients to re-introduce these fear foods in a way that is therapeutic and helps them to achieve their goals of greater ease and flexibility during meals.
All clients in recovery for an eating disorder report difficulty in going to restaurants. Our coaches will go with you to a variety of restaurants to help you feel more at ease and work through challenges that come up when eating in public, eating food prepared by others, or anxiety related to ordering off a menu. Get the eating disorder help you need in public restaurants.
Many clients find going to a grocery store to be overwhelming, especially in the first few weeks after stepping down to a lower level of care. This is very common and our coaches can help you manage any feelings that may come up and also help adhere to your treatment goals. Get the eating disorder help you need at the grocery store.
For many families, especially those who are doing Family Based Treatment, preparing meals that meet the nutritional recommendations or needs of your child can be confusing. Our meal support coaches have years of experience with meal preparation and portioning to help parents build the confidence that they are properly following the meal plan for their child.
Learning to “speak E.D.” takes time and practice. Our Coaches can help family members more readily identify and appropriately address those moments when their loved one is struggling with eating disorder thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. By being in the home, this training can happen “in vivo” and help the family feel more secure in their ability to care for their loved one.
For those in recovery for an eating disorder, there can be times where symptoms creep back into your daily routine or even just as increased thoughts. Our Coaches can give you eating disorder help to assist you in creating a personalized plan to help you challenge yourself, raise your awareness, and hold you more accountable so that you don’t give in to these old patterns.
For those who are in the later phases of recovery, it can be challenging to move from a more structured meal plan to more mindful eating. Our Coaches understand this challenge and can help you feel more confident in your own bodily experiences and your judgement about how to appropriately nourish yourself. Get the eating disorder help you need to eat mindfully.
Incorporating movement or exercise can be difficult for those in recovery. For some, it is because of a history of exercising in a compulsive, rigid way. For others, it is because of feelings of self-consciousness when engaging in physical activity with others. In either scenario, the individual focuses more on the exercise rather than the pleasure of moving one’s body in a positive way. Our coaches will work with our clients to move in a more “embodied” way and to release themselves from rules and judgements about exercise and weight.
In certain circumstances, a client may require full time meal support. This would involve the Meal Support Coaches attending all meals and snacks throughout the day. Our coaches may also help clients with shopping, meal preparation, and even light cooking in these situations. This service can be helpful when a client is waiting for a bed at a treatment center, recently came out of the hospital, or recently left residential care.
For clients who struggle with food (whether it be overeating or undereating), they often develop a pattern of avoidance of cooking, meal planning, or preparing their meals. Our coaches can help you organize your meals, go to the grocery store with you, show you how to cook meals that you enjoy, and help you break some old habits related to cooking. Get the eating disorder help you need in the kitchen.
(Note: These services are not available to clients who have a psychotic disorder or are suicidal)
What’s next? We understand what you’re going through, Dr. Amy Boyers is a top eating disorder and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT therapy) psychologist Miami ready to help you. She treats patients dealing with: Binge eating, bulimia, anorexia, compulsive eating, anxiety, depress, mood disorders, and many others. Schedule a consultation so that we can learn more about you and your needs. Or call us at 786.235.9000
Dr. Boyers is currently available for second opinions and consultations only. She is not available to take on therapy cases at this time but is willing to provide a consultation and help you find an appropriate team or resources in the community.