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Eating Disorder Treatment for Individuals in Recovery

Eating Disorder Treatment 

The journey to recovery can be difficult, especially when the need extends beyond the addiction to drugs or alcohol. Up to 50% of individuals with eating disorders have struggled with drugs or alcohol abuse. In fact, 35% of individuals who have abused or were dependent on alcohol or other drugs have eating disorders – this is 11 times greater than the general population. That’s why Recovery Centers of America at Devon established a unique outpatient program for individuals who are in recovery from addiction and currently struggle with an eating disorder.

RCA at Devon also treats patient struggling with an eating disorder and do not have a substance use disorder. 

RCA’s Eating Disorder program will work in tandem with your recovery from addiction and provide a personal therapeutic plan to repair your relationship with food and your body. Whether the eating disorder proceeded or followed the addiction, new coping skills and habits for food-related anxieties will be developed.

Our eating disorders treatment program combines individualized and group therapy interventions derived from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Our licensed therapist and registered dietitian use their expertise in eating disorders to provide specialized treatment that supports both the eating disorder and addiction recovery process that includes:

  • Meal support to reinforce healthy eating behaviors
    • RCA’s registered dietitian will create a meal plan for you following a nutritional assessment.
  • Individualized nutrition plans and education
  • Relapse prevention
  • Therapeutic Support
    • Group and one-on-one therapeutic support around meals will help you by addressing specific fear foods, psychology, and how to develop a healthy relationship with food.
  • Psychoeducational Seminars
    • Psychoeducational seminars will help you focus on body image, relaxation, family systems, coping skills, and help you challenge any negative thinking.
  • Coping skills
  • Family therapy
  • Trauma-informed care

Eating Disorders Are Dangerous and Need Treatment

According to a study by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), up to 20% of those diagnosed with a serious eating disorder will die from eating disorder complications. With treatment, that number drops down to 2-3%. Recovery Centers of America can help.

Recovery, whether it’s from addiction or an eating disorder, can be tough and make you feel alone. That’s why it’s so important to seek professional help that includes comprehensive medical care, therapy, and nutrition counseling.

If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder call us at 1-800-RECOVERY

Our eating disorder treatment includes highly individualized treatment and therapy to meet your needs in recovery, as well as meal support and psychoeducational seminars.

We know that having an eating disorder affects many aspects of your life, from the clothes you wear to the meals you make. Because of this, we provide additional support, such as grocery shopping, clothes shopping, and meal planning, to help you ease into a new routine.

The importance of support in all aspects of recovery can’t be stressed enough. As a group member, we encourage you to bring a family member, friends, or other supporters to eat dinner together and participate in group.

Eating Disorder Therapy

We realize that everyone’s needs, schedules, and obligations differ. Recovery Centers of America at Devon offers three programs:  Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient, and General Outpatient.

Partial Hospitalization Program
5 days per week, 5 hours per day

Intensive Outpatient Program
9 hours per week  (3 days, 3 hours per day) on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday Nights

General Outpatient Program
1-2 hours per week on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Meet the team

Elyse Parcher
MS, Masters of Science/Clinical Counseling, NCC, National Certified Counselor, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor

Elyse is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in eating disorders and body image issues. Elyse started her career facilitating weekly meal support groups in the Philadelphia area and eventually advanced to Clinical Director of an eating disorder outpatient program.

Elyse has experience treating eating disorders and disordered eating behaviors at all levels of care and is a firm believer that full recovery is possible at any point in time.

Elyse came to RCA to meet the need for treating co-occurring eating disorders and addiction, as this is an underserved population. Elyse is currently running an intensive outpatient program that involves meal support, group therapy, and nutrition education for individuals struggling with a co-occurring eating disorder.

Jillian Mozitis,
RD, Registered Dietitian, LDN, Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist

Jillian Mozitis is Registered Dietitian that specializes in the recovery of eating disorders. Jillian has worked with individuals with eating disorders in the inpatient, partial, intensive outpatient, and group settings. Jillian believes in a non-diet approach with a goal of eating intuitively, nourishing the body, and optimizing nutritional health.

Jillian earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology at East Stroudsburg University. After finding how much of an impact nutrition has on wellness, she decided to complete her dietetic internship through La Salle University’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics.

Currently, Jillian is pursuing her Master’s in Social Work to provide nutrition psychotherapy. While helping individuals with eating disorders is her primary focus, Jillian also enjoys helping people with general health and wellness concerns.

Common Types of Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia, also called anorexia nervosa, is an eating disorder categorized by weight loss, difficulty maintaining a suitable body weight depending on height, age and stature, and for many people, having body dysmorphia or a severely-distorted body image, according to the National Eating Disorders Associations (NEDA).

A person with anorexia usually restricts the number of calories and kinds of food they eat. However, you cannot determine a person is struggling with anorexia simply by looking at them. Rather, appropriate physical and mental assessments can decide if someone is suffering from anorexia.

Signs and symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:

  • Drastic weight loss
  • Dressing in layers (even in warm weather) to stay warm or cover up weight loss
  • Intense focus on weight, food, calories, and/or diets
  • Cutting out certain types of foods/whole categories of food
  • Constant comments about being or feeling overweight or fat
  • Strictly following food rituals (like rearranging food on a plate, eating food in a certain order, unnecessary chewing)
  • Cooking meals for other people without eating themselves
  • Avoids mealtimes or situations that involve food
  • Feels the need to “burn off” calories that were consumed
  • Maintains a strict exercise regimen, no matter what
  • Uncomfortable eating in public
  • Becomes withdrawn from friends and activities
  • Unable to or refuses to maintain appropriate body weight (for their age, height and build)
  • Extreme fear of weight gain despite being underweight
  • Loss of menstrual period (post-puberty)
  • A strong urge for control, with inflexible thinking
  • Gastrointestinal issues, such as acid reflux, stomach cramps, constipation, etc.
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness/fainting
  • Always feeling cold
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Impaired immune functioning
Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is the cycle of bingeing and purging, usually by consuming large amounts of food and purging the body of it. This binge and purge cycle wreaks havoc on the digestive system, and eventually leads to chemical and electrolyte imbalances within the body that can impact the heart and other major organs.

It’s not uncommon for people struggling with bulimia nervosa to also have other co-occurring conditions, such as self-injury, substance abuse, impulsivity, etc. Because of these factors, seeking treatment is critical.

Signs or symptoms of bulimia nervosa include:

  • Disappearing after eating, often to the bathroom
  • Fear of eating in public or in front of others
  • Stomach cramps
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Steals or hoards food in odd places
  • Excessive intake of water or non-caloric beverages
  • Hides body under baggy clothes
  • Maintains strict exercise routine, no matter what
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Noticeable fluctuations in weight (up and down)
  • Sleeping problems
  • Cuts and calluses on top of finger joints (as a result of self-induced vomiting)
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Dry skin
  • Dry, brittle nails
  • Yellow skin
  • Impaired immune system
Binge-Eating Disorder

Binge-eating disorder (BED) is characterized by episodes of overeating without the corresponding compensatory action present with bulimia. Binge-eating episodes are characterized by loss of control when eating. People with this disorder cannot stop until they have eaten far more than others would eat in the same situation. They may eat faster than usual, even when not hungry, or eat alone because of embarrassment. Often, they will not stop until they are uncomfortably full. Episodes are often followed by shame, abhorrence, or depressive thoughts. Some people with overeating disorder are overweight, but not everyone.

Signs or symptoms of binge-eating disorder include:

  • Uncomfortable eating in front of people or in public
  • Low self-esteem
  • Steals/hoards food in odd places
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Gastrointestinal problems, such as acid reflux or stomach cramps
  • Feelings of guilt, disgust or depression after overeating
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED)

Previously known as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specific (EDNOS), Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED), this category was created for people who have a serious eating disorder without meeting the criteria for anorexia, bulimia, or binge-eating disorder.

There are several examples of OSFED:

Dysfunctional eating behaviors related to substance abuse:

  • Altering eating behaviors to offset planned caloric intake from alcohol
  • Limiting food intake to increase/speed effects of substance
  • Experiencing an increase or decrease in appetite related to effects from substance which leads to binge-eating behaviors
  • Forgetting to eat due to preoccupation with substance use

Atypical anorexia

  • All criteria for anorexia are met, except that despite weight loss, the individual’s weight is within or above normal range

Purging disorder

  • Recurrent unhealthy behavior to influence weight or shape in the absence of binge-eating
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