Our Treatment Model
Living Bread’s counseling center follows an integrative approach. We focus on both nurturing and challenging someone to help them become the person he or she was created to be. We want to ensure that every part of the person is cared for: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
We follow a treatment team model, which includes a therapist, Registered Dietitian, physician, and sometimes a psychiatrist. The focus of therapy is caring for the mental and emotional state of the person. We recommend seeing a dietitian in addition to a therapist because of the distorted ideas about food and nutrition that come with eating disorders. We believe in seeing a dietitian who is specially trained in the treatment of eating disorder to ensure quality care. The role of the physician is to ensure that the patient receive adequate medical monitoring. We recommend that our patients see their physician and can provide labwork recommendations that are important for treating eating disorders. A psychiatrist can also be a beneficial member of the treatment team, especially when someone is struggling with additional mental health problems. We do not have a physician or psychiatrist on staff. We prefer to work with the professional with whom the patient already has a relationship, but we can also provide referrals when necessary.
The clinical approach of our counseling center is integrative. We do not strictly follow one model but mold our approach to fit the personality and needs of each individual. The model we most generally follow is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) created by Christopher Fairburn (Professor of Psychiatry, University of Oxford) specifically formulated for the treatment of eating disorders called CBT-Enhanced (CBT-E). This approach was originally developed for the treatment of bulimia nervosa and has since been broadened to treat anorexia nervosa and binge eating disorder as well. CBT-E focuses on changing harmful eating disorder behaviors and on changing perceptions and emotions surrounding food and body image.
Emotion regulation is often an important focus of therapy. Individuals who struggle with eating disorders often avoid emotions using harmful eating disorder behaviors, such as restricting, binge-eating, purging, and over-exercising. Learning to stay with emotions and cope with them can be a difficult but vital task in recovery.
Family-based therapy is important in the treatment of adolescents with eating disorders. We include parents in treatment as a part of how to move forward in family change that will best support recovery and healing. We do not currently have a family therapist on staff but hope to grow further in this area to offer a wider and deeper capacity of help for families in need.
We often recommend further reading and exercises as homework assignments. Two of the books we most frequently recommend are Life without Ed by Jenni Schaefer and Intuitive Eating by Tribole and Resch.
For those who would like Christian faith to be a part of therapy, we offer faith integration into the counseling sessions. The heart of this focus is to encourage transformation from an old, false self to a true self. This means not basing identity on the eating disorder or other negative thoughts but instead developing an identity based on the truth of who you are in Christ and the person He has created you to be. We also offer prayer integration. Inner healing prayer can be greatly beneficial for emotional development and healing. This focuses on inviting Jesus to heal past trauma, whether it be trauma that classifies as abuse or the traumas of life, such as getting left out on the playground in elementary school. Any negative event can create emotional baggage that influences our present lives in negative ways because of how it colors our perception of ourselves and the world. The healing love of Christ can transform these perceptions and provide emotional healing in the present.
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