Our Treatment Model
Living Bread’s counseling center follows an integrative approach. We focus on both nurturing and challenging our clients to help them become the individuals they were created to be. We want to ensure that our clients are cared for physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
We follow a treatment team model, which includes a Licensed Professional Counselor, Registered Dietitian, physician and psychiatrist (as needed). The focus of therapy is caring for the mental and emotional state of our clients. To ensure quality of care, in addition to seeing one of our counselors, we recommend our clients work with a dietitian that also specializes in treating those with eating disorders. This is important due to the distorted ideas about food and nutrition that accompany eating disorders. The role of the physician is to ensure the patient receive adequate medical monitoring. We recommend our clients see their own personal physician. We will provide lab work recommendations that are important when treating eating disorders. A psychiatrist is also a beneficial member of the treatment team when clients are struggling with additional mental health problems. We do not have a physician or psychiatrist on staff as we prefer to work with the professional our client already has a relationship with. However, referrals can be provided 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, 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 experience emotions and cope with them appropriately 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. Through prayer, together, we can invite 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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