What do you focus on in treatment?
HOPE Consortium practitioners work with patients to end eating disorder behaviors, understand the triggers that lead to disordered eating, develop new coping skills, and learn to manage uncomfortable feelings and situations without using the eating disorder. Treatment also focuses on improving relationships and communication with both self and other. Our hope is that you develop lifelong skills and awareness so that you are free from eating problems.

What is an Eating Disorder?
Eating disorders are troublesome patterns of eating, moving the body through either over or under exercise, and often a distorted relationship with the body. When a person develops an eating disorder a significant amount of time and energy is spent planning life around food to relieve stress, anxiety, fear and often depression. Eating disorders are often a secret internal struggle that people live with in isolation.

Some signs and symptoms of disordered eating are:

  • Intense fear of becoming fat
  • Excessive focus on body weight
  • Not eating enough to maintain body weight
  • Distress or anxiety about eating
  • Eating unusually large amounts of food
  • Sense of lack of control over eating
  • Embarrassment over how much one eats
  • Weighing oneself frequently

What causes an Eating Disorder?
Life is often stressful and chaotic. Control over what one puts in one’s body can seem like the only choice a person can make. Societal pressure and focusing on the external physical attributes of the self can lead to feeling that the only value as a human being is in the body’s appearance. Abuse, a family history of achievement (academic and monetary), an emphasis on physical attractiveness, or a tradition of emotional control is often a part of the family history of a person who struggles with an eating disorder.

Do you take insurance?
Amy and Nicole independently choose whether to participate in various insurance plans.  Therefore, please speak with each of them about in-network insurance coverage and out-of-network billing to insurance companies. Please be aware that your insurance company may have many plans, some of which may cover nutrition or outpatient therapy and some of which may not. It is recommended to call your insurance company prior to visits to obtain authorization, if needed.

How often will I need to come and how long does healing take?
Each person and their treatment are unique to the needs and history of their struggles. Often eating disorders have various layers to them, so what is needed for recovery will change over time.  For example, initially, a patient may only need individual treatment and possibly later add nutrition counseling or group psychotherapy. Or initially, a lot of different supports may be needed and then lessened as the patient’s internal supports are strengthened. Again, how a patient’s treatment goals are met is unique to each individual and family, knowing that we all change at our own paces with our own needs.

Is my treatment confidential?
The providers within HOPE are governed by strict state licensing and registration boards. We are committed to following our profession’s codes of  ethics and laws regarding a patient’s confidentiality. Also, as providers of healthcare, we adhere to the privacy and confidentiality laws set in place by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPAA).

Do you work with my doctors and do I have to see only providers at HOPE?
The HOPE Consortium values working with every client’s individual team, which can include primary care doctors, specialists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and dietitians. Further, a patient is not required to only see providers affiliated with HOPE. For example, it is quite common for a patient to see Amy, as their dietitian, and see their own therapists outside of HOPE’s doors. After signed releases are obtained, each provider will contact doctors or other clinicians as appropriate to coordinate care.

Where can I find eating disorder resources online?
The Renfrew Center Resource Page:  http://renfrewcenter.com/resources
ANAD:  http://www.anad.org/
Eating Disorder Network of Maryland: http://www.ednmaryland.org/