In last week’s post, I mentioned that when I left my treatment center, I felt abandoned with no support in the next phase of my eating disorder. It was a terrible feeling and I found myself floundering and falling back into binge behavior although not at pre-treatment intensity. Even though I was set up with a new therapist and nutritionist, their intervention was ineffective because they didn’t know me or how far I’d progressed through treatment.
I wished I had someone who experienced these issues, could guide me through the daily challenges of re-entering life, provide me with real strategies to deal with social situations, shopping and meal-planning, apply and reinforce what was learned in treatment and help figure out how to de-trigger my life. Someone I could turn to if I was flipping out and needed to be “talked in from the ledge” in a hurry.
I believe that seeing a licensed therapist post-treatment is essential to deal with trauma and deep psychological issues but they aren’t the appropriate professional to serve in the “nitty gritty” support role I describe above. Most licensed therapists don’t understand binge-eating or suggest harmful strategies that “undo” all the valuable lessons learned in treatment. Do you realize how confusing, detrimental and disappointing that is to a patient who wants nothing more than to progress and become healthy?
That’s why I created LifeStrides and became a Certified Eating Psychology Counselor – I’ve been there AND I have the education to guide others. LifeStrides is designed to fill this gap, to provide the lifeline, to make the transition to daily life easier, fun and joyful…even with an eating disorder! Being discharged from treatment is a momentous occasion to be celebrated, not something to be feared or dreaded.
My vision for the future of Binge-Eating Disorder treatment is to include this “gap” counseling as standard to ensure continuity of care thereby giving patients adequate support to create and experience their own unique version of transformation.