Eating disorders are complex illnesses that often require expert interdisciplinary treatment, yet specialist care is increasingly limited. In addition, many individuals with eating disorder symptoms can be managed by non-specialist mental health providers either as a precursor to specialist treatment or as a component of treatment the mental health clinician may already be providing. Thus, there is an increasing need to equip a broad range of mental health providers with the knowledge and skills necessary to detect and manage eating disorders in their scope of practice.
In this session, we will present evidence-based methods for detecting eating disorders among children, adolescents, and adults in your clinical practice as well as how and when to refer to specialist care. We will also discuss the ways in which eating disorder symptoms may be more salient in your practice now in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will then present information on best practices for non-specialist mental health providers including: brief therapy models, strategies for bridging care until a patient is established with a specialist team, and ways to incorporate eating disorder-informed interventions into existing treatment plans if/when a patient discloses eating disorder symptoms.