The role of the nutritionist in eating disorders treatment is:
The best eating disorders out-patient treatment is a team approach which includes a mental health therapist, a physician, and a nutritionist who specializes in eating disorders. The physician monitors the medical aspects, while the mental health therapist addresses the underlying issues.
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To work collaboratively with the physician and therapist
To address the eating and the eating disordered behaviors (the restriction of food, bingeing, purging)
To explore the circumstances that surround these behaviors, helping the client identify situations that either foster or deter healthy behaviors
To challenge the thought process that underlies the eating disordered behavior (for example, "I will gain 5 lb. if I eat that piece of cake")
To normalize eating through a step-wise process, with support and reassessment throughout the process.