Posts Tagged ‘For Providers’

Questions You Should Ask Every Patient About Their Relationship With Food

A doctor in a telehealth session

You’re invited!

Whether in-person or virtually, you’re invited to assess, assess, assess! In school, we clinicians are taught to ask questions—so many questions. We are taught to ask about our patients’ history, about their current happenings, and about their future hopes and dreams. We are taught to ask about easy things and hard things. We are taught to ask about things that aren’t socially appropriate, things that are extremely uncomfortable outside the confines of medical and mental health settings. We are trained to ask questions about substance use, depression, anxiety, suicide, sexual behaviors, and peculiarities of the human body and its functioning.

Yet, so often, we forget to ask questions about one of the things that sustains life: FOOD! We know that to survive we need to eat. From the moment of conception to the moment of death, we are required to consume, in some way, calories that feed and nourish the systems within the body. Why, then, do we shy away from asking questions about this life-giving, life-sustaining human behavior?

Anecdotally, I hear medical and mental health providers say, “We have never had training,” “I don’t know what to ask,” and “I’m not sure what to do if it seems as though there might be a problem.” However, in the same way that we all learned how to ask and how to respond or intervene following questions about suicidal ideation or even substance use, we all can become more comfortable with integrating questions about eating disorders into our assessments of 100% of our patients.

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Our Top 7 Peace Meal Episodes for Providers

A phone with headphones with a plant and a mug of coffee on either side

The Emily Program’s Peace Meal podcast is officially in its third year of production! To celebrate the milestone, we listened back to our first two years of episodes and rounded up our choice picks for healthcare providers. Tune in to this sampling to hear eating disorder experts and people in recovery provide education by way of clinical experience, research, and personal stories. You’ll learn how to better understand, identify, and address eating disorders in your everyday interactions with patients.

Episode 2: Eating Disorders 101

For a basic introduction to eating disorders, this 101 primer is the place to start. Therapist Jennifer Nelson lays out general eating disorder facts, including the primary types and diagnoses, risk factors, and warning signs.

Rejecting the myth that eating disorders are always visible, Jennifer explains that the illnesses are in fact often missed by both providers and clients themselves. Eating disorders don’t have a look, size, or shape, she says, and many symptoms are easily dismissed or hard to see. They often develop slowly and subtly over time. Emphasizing the importance of close, careful examination and early intervention, Jennifer also offers advice to providers concerned about their patients.

Listen to the episode here.

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How to Navigate Political Stress In and Out of Treatment

An American flag hanging outside a home

We’ve watched the polls and scrolled the headlines. We’ve heard the chatter and seen the ads. With our collective breath held, we’ve finally made it to Election Day. The 2020 presidential campaign may be behind us now, but left to linger are intense feelings surrounding the current sociopolitical climate.

No matter how we voted this year, we are sure to process feelings related to this divisive election for a long time to come. Highly politicized issues seem infinite. From the pandemic to race relations and natural disasters to the economy, we continue to witness and live out such issues in our daily lives. For many, the issues are inextricably entwined with our mental and physical health; for some, they’re linked to our very sense of self. Many people carry these intersecting parts of themselves into their relationships, including, more and more, with their healthcare providers.

Below, we’ll cover tips for managing election stress, as well as advice for mitigating political tension that may emerge in a healthcare setting.

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Identifying Eating Disorders in Children and Teens

A doctor and a female child

Regular doctor visits are essential to a child’s and teenager’s overall health. These routine checkups are an opportunity to not only chart growth and development, but also to screen for a range of physical and mental health conditions, including eating disorders.

In fact, pediatricians and other primary care providers are often our first line of defense against eating disorders. Well-positioned to monitor ongoing health at well-child visits and other physicals, providers have a unique role in detecting and addressing any issues with food and body. Early identification of eating disorder symptoms can help prevent and interrupt the development of these serious disorders.

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Direct Admissions at The Emily Program

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We understand that taking the first step to starting eating disorder treatment is huge. Many of our staff have been there, too. We know that making the first call to The Emily Program can be stressful and scary, which is why we aim to make it as easy as possible. Our admissions line (1-888-364-5977) is open 7 days a week and staffed with admissions specialists who can help start you on the road to recovery.

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The Health Benefits of Loving Yourself

Woman holding heart balloons

Valentine’s Day may be commercialized and over-hyped. For some it’s an obligatory gift-giving day, for others it’s a reminder of a broken heart or an unclear relationship status. But for those who do choose to celebrate, the holiday is an occasion to recognize love in all its forms.

This Valentine’s week, we’re exploring love in the context of the relationships we have with ourselves. Like other types of love, self-love is an action we practice and develop, one cultivated through self-compassion. And self-compassion bestows physical and mental health benefits worth celebrating in this season of love and beyond.

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