The following is a list of questions you might want to ask when contacting eating disorder support services. These questions would apply to an individual therapist, a treatment facility, any other eating disorder support service or any combination of treatment options.
- How long have you been treating eating disorders?
- How are you licensed? What are your training credentials?
- What is your treatment style? (Please note that there are many different types of treatment styles available. Different approaches to treatment may be more or less appropriate for you depending on your individual situation and needs. You are an individual. Consider carefully what you need.)
- What kind of evaluation process will be used in recommending a treatment plan?
- What kind of medical information do you need? Will I need a medical evaluation before entering the program?
- What is your appointment availability? Do you offer after-work or early-morning appointments? How long do the appointments last? How often will we meet?
- How long will the treatment process take? When will we know it's time to stop treatment?
- Are you reimbursable by my insurance? What if I don't have insurance or mental health benefits under my healthcare plan? (It is important for you to research your insurance coverage policy and what treatment alternatives are available in order for you and your treatment provider to design a treatment plan that suits your coverage.)
- Ask the facility to send information brochures, treatment plans, treatment prices, etc. The more information the facility is able to send in writing, the better informed you will be.
With a careful search, the provider you select will be helpful. If you feel awkward the first time you meet with him or her, don't be discouraged. The first few appointments with any treatment provider are often challenging. It takes time to build up trust in someone with whom you are sharing highly personal information. If you continue to feel that you need a different therapeutic environment, you may need to consider other providers. Trust is crucial to your recovery.
When you have chosen a treatment provider, here are some questions that you might want to consider asking in your first meeting:
- What is the diagnosis?
- What treatment plan do you recommend?
- Will you or someone else conduct the treatment? If it is someone else, does that person work for you or would this be a referral? Will you supervise the treatment?
- What are the alternative treatments?
- What are the benefits and the risks associated with the recommended treatment? With the alternative treatments?
- What role will my family members or friends play in treatment?
Here are some questions for parents to ask and consider:
- How can I help to support my child during treatment?
- What is my role within the treatment?
- How often will you talk to me about my child's progress?
- What if my child doesn't want to participate in therapy? What do I do?
Remember that at any time during the treatment, you and your parents can raise questions and consult your treatment providers regarding areas of concern.