Rehab Aftercare

The therapeutic modality used in eating disorder treatment is critical to treatment effectiveness. While there are few therapeutic methods that are solely unhelpful, research has shown that a choice few are most helpful in treating eating disorder psychology and behaviors. One such treatment for eating disorders is a cognitive therapy called Dialectical Behavior Therapy, aka DBT.

Benefits of Our Los Angeles DBT Treatment for Eating Disorders at Trellis Recovery Centers

At Trellis Recovery Centers, we employ a DBT-trained clinician that has done comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy as well as incorporated it into Outpatient and RTC settings non-comprehensively, meaning, not the full-spectrum DBT with a skills group and access to therapist 24/7. Our DBT clinician has also utilized adolescent-focused DBT methodologies to directly support children and teens in learning DBT skills.

Trellis team members are all informed of DBT principles and skills and receive training on how to support individual clients in practicing these skills. Staff members are dedicated to creating an environment where clients feel supported as they develop and practice skills to learn what is helpful for them.

At Trellis Recovery Centers, we encourage use of DBT skills and principles throughout the treatment process for eating disorders, not only in DBT groups. This may look like a client practicing their Interpersonal Effectiveness skills to communicate their needs to a Staff member or a Staff member noticing a client appears dysregulated and encouraging use of an Emotion Regulation skill that they know has been helpful for that individual. 

At Trellis, we are committed to not just providing information on skills and principles but in supporting our clients to learn how to apply these both in treatment and outside of treatment.

Girl benefits from DBT for eating disorders in Los Angeles California

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Girl finding out how DBT treats eating disorders

How Does DBT Treat Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders involve food but are rarely about food alone. Much of what motivates eating disorder behaviors can be described by the 4 skill areas of DBT mentioned above. Individuals often use eating disorder behaviors such as restriction, purging, exercising, and/or binging to regulate their emotion-states, cope with distress, or communicate their needs to others. Developing skills to effectively cope with these areas allows the individual to let go of what is harmful (the eating disorder) and replace it with more productive and effective behaviors.

DBT’s focus on mindfulness is particularly helpful for those struggling with eating disorders. Mindfulness in DBT focuses on accepting reality as it is as opposed to spending time and energy purporting it should be different. Reality does not care if we think it should be different, it simply is. When individuals accept this, they can then focus time and energy learning how to work within the current reality as opposed to wishing it would magically change. For those with eating disorders, this can mean acknowledging that, even if they wish they could keep their eating disorder, the reality is it is interfering with their ability to live fulfilling lives. Accepting this reality means learning how to let go of their eating disorders as opposed to trying to make it fit into their lives when it cannot.

Mindfulness also emphasizes connection with the body which many individuals with eating disorders struggle with. As they learn to engage with their body, sit with it, and listen to bodily cues, they can begin to honor their feelings of hunger and fullness which helps them to become Intuitive Eaters free from disordered eating behaviors.

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