Life Works Eating Disorder Programme

Life Works Eating Disorder Programme

To offer you an insight into Eating Disorder treatment at Life Works, we have laid out our Eating Disorder Treatment Programme below. If you are worried about a loved one, read through our guide to the symptoms of the different eating disorders.

How do we to identify an Eating Disorder?

Anorexia Nervosa can be identified by a number of physical signs. Some of these include:

  • Severe weight loss (with a BMI of less than 17)
  • Irregular periods
  • Stomach pain
  • Growth of downy hair all over your body (Lanugo)
  • Hair falling out and weakness in muscle strength
  • Osteoporosis
  • Infertility

Bulimia Nervosa can be identified by a number of physical signs. Some of these include:

  • Vomiting
  • Excessive overeating
  • Excessive exercise
  • Misuse of laxatives
  • Fatigue
  • Enlarged salivary glands
  • Regular changes in weight
  • Cardiac issues
  • Brain effects

Compulsive Overeating Disorder can be identified by a number of physical signs. Some of these include:

  • Tiredness & lack of energy
  • Diabetes or insulin resistance
  • Poor thyroid function
  • Secret eating
  • Yo-yo dieting
  • Depression and Anxiety

Life Works Programme

Life Works treats a number of different eating disorders, including: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa (Purging), Bulimia Nervosa (Non Purging), Alcohol Anorexia, Binge Eating Disorder, Night Eating Syndrome, Bigorexia, Orthorexia and Purging Disorder.

Reconnecting with a healthy relationship with food:

The individual food plan is the foundation of the Life Works Eating Disorder Recovery Programme and is used as the principal guide for eating and food issues. In a clients’ first week they will meet with our dietician and have an initial food plan. Food plans are reviewed on a weekly basis with the Life Works therapist, nursing team and dietician. All clients are given three meals and three snacks per day to re-connect with a healthy meal regime.

Support with meals:

All clients on the Life Works Eating Disorder Programme are expected to sit on the Wellness (Support) Table whilst eating their meals. The Support Table is an opportunity to learn how to challenge your ED and develop normal eating habits that you will need in order to sustain your recovery once you leave in-patient treatment. Clients will sit on the support table for all snacks and meals with at least one member of staff. Members of staff provide support and challenge where necessary.

Post meal support Group:

After each meal clients engage in a post-meal support group. During this session clients will fill in their food and mood diary. During this group, clients will be able to debrief with staff and peers around their experiences, thoughts, feelings and sensations that may have arisen during the meal. This is an opportunity for clients to identify blocks to eating and areas that may hinder their recovery. The group also addresses any physiological/psychological issues through dispelling myths which will be maintaining a client’s eating disorder.

1:1 Therapy / Group therapy:

All clients will receive 1:1 therapy with an expertly trained and highly experienced Eating Disorder therapist. In these sessions we will explore the premeditated, predisposing and preconditioned factors that are prevalent in many eating disorders. All clients will receive group therapy, where we look at group similarities, and differences and general community support.

Exposure Work:

We begin the process of exposure techniques with an aim of desensitising individuals to their fears and distresses. Exposure techniques have been found to be effective in helping individuals overcome fears of consuming “forbidden foods, reducing the need for restriction, of the urge to vomit, as well as significantly reducing the social anxieties.

Successful outcomes:

The success of the programme is measured by scores on the EDE-Q on admission and discharge and by successful completion of all meals and snacks.

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