By Megan Samuels, MSW, LMSW, Outreach Coordinator
When people reach out to us for help, a common question they have is about the difference between therapy and recovery coaching. Here’s the difference in a nutshell, although it can be more nuanced and on a case-by-case basis. If you aren’t sure what service would be best for you, you can always contact us through our contact form and a team member will be able to assist.
What is the difference?
Recovery coaching focuses on changing behaviors and building a life outside of your eating disorder. It encourages self-compassion, body positivity, and food freedom. Coaching utilizes a present-focused, goal-setting and skill-based approach to push through limiting beliefs and behaviors. We typically require coaching clients to be working with a therapist. However, coaching can be a stand-alone approach for someone with subclinical disordered eating or body image issues, or for someone further along in their recovery. We are able to offer coaching services to anyone over the age of 13 years old. Coaching is available worldwide via Zoom platform, whereas in therapy, the client must be physically in the state that the therapist is licensed in during the time of the therapy sessions.
So, would coaching help me?
Here are some scenarios where a coach may be helpful:
1. You are a family member of someone who is recovering from an eating disorder. You may have questions about the process or how to best support the person in recovery.
2. Let’s say a college student is in recovery from an eating disorder and working with a therapist and a dietitian. The student seems to be struggling more and more with the eating disorder thoughts and urges. The student would like additional support with their recovery journey so they can stay in school and avoid a higher level of care.
3. A person in their 40s with no history of an eating disorder may be struggling with their body image. They may be sick of dieting and wanting to make peace with their body. They may have anxiety around the way that their body looks.
4. You have a past history of an eating disorder. You may consider yourself in strong recovery, but some eating disorder thoughts and urges are creeping back in.
5. Let’s say you are a teenager who is recovering from an eating disorder and you are stepping down from a higher level of care facility and establishing an outpatient team. You found a therapist already, but you think that you could use some additional support throughout the week.
6. A 65 year old person is working with a therapist for anxiety and depression. Through talking with the therapist, this person has realized that they may have an unhealthy relationship with food or their body. Their therapist is not an eating disorder specialist and feels unable to address the food and body concerns.
The bottom line.
These examples help to point out that there is no one size fits all answer to who can benefit from recovery coaching! Our team members are also trained to ask new clients questions to determine if recovery coaching would be a good fit. We also offer free 15 minute coaching consultations with one of our fabulous recovery coaches, so you can get a feel for their style as a coach and ask any questions that you might have. During this consultation, coaches will also assess to make sure that coaching is a clinically appropriate level of care. If therapy is needed, we will be happy to provide you with personalized recommendations based on your treatment goals.
Our two recovery coaches are amazing and have backgrounds as a therapist and an RD.
What People Are Saying About Coaching!
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The Eating Disorder Center is a premier outpatient eating disorder therapy center founded by Jennifer Rollin. We specialize in helping teens and adults struggling with anorexia, binge eating disorder, bulimia, OSFED, and body image issues. We provide eating disorder therapy in Rockville, MD, easily accessible to individuals in Potomac, North Potomac, Bethesda, Olney, Silver Spring, Germantown, and Washington D.C. We also provide eating disorder therapy in Arlington, Virginia and virtually throughout Virginia, as well as in D.C. Additionally, we offer eating disorder therapy virtually in New York (NYC), Florida, and California, serving those in cities including Palo Alto, San Francisco, Newport Beach, Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, San Jose, and Beverly Hills. We provide eating disorder recovery coaching via Zoom to people worldwide. Connect with us through our website at www.theeatingdisordercenter.com
*Disclaimer: The information is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for your independent medical decision-making nor a recommendation or endorsement for any particular treatment plan, organization, provider, professional service, or product.
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The Eating Disorder Center
We are a premier outpatient eating disorder therapy center in Rockville, Maryland.