Finding local eating disorder help is hard. The internet is filled with blogs and recommendations. As well as other resources to look into. However, it can all feel overwhelming. For this reason, I am writing a blog about how to find eating disorder-specific resources in Maryland. Additionally, how to know if those resources are a good fit for you.
Courage to Nourish is an eating disorder nutrition practice in Maryland. We are eating disorder-focused dietitians. This means that we work to improve client relationships with food, exercise, and their body. Any of our dietitians are happy to direct you to resources. Or work individually with you! We have in person locations in College Park, MD. Columbia, MD. and Alexandria, VA. Also, we provide virtual services across Maryland. As well as in Virginia, Pennsylvania. Colorado and Washington, DC.
How can you find eating disorder help?
Courage to Nourish is happy to support you in finding virtual help. Or help in person near you. We are well connected in Maryland. As well as across the DMV. Whether or not you are a client, we want to support you in recovery. Regardless, you have the option to work with us individually. Or attend one of our free group sessions. We would love the chance to provide you with eating disorder specialized care. Additionally, we can refer you to an eating disorder therapist who would be a great fit.
What should you look for in an eating disorder specialist in Maryland?
1. Health at Every Size Aligned
The first thing to look for in an eating disorder specialist is that they are Health At Every Size © (HAES). And/or intuitive eating aligned. Why? HAES clinicians focus less on numbers and weight goals. Instead, they focus more on how your body feels. For instance, HAES RDs work with you to reconnect with your body’s signals. These include feelings of hunger, fullness, and cravings. We support you in feeling less fearful of food. Rather, more at peace with food. Working with a non-intuitive eating or non-HAES dietitian may expose you to fatphobia. And diet culture. Eating disorders are rooted in these.
Courage to Nourish is a HAES-aligned practice. Therefore, we encourage less food judgment. Instead, we thrive on making deep connections with our clients. We build trust. Additionally, we work through recovery with you side by side.
Unfortunately, “HAES” and “intuitive eating” are “buzzwords” in the nutrition field. In turn, many clinicians use this wording for marketing. However, they may not be trained in this practice. Thus, more work is needed to double-check whether or not a clinician will meet your needs.
Here are some “green flags” to look for. These can help make sure a clinician is actually HAES aligned:
- Their message resonates with you.
- No mention about the “right weight,” numbers, or “weight management”.
- Services align with HAES.
- Size inclusive furniture in the office.
- Use HAES terms. Such as, “fat positive” and “weight inclusive”.
- Their website (or in individual sessions) references HAES aligned help.
- The clinicians walk the walk. In other words, the clinicians advocate for HAES. They also connect with other HAES-aligned clinicians. In addition, they openly talk about implicit bias. Lastly, their staff continues to grow and develop IE and HAES values. Some of this may be hard to see on a website. Blogs may better reflect this information.
Here are some “red flags” to look for. These may indicate a clinician isn’t HAES aligned:
- Discussion of weight management. Or help with “weight concerns” .
- Discussion of how/why weight loss is “healthy”. Or why being a certain weight is “bad”.
- Blogs/resources aren’t HAES aligned. For example, they may mention “healthy” and “unhealthy” foods. Or “healthy options”, etc.
- Discussion about food addiction.
- A group practice that has some HAES providers. And some “weight management” providers.
- Promises that, “We won’t make you fat” in eating disorder recovery. This phrase plays into weight stigma.
2. Case load
Ask your eating disorder dietitian or therapist about their caseload. At Courage to Nourish, we have a small caseload. Therefore, we can dedicate time and energy to the clients we see.
Ask about a clinician’s nutrition outlook. This is another way to determine whether or not a clinician is a good fit. During a discovery call, simply ask, “How do you work with eating disorder clients?” Or “What is your outlook?” If their outlook sounds good to you, then great! They are likely a good fit. However, if something doesn’t sit quite right, then you might want to ask more questions. Or move onto the next clinician.
All in all, the eating disorder specialist you’re working with is here to support you and your needs. You want to work with a trusted eating disorder dietitian and therapist. And one you feel comfortable talking to. Making the selection can be hard and overwhelming. Therefore, it’s okay to take your time! If the first person you see isn’t the best fit, it’s okay to move on!
About our College Park, Maryland Office
Our College Park, Maryland office is located on Baltimore Avenue. It’s walking distance from the University of Maryland. Therefore, if you’re looking for an eating disorder dietitian near the UMD, we’re here to help! We work with many college students with eating disorders. In fact, a few of our dietitians have a specialty with this age group. Including Sydney Richards, Lauren Hirshhorn, and Emilee Young. Feel free to visit their bios to read more about them!
College students with eating disorders are a unique group. This population requires special understanding. As well as an eating disorder specialist to support them in their recovery. Because we often work with college students, we can provide expert recovery guidance. This includes navigating the dining hall, body image concerns, and social activities.
Additionally, the UMD offers eating disorder support groups. We can happily put you in touch with the Counseling Center. Our College Park location is just off the green line of the Washington DC Metro. Therefore, residents in DC can also easily visit this location.
About our Columbia, Maryland Office
Our Columbia office is 25 minutes south of Baltimore in Howard County. Bobbi Boteler and Kathryn Karukas see clients out of this office. Both specialize in working with adolescents and families. As well as ARFID clients. Kathryn has a passion for sports nutrition. So, she works with clients who are active or athletes in recovery.
NEDA treatment finder
A great tool to find local eating disorder resources is the NEDA treatment finder. You can find in person options. As well as virtual options in your state!
Rock Recovery is an awesome nonprofit organization in the DMV. They are dedicated to supporting individuals in eating disorder recovery. For instance, they offer support groups. As well as other clinical services. In fact, Bobbi is on the board of Rock Recovery. In addition, Courage to Nourish attends their fundraising gala every year. We are so honored to support this amazing local organization.
Courage to Nourish is a group of eating disorder specialized dietitians. We have in person locations in Alexandria, Virginia. Columbia, Maryland. and College Park, Maryland. We offer virtual services across the state of Maryland. Virginia, Washington DC. Pennsylvania, and Colorado. We offer individual nutrition therapy. As well as support groups. We would love to guide you in building a better relationship with food. Contact us for more information. And to schedule a discovery call.
Helping my clients cultivate meaningful connections and interests outside of their eating disorder is a true passion of mine. I like to think my clients and I are on a team to navigate recovery. I love working with high school and college students as well as athletes seeking to have a better relationship with exercise. I am a proud anti-diet dietitian and work with my clients through a Health At Every Size © and intuitive eating framework.