Eating disorders many times benefit from a multi-disciplinary approach; there are both mental and physical aspects of eating disorders. Eating disorders have a large mental component, they are classified as mental health disorders, but they also involve the body. Therapists play a crucial role in helping people navigate the emotional and psychological features of eating disorders. However, the Atlanta eating disorder therapists at Best Within You Therapy and Wellness understand and the importance of working together with a treatment team, including a registered dietitian, to comprehensively address eating disorders.

Registered dietitians bring unmatched expertise in food science and healthy eating behaviors; they support holistic treatment. If you have struggled with an eating disorder, or you know someone that has struggled with an eating disorder, you may understand that there is often no obvious one clear cause and effect. Multiple people on a team, supporting you and your recovery, offer various perspectives and ideas to enhance your treatment.

An Eating Disorder Therapists Role in Eating Disorder Treatment

Best Within You Therapy & Wellness’s eating disorder therapists understand that eating disorders are not solely about food; they involve a complex interplay between mental health and one’s body. In a treatment team, therapists serve to explore the underlying emotional and psychological factors that may contribute to eating behaviors. They help clients separate shame and judgment from their relationship with food. They create a safe space to explore their relationship with food and health from an eating disorder.

Sometimes, people set a goal of losing weight. If someone struggles with overeating, binge eating, or is unhappy about being in a larger body, they may seek treatment to assist them in this goal. If a client presents to therapy with this goal, an eating disorder therapist will likely identify triggers that maintain variables of unhealthy food behavior and unhealthy relationship with food. They will look beneath the food and body image behaviors and address them with a range of strategies other than food.

When someone struggles with stress eating, a therapist aims to teach them stress management. That angle of approach is an important element of recovery, and it helps the client to cope with stress in the future. Eating disorder therapists can also help to identify themes in stressors and patterns. When it comes to eating disorders, therapists can help clients to explore underlying emotions. For example, in therapy you may discuss things like trauma, self-esteem, depression, or anxiety.


A Registered Dietitian’s Role in Eating Disorder Treatment

Therapists usually have a basic understanding of the science behind eating disorders, especially when that is an area of their expertise. Our Atlanta therapists have an extensive background in eating disorders, while our registered dietitians have an in-depth understanding of food and nutritional science that is critical to eating disorder treatment.

Registered dietitians can provide comprehensive explanations for dietary strategies incorporated into treatment. They can explain the scientific reasoning for and benefits of incorporating different food groups or portions. They can expand upon our digestive processes and how food behaviors impact general bodily functioning.

Sometimes, clients respond better to scientific explanations. Eating disorders commonly co-occur with matters of control: feeling out of control, craving control, and more. Feelings and emotions can seem abstract and confusing, even while working with a therapist. Sometimes, a factual, scientific explanation offers some reason. It is well-founded and logical when so much of the experience with an eating disorder can feel confusing.

Registered dietitians can check vitals, which can be highly interconnected with mental states and other aspects of well-being. Often, treatment teams also include primary care physicians. They can order labs, which a registered dietitian can comprehensively review to monitor the effectiveness of a patient’s dietary plan or other health factors Therapists do not have the same qualifications.

A team approach expands the breadth of knowledge across providers, and it serves as a reminder that there are so many people in a patient’s corner during their recovery.


How Atlanta Eating Disorder Therapists and Registered Dietitians Work Together at Best Within You

At Best Within You Therapy and Wellness, Atlanta therapists and dietitians work together to realign clients’ relationships with food and body image. Our practice stresses the importance of an interdisciplinary approach. Two registered dietitians work in-house, enabling dynamic communication and collaboration between therapists and dietitians.

Our therapists will also collaborate with outside dietitians if a client receives care elsewhere. Therapists might share themes that they have noticed or are working on with a client in therapy so that they can inquire about whether or not the dietitian has observed similar trends. They may be able to coordinate an approach on both ends to bolster support for the client.

Say a dietitian has recommended a client drink a “boost,” a snack as fuel outside of meals, in therapy, a therapist can ask how that is going. They can support a client with the mental strategies to approach food-related actions that feel difficult and help a dietitian, who recommended those tasks, monitor progress. The working relationship between a therapist and a registered dietitian is bidirectional.

Collaboration is key; by working together, therapists and dietitians empower clients to develop healthier coping mechanisms and learn sustainable, healthy eating behaviors. By combining their areas of expertise, Atlanta eating disorder therapists and dietitians offer a holistic approach to recovery that addresses both the nutritional as well as psychological aspects of an eating disorder.


If you’re seeking an Atlanta eating disorder therapist, finding a practitioner who is highly trained and specialized in eating disorder treatment is important. We also believe that Best Within You Therapy & Wellness offers the unique opportunity to have your treatment team on the same team in house working together to best support you. If you want to schedule an appointment with one of our out eating disorder therapists do not hesitate to reach out.