University of Kentucky Eating Concerns Treatment Team (ECTT)
Treatment team approach
Because eating disorders are complex, treatment requires a team approach. This on-campus multidisciplinary method for current UK students includes psychological, nutritional, psychiatric, medical evaluation and treatment, as appropriate. The treatment team communicates regularly as well as meets monthly to maintain continuity of care.
Whether you have an eating disorder or concerns in regards to eating behaviors or body dissatisfaction, we are here to help. We can also collaborate with non-UK clinicians if you already have a treatment plan in place.
What treatment options are available?
Eating disorders are serious emotional and physical conditions that can have life-threatening consequences. Emotional/psychological aspects of an eating concern can be triggered when an individual experiences negative body image, body dissatisfaction, or excessive thoughts about food, dieting and weight. During an initial consultation with a clinician, you will be asked questions regarding your eating behaviors, thoughts and emotions, and you will discuss further treatment options. Therapy can help improve your mental health through developing healthier coping mechanisms, increasing self-esteem and working through various issues that may contribute to your eating concerns.
Your dietitian will work with you to understand your eating behaviors and patterns as well as thoughts about weight, body and food. Individualized recommendations will be made in regards to nutritional needs, meal planning, and weight restoration or stabilization. Your dietitian will provide nutrition education on a variety of topics and areas of concern. Ongoing support (weekly to monthly) will be provided so that you can establish a healthy relationship with food and “normalized” eating.
UK Behavioral Health can help whether you need continued care for an existing psychological condition, require additional support or guidance with new or unexpected psychological concerns, or have an acute need for psychiatric care. The first visit to Behavioral Health usually involves a brief discussion about your background and the nature of your current problem. This helps clarify your needs and develop a treatment plan. Medication may be recommended.
A medical evaluation by a clinician is imperative to assess for any complications that may result from malnutrition, purging, bingeing, laxative, diuretic and/or diet pill use. The evaluation may include any of the following: general physical exam, vital signs, lab work, electrocardiogram (EKG) and bone density scan. These are all outpatient services. Depending on the severity of the eating disorder, it may be possible that a higher level of care might be needed. The ECTT will work with you and your family in providing appropriate referrals and/or recommendations.
Some students prefer to start with therapy while others prefer a medical evaluation or nutrition session first. Whichever route you choose, we will make sure to get you connected with the appropriate members of the team.
UK Counseling Center
University Health Service (UHS)