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Careers for Eating Disorder Professionals

Career News August 8, 2013

An eating disorder is an abnormal habit that involves either too much or too little food intake, and to the point that it is affecting the person’s health physically or mentally. Some of the most common disorders are bulimia, anorexia, binge eating, and even a class of eating disorders that are not specified, including unusual cases where you chew and spit out large quantities of food without ingesting it.

Eating disorders are believed to come from medical conditions, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and some even believe social pressure, such as the idea that all women should be extremely thin. This is a major issue in psychology, despite the relativism of this condition compared to more depressive or aggressive ones. Still, considering that some eating disorders could lead to more serious problems with premature death or suicide, it is an imperative subject in the psychology field.

Educational Requirements for Eating Disorder Psychology

Once you earn a degree in a related field, you can start working in a variety of capacities. The highest level is a doctor and you can start working as a psychiatrist or psychologist after completing all the necessary requirements. These might include a current medical license, malpractice coverage, board certification, and with a given number of years in experience. Other job positions might include a utilization review coordinator, a job that conducts psychosocial assessments, and clinical supervisor, or a nurse practitioner.

If you wish to specialize in eating disorder treatment, you can also apply for other positions, such as a human resources director, an intake and admissions coordinator, a direct care staff nurse, a nutrition staff worker or even a registered dietician. Health facilities are another option to look into, such as a commercial detox center, which may treat drug addiction, as well as clients with eating disorders. These facilities might be easier to join as a staff member, since you will be working with a full team, oftentimes a multidisciplinary team of round-the-clock doctors, nurses, dieticians and counselors. You might also find lucrative opportunities nearby should you invest in specialty training, such as acupuncture or hypnotherapy or some other form of physical training.

If you land a position as a specialist working with food disorders, then you must be prepared to assist as a leader in the following situations. You will provide individual or group psychotherapy helping clients overcome eating addiction, assist in team treatment, and communicate with family members as a productive part of therapy. You may also be called upon to evaluate clients, facilitate staff interactions, or handle other managerial tasks as needed.

While food and eating disorders are a specialty of psychology, most of the facilities you apply at will be looking for a top-level degree, such as a Ph.D., not to mention, all state requires experience programs, which may be working in a hospital or residential setting.

This career path can rightly be called a life-saving work, since you will be helping people who are headed down a dangerous road to improve their life and learn healthy nutritional practices. Get started with a solid bachelor’s degree education!

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