How to Find a Therapist for Eating Disorders in Toronto
Eating Disorders aren’t only about your relationship with food – they can often come with feelings of shame and guilt. This can make it difficult to find the motivation to talk to a therapist about your experiences, even before you consider all the effort it takes to find a therapist.
We’re here to make that process easier for you.
At KMA, we have over 14 years of experience matching our clients with the best therapist for them. We’re experts in helping people find a great therapist – and we’re passionate about teaching you how to find the best therapist for your unique challenges.
We’ve compiled our knowledge into three simple steps to help you find a therapist for eating disorders in Toronto.
After reading this article, you’ll understand the signs of an eating disorder, debunk common misconceptions about eating disorders, and know how to seek out both group and individual therapy.
1. Understand the Signs of Eating Disorders
When seeking help for disordered eating, it can be helpful to have a clear understanding of what you’re experiencing.
There are several different types of eating disorders, and the specific behaviours and symptoms can vary from type to type. Generally, you will experience a complicated relationship with food and with your body image.
When experiencing disordered eating, you may feel:
- Preoccupied with your weight
- Heavily focused on body image, size, or shape
- Compelled to perform specific rituals around food
- Obsessive about food, or deem foods as “safe” or “unsafe” to eat
- Uncomfortable participating in social activities around food (such as getting dinner with friends)
You can visit the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) to learn more about the symptoms of specific types of eating disorders in depth. However, it’s important to note that reading about these specific behaviours can be triggering if you’re struggling with disordered eating.
After learning about how eating disorders can look, you may still be doubtful whether you need help for what you’re experiencing.
Learning about common misconceptions can help affirm your decision to seek professional support.
2. Unpack Common Misconceptions About Eating Disorders
Debunking common misconceptions about eating disorders can help you to feel more validated in your decision to seek treatment.
Here are three common misconceptions about eating disorders:
Misconception 1: You Need to Be a Certain Weight to Have an Eating Disorder
Anyone can have an unhealthy relationship with food. Regardless of your current weight, if you feel as though you are experiencing disordered eating habits, you deserve to receive the help you need.
Misconception 2: Only Women Have Eating Disorders
Eating disorders in the media are often depicted as only affecting young, white women (think Lily Collins in To the Bone.) However, this does not accurately represent eating disorders in the real world.
Anyone, regardless of their race, gender identity, or age, can be impacted by disordered eating – and 25% of people diagnosed with eating disorders are men.
Misconception 3: Eating Disorders Are Just About Food
Eating disorders focus on food and exercise, but they are often caused by a need for a sense of control.
This can often lead people to believe eating disorders can be cured by simply deciding to “eat more” or “eat less.” However, this is not the case – eating disorders are serious illnesses that often require individual or group therapy to overcome.
Ultimately, if you’re struggling to have a healthy relationship with food and your body image, you deserve to seek support.
3. Decide Between Group and Individual Therapy for Eating Disorders
Before finding a therapist, you’ll need to decide whether you’re interested in group or individual therapy (or even a combination of the two).
Group therapy and Individual therapy can be great options for treating eating disorders.
Group therapy may work well for you if you have a limited budget or want the support of others who understand what you’re going through.
Individual therapy can be a great option if you have extensive insurance coverage or are looking for personalized, private care.
Regardless of which type of therapy you choose, it is important to do something sooner rather than later – early intervention is associated with the best outcomes in eating disorder treatment.
Group Therapy for Eating Disorders in Toronto
Toronto has several group therapy options for eating disorders in Toronto.
When looking for an eating disorder therapy group, look for:
- The age range of clients they serve
- How much does the group cost (and whether it fits your budget)
- Other available options (such as free or low-cost online programming)
- Whether they offer support for the specific behaviours or symptoms you’re experiencing
It’s important to consider the type of group you want to attend.
Skills-based groups will offer strategies for recovering from eating disorders from a perspective of reducing harm and avoiding triggering discussions about specific behaviours.
Support groups will dive deeper into these specific experiences, and often help people to feel less alone in what they’re going through.
Other types of groups include art-based groups, nutrition groups, and movement-based groups.
Sheena’s Place provides group therapy services and has also compiled extensive resources for eating disorder treatment and support.
Individual Therapy for Eating Disorders in Toronto
A one-on-one therapist can be a great support when recovering from an eating disorder.
When looking for a therapist, consider:
- Do they take your insurance?
- Do they offer sliding scale rates?
- What is their approach to treating eating disorders?
- What experience do they have treating clients with eating disorders?
- Are they confident they’ll be able to help you with the challenges you’re experiencing?
Eating disorder treatment is often improved by working with a team of individuals, including nutritionists. It can help to ask a potential therapist if they have recommendations for other professionals you could see.
Another great resource is NEDIC’s Find a Provider tool, which will connect you to services based on your postal code.
Next Steps for Finding an Eating Disorders Therapist in Toronto
After reading this article, you now understand the signs and common misconceptions about eating disorders, and how to find support for eating disorders in Toronto.
Here at KMA, our Eating Disorders therapy process begins with a 50-minute introductory appointment. We’ll ask questions to explore the challenges you’re facing and establish a customized plan of action.
Eating disorders are serious, and we are here to help you make sure you get the support you need. If we find during your introductory session that someone else could better help you, we will refer you to a medical or team-based facility that can meet your needs.
If you’re not yet ready to book an introductory session, read these articles for more information:
- For additional questions to ask a potential therapist, read: 22 Questions to Ask Your New Therapist
- For support on starting therapy, read: 3 Helpful Tips to Prepare for Your First Therapy Session
- To learn more about whether therapy could work for you, read: Will Psychotherapy Help Me?