Eating disorder recovery coaches are an emerging resource in the eating disorder recovery world. A typical treatment team for eating disorder recovery consists of a therapist, dietician, and oftentimes a doctor. Eating disorder recovery coaches add another element to recovery that is proving to be very useful for those on their healing journey. But, what is an eating disorder recovery coach? Let’s talk through it together.
The Role of an Eating Disorder Recovery Coach
Eating disorder recovery coaches are a unique and valuable resource within eating disorder recovery. In many ways, recovery coaches fill the gaps in regular treatment. Within recovery, a client may have scheduled meetings with a therapist on a regular basis – but outside of those set times, they may not have the support they need.
This is where coaches come in.
Eating disorders do not have office hours. If you are in-between therapy sessions or experience a need for after-hours support, a coach is an excellent resource for you. Due to the nature of our professions, we are more readily available to offer you support in the moment.
That said, coaches in no way act as a form of therapy. While therapists dive into the “why” of the eating disorder, explore trauma, and help heal/overcome past pains, coaches focus on the “here and now”. Coaches are a great tool for when you are feeling overwhelmed by ED thoughts and want to work through it with a caring professional.
Do ED Recovery Coaches Only Work With Diagnosed Eating Disorders?
This is another beautiful part of coaching. Certified ED recovery coaches are well-trained in eating disorders but do not ONLY work with those with a diagnosis.
At Fueled + Freed, I am trained to work with clients on body image, exercise addiction/compulsive exercise, dieting, food rules, and all other obsessive food/body/exercise thoughts and behaviors. You do not need a diagnosis to be worthy of help.
If food, exercise, and/or body thoughts are clouding the enjoyment of your everyday life, you are worthy of care. Coaching may be the perfect fit for you.
Are Eating Disorder Recovery Coaches Professionally Trained?
Yes! Well, we should be!
Before you sign up to be coached by an ED recovery coach, be sure to look into their credentials. I, personally, am certified under Recovery Love and Care University.
My training consists of 27 modules of eating-disorder-specific information. I am trained to assist in body image support, meal support, eating disorder support, and how to hold compassion for those struggling.
Additionally, my training includes neutral retraining, identifying and challenging cognitive distortions, establishing productive self-care practices, initiating adaptive, healthy coping skills, and guiding grounding techniques.
Lastly, I am Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size informed. My care is aligned with those principles.
For more information on my training, visit Recovery Love and Care’s website.
What Does an Eating Disorder Recovery Coach Do?
Coaches wear many hats (I think that’s the saying?! 😉 ).
Eating disorder recovery coaches are trained to help clients with the day-to-day struggles of disorder eating, an eating disorder, and/or negative body image. This can include moments that are not feasible for other members of the treatment team.
A great example of this is mealtime support. Coaches have the ability to sit with you during a scheduled mealtime session and offer you professional support in the moment.
Additionally, coaches can help you formulate grocery lists or even chat with you while you shop the aisles. I like to think of coaches as your pocket guide to recovery. They are there in the small everyday moments when you need some trained support.
Coaches also work alongside the rest of your treatment team. Each member of a treatment team has a unique and important role. As a coach, I will communicate and work alongside the other members of your team to support you.
Coaches can be your advocate. If you are struggling, you can lean on your coach. With full transparency and honesty, a coach can be a great resource for you.
ED Recovery Coach Overview
Your eating disorder recovery coach should be someone you can look to for support in your recovery journey. Your coach should feel non-judgmental, trustworthy, and safe. You should feel heard, validated, and well-supported.
Coaches are here to fill the gaps in your recovery.
Whether you are battling a diagnosed disorder or undiagnosed food/body struggles, your coach is her to help you. As a trained professional, your coach should be able to provide you with the tools and resources to support your recovery.
Ultimately, your coach should help you develop a toolkit of skills for you to eventually utilize on your own as you break free of diet, food, body, and exercise restraints and pursue your full life fueled and freed.