Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely not. Roughly half of our clients come to us because the suspect that they have an eating disorder and want support to recover. Our assessment process helps to identify the symptoms that you’re experiencing. We will then work with you to resolve those symptoms.
We have specialists who work with:
- Anorexia (Restrictive and Binge/Purge)
- Binge Eating Disorder
- Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
- Body Dysmorphia
Don’t worry if your symptoms don’t fit neatly into one of those diagnoses. We work transdiagnostically, which means that we know eating disorder behaviours, thoughts and feelings can change. We work with what you’re experiencing, not what your diagnosis says you should be experiencing.
We offer different services which have different prices.
- Therapy sessions with an eating disorder specialist therapist are £78.75
- Dietitian appointments with an eating disorder specialist dietitian are £84.
- Support worker appointments are £31.50 per hour, but can be shorter or longer depending on your specific needs.
Most of our clients have one therapy appointment a week. The option for further support is available when you need it. Some of our clients see their therapist twice a week, or combine therapy with seeing a dietitian or support worker. We will work with you to identify the level of support that is right for you to help you recover.
As you progress through recovery it is normal for your level of support to change. It may increase at times when you’re struggling, and decrease when life is going well. As we’re approaching you leaving our service, it’s not uncommon for appointments to become fortnightly so that leaving feels more manageable.
Payment is via invoice after your appointments. You’ll receive an invoice, usually within 24 hours of your appointment, which details exactly what we’re charging you for and if any discounts have been applied. You then have 7 days to pay the invoice, which you can do by clicking the blue button within the invoice and using your card details. We’re able to send the invoice to someone else if you’d prefer.
Please be aware that we may suspend treatment if invoices are left unpaid, although we will always talk to you first. If finances have become a bit tight for whatever reason, we’ll do our best to find a solution which means your treatment can continue without an interruption.
Yes! We really want to work with your GP during your recovery. We will need to be in contact with your GP at the start of treatment and then throughout. We update them regularly with how your treatment is progressing and if we need them to do anything, such as blood tests and ECGs.
We are very aware from our clients that some GPs are more supportive than others. If your GP is less supportive, or doesn’t know what they need to do to support you, we will gladly talk to them on your behalf. We have experience of helping our clients access appropriate medication, referrals for other concerns (such as ADHD, autism, fertility problems).
This is such a common question. Too many people wonder if they’re ill enough for support or believe that they aren’t worthy of support.
Am I ill enough for treatment? Yes! It doesn’t matter to us how your illness compares to anyone else. If you’re struggling with food or body image in any way, we’d love to work with you. It doesn’t matter if your GP or someone else has given you the message that you’re not ill enough for their services, the very fact that you’re asking the question means that you deserve support. People who aren’t depressed don’t question if they’re depressed. People without schizophrenia don’t question if they’re experiencing hallucinations. If you’re questioning your relationship with food or your body, we would bet that it’s unhealthy in some way.
Secondly, low self-esteem goes hand in hand will all eating disorders. Asking if you’re worthy of support is a sign of low self-esteem. We will work with you to improve your self-esteem and to believe that you are worthy of support and care.
If you’re really not sure if you need support, the best thing to do is to contact us. We are perfectly happy to have a chat with you, on the phone, through email or text, to discuss what’s going on for you and if it sounds as though you might have an eating disorder.
All clients also have an initial consultation before starting treatment with us. The consultation is free and lasts up to an hour. We use it to fully explore if you might benefit from working with us and you have the chance to ask any questions that you have.
We know that asking for help can be seriously scary, so we work hard to make the process of starting recovery as easy as possible. This is what happens after you contact us:
- We will contact you back, usually using the same method that you used to contact us, to ask some more questions or offer to have a chat about any initial questions or concerns that you have.
- During this we will arrange an initial consultation for you. The initial consultation is free and lasts up to an hour. You can have it in person at our office in Bridgwater, Somerset, or you can have a virtual consultation. The consultation will normally be with Richard and serves two purposes. We will be exploring that’s going on for you in more detail to make sure that we’re the best service for you. If we believe that we’re not the best service for you, we will signpost you to an appropriate service. You also have the chance to ask any questions that you have so that you can make an informed decision about if you want to work with us or not. You’re welcome to bring a friend or relative to the consultation if you’d like.
- Following the consultation, you’ll be allocated to a therapist and the first appointment will be arranged.
The timeframe from initial contact to starting with your therapist is usually 1-2 weeks, depending on your availability matching our availability.
Yes! Every single member of our team has completed additional training and qualifications which enable them to work with clients with an eating disorder. We also access internal and external training across the year to keep our knowledge completely up to date.
We do not believe in using trainees or unqualified clinicians. Eating disorders are too complex and the risks are too high for this. You deserve better than that. Our firm position is that we will not hire anyone who is not qualified to work with clients with an eating disorder (also, our insurance company would be very unhappy with us!)
Whenever possible, yes.
There are two main factors that go into allocating you to a therapist:
The first one is availability. Being an eating disorder therapist is extremely demanding emotionally, so our therapists have relatively small caseloads of three clients for each day that they work. For example, if a therapist works two days a week for us, the’ll have a maximum of 6 clients on their caseload. The chances are that you’ll have commitments too, so it’s a case of finding a space at a time that you can also attend weekly.
The second factor is specialisms. All of our therapists are specialists in eating disorders, but eating disorders is still a huge field. Our therapists all have their own interests within eating disorders. For example, Richard focuses on anorexia. Maria focuses on anorexia, bulimia and ARFID. LeeAnn focuses on binge eating disorder, overeating and emotional eating, and ARFID.
If you feel drawn to a particular therapist for any reason, discuss it with us at your initial consultation and we’ll do our best for you to work with them.
Not at all, almost all of our clients initially contact us themselves. Sometimes a GP, parent, friend or partner will contact us on behalf of someone else. When this is the case, we’ll ask for the contact details of the individual and contact them asking to confirm that they’re thinking about working with us.
Yes and no.
We’ll start with the no. If you’re aged 18 or older, the only person that we insist on being able to discuss your treatment with is your GP. This is because we do not monitor physical health or prescribe medication, so we need your GP to do that if necessary. We also need your GP to be able to update us if they are aware of anything that could affect your recovery.
There are some other exceptions which are protected in law, these are if there is a risk of death or serious harm to yourself or others, if a serious crime has been committed, or if we suspect that you’re committing money laundering.
You may wish to give us permission to talk to someone else about your treatment, that is entirely up to you. You may need us to be able to talk to your employer, university or college. You may want us to be able to update a friend or family member. This is absolutely fine. We have a form that you’ll need to complete which details exactly who we can talk to and what information we can share.
Aside from everything above, your treatment is completely confidential. No one will be able to just phone us and get information about you, or even find out that you’re one of our clients. We will only talk to someone else about you without your permission if we truly believe that your life is at risk or if we are breaking the law by not talking to someone else (this one has never actually happened here).
Absolutely! We actually welcome this because it makes recovery so much easier for you.
Most of your treatment will be just you and your therapist, but there are some bits where it’s helpful to have the input of other people. When this is the case, we will usually offer to have a joint session, which is where you, your therapist, and the other person all have an appointment together. The appointment is a chance for everyone to make sure that we’re all on the same page and that you’re being supported as well as possible, by us and at home.
Yes, that isn’t a problem at all. Approximately half of our clients work with us online when distance or their schedule means it would be difficult to come to our clinic in person.
You’re also able to blended therapy, where some of it is online and some is in person. It’s entirely up to you and what you’d prefer.
Currently, we only work with adults aged 18+.
We are in the process of recruiting for a young person therapist. Amanda is currently completing her eating disorder training and then she’ll be ready to start seeing clients. We anticipate being able to work with clients aged 14+ from April 2024.
This really is a ‘how long is a piece of string?’ question, unfortunately. There are so many variables that it’s impossible to say. We do not limit the number of sessions someone can have. We work at your pace to make sure that recovery is sustainable.
As a guideline, most clients are with us for 6 to 18 months, depending on the severity of their eating disorder and the underlying problems that need to be resolved. We hold reviews with you every 12 sessions to make sure that we’re still making progress and that you’re happy with your treatment.
Yes, we operate completely independently. This means that we can focus on providing the treatment that’s best for you, rather than the treatment that someone else says we have to provide.
What’s the difference between an independent, and nonindependent treatment clinic? In brief, being independent means that our clients pay for their own treatment. In a nonindependent clinic the treatment is usually paid for by the NHS or someone else. Although this means that the treatment is free or low cost, it usually means that you have to accept what you’re given rather than having the treatment you actually want or need.
We still provide the very best, evidence-based treatments.