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 Bulimia Resource Guide Summary
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Questions to ask an outpatient therapist

  • What insurance do you accept
  • Do you deal directly with the insurer or does the patient need to do that?
  • What training do you have that is specific to treating bulimia nervosa?
  • How many cases have you treated? Over what period of time?
  • What degree, certification, and license do you hold?
  • Do you belong to the Academy for Eating Disorders?
  • Are there any clinical practice guidelines you use to guide treatment?
  • What is your availability in an emergency? If you are not available, what are my alternatives?
  • How do you involve key family members or friends?
  • What psychotherapeutic approaches and tools do you use?
  • How do you decide which approach is best for the patient?
  • How do you work with the patient's other doctors, such as medical doctors, who may need to provide care?
  • Will medication play a role in the patient's treatment?
  • Do you work with a psychopharmacologist if medication seems indicated?
  • How do you treat co-existing mental health conditions such as depression?
  • What are your criteria for determining whether a patient needs to be hospitalized?
  • What happens in counseling sessions?
  • How long does each counseling session last?
  • How many will there be and how often?
  • What specific goals will be set for treatment?
  • How do you know when recovery is happening and therapy can stop?
  • Do you charge for phone calls or emails from patients or family between sessions? If so, what do you charge and how and to whom (insurance company or patient) is that billed?

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Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder in which a person engages in binge eating (eating a lot of food in a short time) followed by some type of behavior to prevent weight gain from the food that was eaten. This behavior can take two forms: self-induced vomiting, misuse of enemas, laxatives, diet pills (called purging) and excessive exercise, fasting, or diabetic omission of insulin (called non-purging). Some people with bulimia nervosa may also starve themselves for periods of time before binge eating again. Bulimia nervosa has important mental, emotional, and physical aspects that require consideration during treatment.

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