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Parents’ Guide: Top Questions to Ask an Admissions Team About Eating Disorder Treatment

For parents of adult children with eating disorders, the process of evaluating and selecting a treatment facility can feel frightening and filled with uncertainty. You may know that treatment is crucial for your child at this stage in their journey, but you may not have the language or know-how to determine which treatment center can best meet their needs.

As you consider the available options for your child, it’s important to compare facilities using a particular criteria, with your child’s unique condition and needs driving your decision-making.

Here are some of the essential questions you should ask each eating disorder treatment center, and why.

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QUESTION 1: Can you describe the composition of your treatment team and the specific roles and qualifications of each member?

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO ASK: This question helps you better understand the full scope of multidisciplinary healthcare experts available at the facility. Knowing the composition and specific roles within a facility’s treatment teams will help you make an informed decision about whether or not the facility can provide the best treatment for your child.

At Aster Springs, our treatment team consists of:

  • A primary/family therapist – This therapist works individually with each patient to meet their specific needs and navigate a treatment plan that works best with their lifestyle. Primary and family therapists also work collectively with both milieu groups and the patient’s family. Open communication of progress and ED education can help the family learn how to support their loved one to ensure the best chance of long-term recovery.
  • An ED-trained dietitian – The facility’s dietitian provides nutrition education, meal planning, and overall support as the patient navigates their journey towards healing their relationship with food.
  • Nursing staff – This team provides 24/7 medical support and care.
  • Psychiatrist MD – The Psychiatrist MD provides support for any co-occurring mental health struggles and can provide medication management as needed.

QUESTION 2: How do you create individualized treatment plans for my adult child, and what factors do you consider during the assessment process?

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO ASK: This question is crucial in allowing you to assess the treatment center’s commitment to providing personalized care rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. By asking about the facility’s treatment plans, you can determine how they align interventions with the identified needs and goals of the individual, ensuring a more effective and targeted treatment approach.

Lastly, by understanding how the facility approaches individualized care, you can assess their commitment to addressing the underlying factors contributing to your adult child’s eating disorder, facilitating lasting change and positive outcomes.

At Aster Springs: We help empower each person by including them throughout the admissions process. This is a vulnerable time, and opening up about their struggles, as well as seeking out treatment, is a huge step forward that we don’t take lightly. Guiding them and their family through the process of treatment and the journey of healing is our passion.

QUESTION 3: How do you approach medical stabilization for adults, and what measures do you take to ensure their safety during this phase?

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO ASK: It’s important to pose this question to an admissions team so you can understand the medical protocols and measures they take to prioritize each patient’s safety as they undergo the initial phase of treatment. It also provides you with insight into the facility’s expertise in handling medical issues and emergencies effectively. Asking about safety measures during the medical stabilization phase helps alleviate concerns and provides you with peace of mind through each stage of your child’s treatment.

At Aster Springs: We ensure the creation of an ideal treatment plan for each individual by carefully gathering information during their clinical intake screening and by consulting with their outpatient treatment team. This allows us to produce a well-rounded view of their health and unique needs.

QUESTION 4: Which evidence-based therapies do you offer, and how do you determine which therapy is most suitable for each individual?

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO ASK: Each facility offers different evidence-based therapy options to ensure that each individual patient can receive the treatment that suits their needs. This question helps you better understand those treatment options and how your child needs will be addressed. Common therapies include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). These therapies target specific behaviors, emotions, and thoughts related to the specified eating disorder, and it is important to discuss each option with the facility’s clinical staff.

At Aster Springs: We utilize cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and exposure and response prevention therapy.

QUESTION 5: How do you incorporate nutritional rehabilitation into the treatment process, and what strategies do you use to help clients develop a positive relationship with food?

This question is especially important when speaking with the facility’s admissions team, as it provides insight into how they incorporate nutritional rehabilitation into the treatment process. It also helps you gain an understanding of the treatment center’s strategies for helping your child heal their relationship with food and foster healthier eating behaviors and attitudes.

At Aster Springs: Throughout the admissions process, we gather details on each individual’s specific struggles with food so we can inform their Registered Dietitian on-site in preparation for individualized nutrition planning.

Who We Are

Our home-like settings in peaceful surroundings in Richmond, Virginia and Nashville, Tennessee are ideal for healing. With a team of highly credentialed, experienced therapists, nutritionists, and other team members, we ensure that each client receives whole-person and multidimensional care that helps them progress toward recovery. We offer evidence-based treatment programs including residential treatment programs, partial hospitalization programs, and intensive outpatient programs, for adults and adolescents of all genders, ages 12 and older (may vary by location), who struggle with feeding or eating disorders. 

Looking for Treatment? As one of the top residential eating disorder treatment centers in the U.S., Aster Springs can help you or your loved one find the path to a better life.

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