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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Outpatient Care of the Severe or Chronic Eating-Disordered Patient

by Laura Stanton, PhD 3 CE Credits

Given the prevalence of eating disorders, the ever-growing obsession with weight in the United States, and the pejorative meaning ascribed to being overweight in this country, a clinician might justifiably feel that eating-disordered patients, and/or their families, are practically guaranteed to present themselves in their practice. In fact, eating disorder referrals have increased in the past two decades around the world. However, how to manage the psychological issues of eating and weight stabilization — along with their concomitant medical complications — can stress even an experienced outpatient provider.

The psychological management of severe or chronic eating disorder cases requires that the clinician be aware of the complex medical sequelae surrounding an eating disorder diagnosis and be prepared to interface with a multidisciplinary team. This course provides an overview of the prevalence of and diagnostic criteria associated with anorexia and bulimia. The medical complications frequently seen among eating-disordered patients are discussed, including the metabolic, as well as psychological, effects of malnutrition and starvation. Lastly, evidence is presented to guide the clinician in the construction of data-driven treatment plans and the clinical application of evidence-based behavioral techniques.


This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours, ASWB Clinical CE clock hours, and NYSED CE credit.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Overview
  • Prevalence of Eating Disorders
  • Definitions of Anorexia and Bulimia
  • Medical Complications
  • The Psychological Components of Anorexia and Bulimia
  • Where to Begin the Treatment with Severe and/or Chronic Eating-Disordered Patients
  • Common Themes within the Therapy
  • Basic Dietary Components That May Be Discussed in the Course of Treatment
  • Summary
  • Web-based Resources
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Discuss three prominent themes that emerge from recent empirical evidence regarding the treatment of Anorexia and Bulimia.       
  • Identify twenty medical concerns associated with Anorexia and Bulimia, which will enhance the interface with medical providers.
  • Indicate thirteen metabolic and ten psychological effects of malnutrition and starvation.
  • Utilize four evidence-based behavioral techniques to construct data-driven treatment plans.