FAMILY GUIDE TO
HOW TO CHOOSE A
TREATMENT TEAM FOR A
LOVED ONE WITH AN EATING
DISORDER IN THE U.S.
F.E.A.S.T. FAMILY GUIDE SERIES
While it is important to research the options
available to you before choosing a treatment
provider, it is even more important to
periodically evaluate if that treatment is
working and make changes if it is not.
©Copyright by F.E.A.S.T.. 2014
This booklet may be reprinted and distributed by others. For more information,
please contact F.E.A.S.T. at firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR IN CHIEF
Walter Kaye, MD
Professor of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego
Director, Eating Disorder Research and Treatment Program, UCSD
SENIOR EDITOR & DESIGNER
Leah Dean, M.Arch
Executive Director, F.E.A.S.T.
Craig Johnson, PhD, FAED, CEDS
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Oklahoma Medical School
Chief Clinical Officer of Eating Recovery Center in Denver, Colorado
Daniel Le Grange, PhD, FAED
Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Eating Disorders Program, The
University of Chicago, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
Kim McCallum, MD, FAPA, CEDS
Clinical Faculty Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine
Founder McCallum Place Eating Disorders Treatment Center
Mary Tantillo, PhD PMHCNS-BC FAED
Professor of Clinical Nursing, University of Rochester School of Nursing,
Director, Western NY Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders,
President/CEO and Clinical Director, The Healing Connection, Inc.
Ellen Rome, MD, MPH,
Head, Center for Adolescent Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital
Joel Yager, MD, FAED,
Professor of Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Past President, Academy for Eating Disorders,
Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh, MS
Founder & Policy Director, F.E.A.S.T.
Member, AED Patient-Carer Committee
FAMILY GUIDE TASK FORCE CHAIR
Mary Beth Krohel
Member, F.E.A.S.T. Advisory Panel, Member
AED Medical Care Standards Task Force
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PORT IN A STORM:
HOW TO CHOOSE A TREATMENT TEAM FOR A LOVED ONE
WITH AN EATING DISORDER IN THE U.S.
OUR LOVED ONE HAS AN EATING DISORDER AND
NEEDS TREATMENT. WHOM CAN WE TRUST?
Families do have choices when it comes to choosing an eating disorder
treatment provider. Getting a list of specialists from your health
insurance company or a local referral from your family doctor is just a
starting point for one of the most urgent and important decisions you will
ever make. While you may not be an expert in eating disorders, you are
an expert when it comes to your child and you have valuable insights,
intuitions and parenting skills that are critical to the recovery process.
Your confidence and trust in yourself as a caregiver will go a long way
towards reassuring your loved one that they do not have to face this
Choosing treatment is a confusing and daunting task. You may consult a
provider who recommends a certain approach, and then have another
provider suggest an entirely different plan of action. You may be given
glossy brochures that show beautiful facilities and smiling patients, and
make all sorts of promises. It will be up to you, as parents, to choose an
appropriate starting point for your child’s treatment. The best way to
make this decision is to educate yourselves by carefully researching your
options, interviewing potential providers, and having specific goals in
mind for your child’s treatment. This guide is intended to help you with
CAN EATING DISORDERS BE SUCCESSFULLY
Yes. With appropriate expert and family assistance, there is always hope
for successful recovery. Treating eating disorders is not easy, and the
earlier the intervention, the higher the chance of success. Effective care
usually requires a multi-disciplinary approach, specialized caregiving
skills, and long-term vigilance. Although an eating disorder diagnosis
may feel like a devastating blow to a patient and their family, it is an
opportunity to begin a treatment process that can allow your loved one to
restore their mental and physical health and live a full, successful life.
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WHAT IS THE BEST TREATMENT APPROACH?
There are several different approaches to treating eating disorders.
However, the immediate goals of ANY treatment approach should
Interruption of life-threatening behaviors
Normalizing nutrition and/or weight stabilization
Development of a comprehensive, long-term treatment plan
Later goals should include:
1. Identifying and treating psychiatric conditions that pre-date
and/or parallel the development of the eating disorder, such as
depression, obsessive compulsive disorders, or other anxiety
2. Understanding any biological and environmental vulnerabilities
that maintain the eating disordered thoughts and behaviors,
3. Working as a team, with families, to teach awareness of these
vulnerabilities and integrate effective coping strategies into the
patient’s and family’s daily life.
4. Identifying and educating others in the community who will
support the patient during later stages of treatment..
CAN I MAKE MY YOUNG ADULT CHILD GET
Refusal of treatment, due to lack of insight about being ill, is a common
symptom of an eating disorder. While many mentally ill patients who are
a danger to themselves can be ordered into treatment programs, patients
with eating disorders are too often permitted to act against medical
advice and leave the urgent, often life-saving treatment they need and
deserve. Just as for cancer or drug treatment protocols, treatment will
not work if the medicine is watered down or treatment is interrupted or
The belief that a patient needs to retain their independence and choose to
engage in treatment on their own is not supported by the evidence, and
the consequences of ignoring or delaying medical and nutritional
rehabilitation can be deadly. Many parents may have financial or other
“leverage” they can use to encourage their young adult child to enter and
remain in treatment. However, some parents may need to seek courtwww.feast-ed.org
Page | 3
ordered commitment to a treatment facility when their young adult child
is unable to do so themselves. Many families find that cooperation will
come more readily in later stages of treatment when the patient’s
thinking is not distorted due to unstable nourishment and other
disordered eating behaviors that affect brain chemistry.
MY INSURANCE COMPANY GAVE ME A LIST OF
PROVIDERS IN MY AREA. DO I REALLY HAVE MUCH
CHOICE AS TO WHO WILL TREAT MY CHILD?
In private healthcare systems like the US, families are usually referred to
an ED specialist by their Health Insurance Company or primary care
provider. Most families with private insurance have a choice between innetwork and out-of-network care. Typically the choice of an out-ofnetwork provider results in higher fees for the family and can be a
limiting factor in finding affordable treatment. In addition, most private
insurance policies, and Medicaid, place limits on the types and length of
treatment services that they will pay for. Families should carefully
research the details of their insurance coverage and make sure they
understand what their options are for selecting and switching treatment
Eating disorders are very difficult to treat and each patient’s treatment
needs will be different, but no less urgent. Sometimes the most
appropriate and effective care for a patient will be found outside of the
family’s insurance network and geographic region.
While it is important to research the options available to you before
choosing a treatment provider, it is even more important to periodically
evaluate if that treatment is working and make changes if it is not.
Parents have the right as caregivers to choose and change treatment
providers and should not be afraid to assert those rights in order to ensure
that progress is being made towards recovery. Skilled providers invite
and respond to parental feedback about treatment progress. They revise
the treatment plan based on this feedback.
While you may not be an expert in eating disorders, you
are an expert when it comes to your child and you have
valuable insights, intuitions and parenting skills that
are critical to the recovery process.
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HOW CAN WE RESEARCH OUR OPTIONS?
1. Start by researching the types of treatment you are being offered and
learn about the evidence-base for each option.
2. Review the various published clinical guidelines and standards of
care for treating eating disorders.
3. Take the time to read about the current science on eating disorders
and do not be afraid to go to sources written for professionals. Rely
on information sources that are current, financially unbiased, and
4. Interview a range of prospective clinical teams and come prepared
with specific questions. Take the time to fully understand the
treatment team’s approach, the day-to-day requirements of the
program, and the role you as a caregiver will play in treatment.
5. State your own concerns about the approach being described to you
and make sure you feel listened to and included as a partner in your
child’s care. This is your right as a caregiver and your responsibility
as a member of the treatment team.
6. Read more about your rights as a caregiver under current public
health policy and the “Worldwide Charter for Action on Eating
7. Assess the family’s resources as a household, what help you can
expect from extended family and friends, and other resources
available to you within the community.
8. Decide if your family can fully commit to supporting the treatment
plan being presented to you.
9. Make a plan for beginning treatment, complete with time horizons
for evaluating progress, and then make a back-up plan.
RELIABLE RESOURCES TO START WITH:
Academy for Eating Disorders (www.aedweb.org)
National Institute for Mental Health (www.nimh.nih.gov)
Maudsley Parents (www.maudsleyparents.org)
National Eating Disorders Association
F.E.A.S.T.’s Eating Disorder Glossary: (http://glossary.feast-ed.org)
F.E.A.S.T.’s list of Clinical Guidelines: (www.feasted.org/resources.aspx)
Page | 5
Although the treatment plan for each patient will
be unique, it is wise to start with the bestvalidated approaches and expert clinical advice.
WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SHOW?
Many patients and their families credit long-term inpatient, residential or
day treatment care as critical to recovery. However, there is little in the
way of data to tell us how effective it actually is, or that one level of care
works better than another. Recently, certain eating disorder (ED)
treatments have been examined in well-designed studies. Some of the
results have been surprising and call older, but still common, treatment
practices and assumptions into question. Nevertheless, the map of
treatment remains largely uncharted, and most treatments have not yet
been tested. Although the treatment plan for each patient will be unique,
it is wise to start with the best-validated approaches and expert clinical
advice. Recent research has shown us some important facts about the
treatment of eating disorders:
Early intervention increases the chances for full recovery. Treatment
for any ED should be considered urgent and not be postponed even if
symptoms seem mild or do not meet all the established diagnostic
Some of the ‘evidence-base’ in ED’s has put older approaches in
question. For example, the use of birth control pills for bone health
in anorexia nervosa (AN) has not been supported. Causal theories
about poor parenting and fear of oral impregnation have been
For adolescents with AN, Family-Based Treatment (FBT) (also
called the Maudsley Method), has the best results for the most
patients. It is now considered the first recommendation for
adolescent patients who are medically stable and fit for outpatient
About 50% of adolescents with AN show recovery after a course of
FBT, i.e., at or above 95% of expected body weight and
demonstrating a substantial reduction or absence of eating disorder
thoughts and behaviors.
For adults with AN, there is no research support for one definitive
treatment at present. However, several different psychotherapeutic
Page | 6
approaches appear helpful, including Cognitive Behavior Therapy
(CBT), interpersonal therapies, some psychodynamic
psychotherapies, and even well-structured medical programs that
include advice, education, support and encouragement. 1
For adults with Bulimia Nervosa (BN), the research support for CBT
is strongest, and certain medications have been shown to be very
helpful. There is also mounting evidence for the use of FBT and
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) with adolescents and young
LEVELS OF CARE FOR EATING DISORDERS IN THE US
It is not unusual for patients to move from one type of care to another
during the course of their treatment. Higher levels of care may alleviate
distress, restore nutrition and stabilize symptoms in the short run, but
best outcomes are likely when intensive outpatient treatment follows and
continues after symptoms have abated and until recovery can be
maintained by the individual. Patients need to know that therapeutic
support should not stop because they have interrupted their symptoms.
Below are descriptions of the most common types of treatment
environments in the U.S. Please note that the terminology used in this
guide may have a different meaning in other countries and/or health care
Outpatient (OP): The patient lives at home and attends regularly
scheduled (usually 45-50 minute) sessions at a therapist's office. This
typically includes one or more sessions per week. The patient may be
seen individually, with the family, in a group format with other patients,
and/or sometimes in a multi-family group format. The type of therapy
prescribed will depend on the age of the patient, the prescribed treatment
plan, and the philosophy of the provider. Outpatient treatment does not
usually include supervised meals.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): The patient lives at home but
spends some of their time at a clinic for therapy sessions and limited
meal support. A common IOP schedule would be three hours per day,
three days per week, and includes dinner.
Focal psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, and optimised treatment as
usual in outpatients with anorexia nervosa (ANTOP study): randomised controlled trial.
Stephan Zipfel,et al. www.thelancet.com Published online October 14, 2013, and
Three psychotherapies for anorexia nervosa: a randomized, controlled trial. McIntosh
VV, Jordan J, Carter FA, et al. Am J Psychiatry 2005; 162: 741–47
Page | 7
Day Treatment Program: The patient lives primarily at home but
spends four to twelve hours per day at a hospital or clinic for individual,
group and family therapy sessions and meal support. Typically the
patient will eat at least two meals and a snack at the program each day.
Day treatment programs may or may not include weekend housing and
Partial Hospitalization (PHP): The patient lives at home but spends six
to twelve hours per day, five to seven days per week at a hospital or
clinic for individual, group, and family therapy sessions, medical
oversight, and meal support. Typically the patient will eat at least two
meals and a snack at the program each day Some PHP programs will
provide housing and keep a patient overnight for parts of the week.
NOTE: State regulation and licensing will influence whether there are
day treatment and/or partial hospitalization programs in your community.
Inpatient (IP): The patient is hospitalized, usually for medical and/or
psychiatric stabilization, and may or may not receive therapy.
Hospitalization can occur on a voluntary or involuntary basis. Some
hospitals have psychiatric beds for involuntarily admitted patients and
some do not. Often Inpatient stays take place at a general medical or
psychiatric facility which may or may not have a specialized eating
disorder unit. Meal support at a general facility usually focuses on
medical stabilization (not weight restoration) and may not include
regular meal support.
Residential: The patient lives full time at a specialized eating disorder
facility where 24/7 care is provided. Residential treatment usually
requires a longer-term stay ranging from a few weeks to several months
to a year or more. Residential care is usually indicated when outpatient
interventions have not been successful at interrupting eating disorder
symptoms. The patient needs a highly controlled environment to restore
weight, stop binge eating, purging or other self-destructive behaviors.
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WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT MEDICATIONS?
There are no psychiatric medications that cure eating disorders, but
several may help with symptoms or with the distress at various stages of
treatment. These are some of the things we do know:
Certain anti-depressant medicines have shown effectiveness with
bulimia nervosa, and some medicines have also been helpful for
Binge Eating Disorder. Fewer studies have been done in anorexia
Although experts may disagree, some studies suggest certain SSRI’s
and some second generation or ‘atypical’ antipsychotics may help
certain patients with anorexia nervosa. SSRI’s tend to work best once
the patient is eating again, as they require serotonin to be made and
available in the brain before they can do their job. A starved brain
does not make much serotonin.
Short-acting anti-anxiety medicines have shown some usefulness in
patients with extreme anticipatory meal-time panic, or anxiety when
faced with the food in front of them. In addition, medication may
benefit a substantial number of individuals who have other ‘comorbid’ psychiatric conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), along with an eating
The use of psychiatric medications needs to be prescribed and
carefully monitored by a psychiatrist who is familiar with the
effectiveness of the medication on a malnourished brain and body. It
is important for parents to discuss with their care team the pros and
cons of specific medicines for their child at various phases of
The belief that a patient needs to retain their
independence and choose to engage in treatment
on their own is not supported by the evidence, and
the consequences of ignoring or delaying medical
and nutritional rehabilitation can be deadly.
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WHAT TRAINING WILL A QUALIFIED EATING
DISORDER ‘EXPERT’ OR ‘SPECIALIST’ HAVE?
Eating disorder treatment is most often coordinated by mental health
providers who come from many different types of academic programs.
An academic degree in mental health is a broad curriculum that includes
only basic instruction on eating disorders, with more advanced courses
offered (depending on the institution) for those with a particular interest.
These programs vary enormously in terms of how stringent they are in
the supervision of trainees, in their approach to understanding human
behavior, treatment approaches, and in the length, content and details of
Excellent therapists may be produced by both rigorous university
programs that require five years of training, as well as professional
schools that have less rigorous selection criteria and require only a few
years of training. Still, on the average, those who have five years of
training are likely to have learned much more than those with two years
CAN SOMEONE EARN A ‘DEGREE’ IN EATING
At this time there is no specific academic program for specializing in the
treatment of eating disorders which results in a ‘degree’ in eating
disorders. This means that literally anyone can call him or herself an
eating disorder ‘specialist’ regardless of academic credentials, experience
or results. In contrast, a doctor who specializes in treating cancer patients
has completed a specific academic program that results in accreditation
as an ‘oncologist.’
Currently, there is no consensus among medical schools, psychology
graduate programs, registered dietician graduate programs, or
professional eating disorder organizations as to a minimum required
level of training that a provider should have to be considered an eating
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Nevertheless, it is very important to seek a coordinated treatment team
that specializes in treating eating disorders. You may have to assemble a
team of eating disorder experts if there is not a ‘ready-made’ team that
works together in your area. Such a team will almost always include a
psychotherapist and psychiatrist, as well as a family physician familiar
with eating disorders. Other team members may be registered dieticians,
physical therapists, occupational therapists, etc. It is important to
carefully interview providers to learn about their experience, training,
and professional alliances. Long experience treating eating disorders is
not necessarily a qualification, particularly in a field where the science is
changing rapidly. Working with professionals who are trained in
evidence-based eating disorder treatments and who are alert to cutting
edge research and clinical work is important.
SINCE EATING DISORDER PROFESSIONALS ALL
RECEIVE DIFFERENT ACADEMIC TRAINING, IS THERE
POST-PROFESSIONAL TRAINING THAT THEY CAN
ALL GET THAT IS SPECIFIC TO TREATING EATING
There are professional organizations that offer continuing education units
(CEUs) and/or general ‘certification’ programs in eating disorders. Each
organization, however, has its own curriculum that may, or may not, be
based on the latest evidence-based information. Completion of CEUs or
certification programs is not equivalent to an academic degree from a
university. Rather it is similar to an engineering or architecture graduate
becoming certified in “green design” practices, where each certifying
organization has their own program and standards.
In addition, there are certificate programs that teach detailed models of
therapy that have been developed specifically for treating eating
disorders. These are sometimes called ‘manualized’ therapies because
they follow a specific set of treatment principles and stages as outlined in
a training manual. Such treatment methods have usually developed out of
clinical experience over a long period of time and may or may not be
backed up by evidence from controlled clinical research trials or other
carefully conducted scientific research.
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WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD WE ASK WHEN
EVALUATING A TREATMENT CENTER OR
Is the program familiar with the 2013 Clinical Practice
Recommendations for Residential and Inpatient Eating Disorder
Programs, published by the Academy for Eating Disorders
Does the program website explain the program’s treatment
philosophy and have detailed information about program services,
policies and activities?
Are all staff listed on the website with their credentials, training
institution, and professional affiliations?
Does the program have an acknowledged eating disorder ‘expert’
who provides regular oversight? What is their training, background,
and how long have they worked at the program?
What is the ‘expert’s’ level of involvement with individual patients,
and is their contact information on the website?
Does the website link to educational resources on eating disorders,
best treatment practices and caregiver support services?
What medical center is the program affiliated with for emergency
Are all clinical staff trained in evidence-based treatment approaches?
Does the program state who does what therapy, how they were
trained to use that therapy, and what evidence is used to show that
that therapy works?
Do clinical leaders have any university affiliations?
What oversight or peer review is involved in the monitoring of
Does the program have some mechanism for training and supervising
How much time per week is devoted to training and supervision?
Does the program offer all of the four core components of eating
disorder treatment: medical/nursing, nutritional, psychological and
psychiatric care services?
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Does the program offer and coordinate between multiple levels of
How are families educated and supported to carry on this work after
What procedures are in place for after hours or emergency care? Has
this Emergency Room been instructed in how to handle patients with
Are most staff full-time and are there treatment planning meetings on
a regular basis with all staff present?
Do full-time and part-time staff overlap so that good communication
How will family members or loved ones be involved in evaluation,
treatment and meal support?
What is their policy with regard to involving outpatient providers in
treatment and discharge planning?
Does the program engage in quality improvement efforts? How?
How is patient and family feedback a part of these efforts?
Does the program conduct an evaluation of outcomes? Do they have
data you can review?
What is the eating disorder therapist’s training, background, and
Is this person’s treatment philosophy and contact information on
their web site?
Does the therapist provide a treatment plan with specific goals and a
time line for evaluating progress?
What is the therapist’s approach to nutritional rehabilitation?
How will family members or loved ones be involved in treatment?
Does the therapist work exclusively with patients with eating
Does this person collaborate with other professionals to create a
treatment team? If so, how often and in what manner do they
communicate with each other, with the patient and with the family?
Will the therapist remain involved in treatment if a more intensive
level of care is required?
How does the therapist ensure continuity and coordination of care in
preparation for discharge?
What medical center is the therapist affiliated with for emergency
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What procedures are in place for after hours or emergency care? Has
this emergency facility been instructed in how to handle eating
‘BEST BETS’ FOR FINDING THE BEST
A clinician who:
Specializes in treating patients with eating disorders.
Is trained to deliver appropriate evidence-based treatment for eating
Considers family or loved ones as part of the treatment team
Is able to describe the methods and science behind their treatment
Is transparent, non-shaming, welcoming of and responsive to patient
and family feedback.
Admits errors or lack of knowledge and makes efforts to get
Works as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
Has child and adolescent subspecialty training.
Is an active member of a professional eating disorder organization.
A program that:
Offers several different levels of care.
Is hospital- based or allied with a hospital- program sponsor.
Employs team members with a high-average years of study,
specialized training, and experience.
Staff is all or mostly full-time rather than part-time. Educates all staff
members about eating disorders and how to be sensitive to the needs
of patients and families.
Offers a higher percentage of treatment hours spent with more
Uses a differential diagnostic procedure2 and complete
psychiatric/psychological assessment during evaluation, including:
family history, developmental history, personality traits, the patient’s
likes/dislikes, strengths and limitations, etc.
The systematic process of differentiating between two or more conditions that share
similar signs or symptoms.
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Will help you understand and consider various treatment options to
find the best match for the patient and family.
Is willing to refer to another treatment provider if they feel they
cannot provide the most appropriate treatment.
‘RED FLAGS’ WHICH MAY INDICATE A CLINICIAN IS
NOT USING THE MOST UP-TO-DATE TREATMENT:
Has a general psychiatric or medical practice not specializing in
Dismisses concerns about medical stability or physical symptoms.
Does not address nutrition and eating behaviors.
Does not include family members in the assessment.
Does not view caregivers as part of the treatment team.
Does not actively involve family members in the patient’s therapy
and recovery plan.
Is not familiar with changes in treatment approaches and research
from the past five years.
Focuses therapy on addressing “underlying causes,” family
dysfunction, or “control issues” instead of behavioral interventions.
Is dismissive of team approach, biology, or evidence-based
Makes general statements about “all” patients, or “all” families
Treats children or adolescents but is not trained in Family-Based or
Maudsley outpatient treatment.
Is not trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Uses one treatment approach for all patients.
Promises fast, easy treatment.
Promises all or most patients can be cured by their treatment
Refuses to refer the patient to other treatment providers even when
progress is not being made.
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APPENDIX: COMMON CREDENTIALS FOR EATING
DISORDER PROVIDERS – DEGREES, LICENSES &
For a more complete list see: http://feast-ed.org/TreatingEDs/Initials.asp
APRN: Advanced Practice
Registered Nurse (an RN with
post-graduate education in
ATR: Art Therapist Registered
BC: Degree extension for
Alcoholism and Substance
CEDS: Certified Eating
Disorder Specialist - A
certification offered by the
International Association of
Eating Disorder Professionals
CNC: Certified Nutrition
CNS: Certified Nutrition
Counselor: A generic term for
someone who counsels
DCSW: Doctorate in Clinical
DNP: Doctor of Nursing
DO: Doctor of Osteopathic
Medicine - A professional
doctoral degree for physicians
and surgeons offered by medical
schools in the United States.
Dr.: Doctor could be an M.D, a
Ph.D., a Psy.D., Ed.D., D.O., or
EdD.: Doctorate of Education
Page | 16
FAAFP: Fellow American
Association of Family Practice
FABMPP: Fellow American
Board of Medical
FADA: Fellow of the American
FAED: Fellow of the Academy
for Eating Disorders
FIPA: Fellow of the
FSAM: Fellow Society for
FNP: Family Nurse Practitioner
LCAT: Licensed Creative Arts
LCSW: Licensed Clinical
Social Worker: A mental health
professional with a Masters
Degree (MSW) in social work
and two years of supervised
LCSW-C: Licensed Certified
Social Worker - Clinical:
Master’s in Social Work,
LMHC: Licensed Mental
LMSW: Licensed Master
LN: Licensed Nutritionist
LPC: Licensed Professional
Counselor: A type of counseling
license generally held by a
Masters level graduate or
M.A.: is a Master of Arts. May
refer to any discipline.
MAEd: Masters Degree in
M.D.: A Medical Doctor or
Physician (May have a
specialization in: Adolescent
Medicine, Pediatrics, General
Psychiatry, Family Practice, or
MSW: Masters in Social Work
(May have a specialization such
as psychiatric social work, or
child and family counseling)
MSN: Master of Science in
NP: Nurse Practitioner (an
APRN who has completed
advanced didactic and clinical
education beyond that required
of the generalist RN role)
NPP: Nurse Practitioner in
Ph.D.: Doctor of Philosophy any discipline. A doctoral
degree requires extended
graduate level university
training. This training generally
lasts 4-6 years after completing
regular college bachelor degree
PMHNP: Psychiatric Mental
Health Nurse Practitioner
PMHCNS: Psychiatric Mental
Health Nurse Clinical Specialist
PNP: Psychiatric Nurse
Psychiatrist: A Medical Doctor
or Physician (M.D.) who has
completed a multi-year
residency in Psychiatry (May
have a specialization in: general
psychiatry, child or adolescent
Psychoanalyst: A therapist who
practices analysis and focuses
on early childhood experiences.
PsyD: Doctor of Psychology
Therapist or Psychotherapist:
This is a generic term and does
not apply to any specific
RC: Registered Counselor
RCC: Registered Clinical
R.D.: Registered Dietician
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FAMILIES EMPOWERED AND SUPPORTING
TREATMENT OF EATING DISORDERS
P.O. Box 11608
F.E.A.S.T Milwaukee, WI 53211 US