Eating disorders are treatable and most individuals do recover. However, recovery can be a process which takes months or years. A large factor in recovery is your motivation to make positive changes in your life.
UNL’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) seeks to foster the emotional and physical well-being of students. In keeping with this ideal, CAPS staff realizes the need for prevention, support and education around the topics of weight, body image, disordered eating, food preoccupation, exercise obsession, and eating disorders.
Because eating disorders involve physical, dietary, psychological, and exercise issues, UNL has a multidisciplinary team to help individuals struggling with eating disorders or disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. This team consists of psychologists, counselors, a registered dietitian, psychiatric providers, medical providers, and an exercise specialist. All members of the eating disorders treatment team have specialized experience and training in eating disorders.
Your first contact may be with any member of the team and in seeking assistance, a student may utilize the services of one or all members of the team. Team members will make the appropriate referrals to other professionals on the team as needed.
Services offered by the team include:
The purpose of individual counseling is to address the emotional and psychological aspects of an eating disorder. You may call (402) 472-7450 to make an appointment or drop by room 213 on the second floor of the University Health Center. You will be contacted by a CAPS staff member for a telephone consultation and you may request to meet with a counselor who is a member of the eating disorders treatment team.
You will be asked to fill out some initial paperwork before your first appointment. If you would like, you can download the forms and bring them with you to your first appointment. At your first appointment, your counselor will work on getting to know you and on understanding your concerns. A lot of information may be gathered in order to determine the best way to help you. If the counselor determines that an eating disorder is present, they may provide referrals to other members of the eating disorder treatment team.
The goal of nutrition counseling is to help you normalize your eating patterns. Your initial appointment gives you the opportunity to get to know the registered dietitian. You will be asked a series of questions related to your food, weight, diet, and exercise history. Based on your current food behaviors, your dietitian and you will set food related goals. You will have the opportunity to learn about nutrition, food patterns, healthy weight regulation, and basic exercise principles. Follow-up appointments are scheduled weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly depending on your personal needs and goals. Anne Widga is the dietitian in the University Health Center. Call 402-472-5000 to schedule an appointment with Anne.
When an individual is struggling with an eating disorder, a medical evaluation is important because of the physical complications that can result from the eating disorder. Treatment can then assist in managing any physical concerns that may be present. Call (402) 472-5000 for an appointment. The provider at the University Health Center who is a member of the Eating Disorders Treatment Team is Heidi Solano, PA-C. Your first visit will be similar to any visit to a physician, but will also address issues specific to your eating disorder.
A fitness evaluation may be recommended to assess the student’s current fitness level and establish a healthy routine of exercise. The first consultation will take a maximum of 30 minutes at no charge and will take place at the University Health Center. The consultation will help to determine goals as well as assess your mind/body awareness, exercise habits, and exercise history. A decision for follow-up sessions will be made at the initial consultation. Follow-up sessions may include a mind/body work sessions, and design of a movement program.
A consultation with a psychiatric provider can help to determine the presence of other conditions, such as depression, in addition to an eating disorder, as well as to make medication recommendations, if indicated. Before seeing a psychiatric provider, you will need to first meet with a counselor at CAPS, who will determine if a consultation with a psychiatric provider may be beneficial.
At your first meeting you will be asked about your symptoms, medical and family history, as well as other areas the psychiatric provider feels are important in determining a recommendation regarding medication.
Different support groups may be offered depending on interest. Meetings focus on topics relevant to the issues of weight, body image, disordered eating, food preoccupation, exercise obsession, and eating disorders. Contact CAPS at (402) 472-7450 to find out what support and therapy groups are currently being offered.