Finding an Eating Disorder Specialist in a Foreign Country

Woman in the sunset enjoying exercise

Being in a positive and supportive environment is key to maintaining stability throughout the changing waves of eating disorder recovery.

But life is not always stable.

We move and travel for school, work, family, friends, and ourselves. Travel can be incredibly restorative for the mind and soul. Finding yourself lost in a foreign culture sometimes pushes us to find out who we are within, independent of our own culture and environment.

Maintaining Eating Disorder Recovery During Travel

With the excitement and transformation of travel, there is still a need to maintain your recovery.

Research has found that, when compared against the general population, women with eating disorders are less effective at coping with stress and adapting to changes in lifestyle and environment [1].

As such, adjusting to the various stresses of traveling – delayed flights, bus and train schedules, foreign languages, and navigating a new city – can be more stressful to someone in eating disorder recovery and may be triggering at a time when structure is important.

Planning Ahead with Eating Disorder Resources

Before traveling, eating disorder survivors should prepare for “bad days” by knowing where to go for help. Below are a few sites that can provide support via blogs, articles, and forums, including databases to help you find an eating disorder specialist no matter where you are.

Man Checking Eating Disorder Resources On His Phone While In A Foreign Country

Eating Disorder Hope has a directory of international recovery resources. Simply click on your region and reach out to the treatment center or non-profit organization that speaks to you!

ED Referral is another site filled with information to help those in recovery, as well as their loved ones. If direct international eating disorder treatment options are what you’re looking for, scroll over the “Easy Search” link on the top of the page and click “International Referrals.” This will bring you to interactive maps of various countries. Click on your location and find out what your options are.

Families Empowered and Supporting Eating Disorder Treatment (F.E.A.S.T.) is a well-known international organization devoted to providing information and support for those with eating disorders and their families. Check out their list of Worldwide Advocacy Organizations, all of which can assist you in searching for eating disorder specialists wherever you are.

These are only a few of many resources that can help you find an eating disorder specialist no matter where you are in the world. It can be overwhelming to find a specialist that works for you, particularly when you’re in the thick of a “bad ED day.” To receive the best support, plan ahead by looking for support where you are visiting before you leave for your trip.

“Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today,” and you deserve a healthy and happy tomorrow in eating disorder recovery, wherever you are!

Image of Margot Rittenhouse.About the Author: Margot Rittenhouse is a therapist who is passionate about providing mental health support to all in need and has worked with clients with substance abuse issues, eating disorders, domestic violence victims and offenders, and severely mentally ill youth.

As a freelance writer for Eating Disorder and Addiction Hope and a mentor with MentorConnect, Margot is a passionate eating disorder advocate, committed to de-stigmatizing these illnesses while showing support for those struggling through mentoring, writing, and volunteering. Margot has a Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Johns Hopkins University.


[1]: Troop, N. A., Holbrey, A., Treasure, J. L. (1998). Stress, coping, and crisis support in eating disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 24:2, 157-166.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Published July 26, 2017.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on
July 26, 2017.
Published on

About Baxter Ekern

Baxter is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He is responsible for the operations of Eating Disorder Hope and ensuring that the website is functioning smoothly.