What Should I Do If I Feel Like I am Not Connecting With My Treatment Team?

A girl struggling with treatment

Your treatment team is one of the most important aspects of your recovery process and ability to heal from your eating disorder. Your treatment team likely constitutes various members and professionals who will work together on your behalf, including but not limited to, a psychiatrist, primary doctor, registered dietitian, therapist/counselor, social work, and more.

In most cases, members from a multi-disciplinary treatment team are able to work together cohesively and seamlessly for the cause of the patient. However, there may be instances where you might not necessarily feel like you are connecting with your treatment team, and it is important to walk through this scenario for resolution.

Understanding Feelings of Disconnected

When working with professionals who are assisting you through eating disorder recovery, it is crucial to distinguish lack of chemistry from feelings of resistance. For example, your team will often ask you to do many things that are contrary to your eating disorder, such as following a meal plan, working through difficult situations in therapy, decreasing exercise, stop weighing yourself, weight restoration, and more.

These aspects of recovery are extremely difficult, and the eating disorder will definitely be resistant to these types of changes. This can create feelings that are often projected onto a person when not processed appropriately. So the lack of connection you might feel toward your dietitian could be related to the fact that your eating disorder is resistant to new changes that are being implemented with your meal plan.

Change is always hard, and eating disorders are resistant, complex diseases by nature. It is natural to have various emotions churning during the course of your treatment journey and to experience some friction toward a clinician or professional with whom you are working.

However, there are other instances where you may not feel like you are connecting well with your clinician, and this may have nothing to do with the changes or recommendations they are implementing. For example, you may find your therapist’s style of communicating difficult to relate to or that your dietitian’s philosophies are not fully in line with your treatment goals. Whatever it is that you might be experiencing, do not let this be a roadblock to your ongoing recovery and progression.

Keeping Recovery Moving Forward

An impoWoman during the holidaysrtant thing to keep in mind is that every clinician has a different style, temperament, and manner of practicing, and sometimes, you may need to work with a few to find someone who will support you in your journey. While tempting, try to refrain from putting clinicians in a box or label. Not all dietitians are like what you have possibly encountered; same with therapists, counselors, physicians, etc.

If you are experiencing discontentment with your current treatment clinician or team, be sure to talk with someone you care about and who understands your recovery. It may be a matter of trying someone new, which can be daunting but is an important step toward keeping your recovery moving forward.

Community Discussion – Share Your Thoughts Here!

What were some ways you worked through any conflicts in your own treatment team?

Crystal Headshot 2About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Director of Content and Social Media for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

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.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 21, 2016
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com