In the United States, at least 30 million people of all ages and genders live with an eating disorder.
The Center for Body Mind Intuition in Bothell is addressing the complex and multi-factorial neurobehavioral disorders, which affect adults, adolescents and children. Specializing in eating disorders, the new psychiatric medical clinic has developed a program that will offer individual treatment plans for weight management and eating disorders.
Its intensive outpatient program, starting toward the end of September, will meet four hours per day and offer individual and group sessions. During the program, individuals will eat together and talk about nutrition. The clinic’s psychiatrists, therapist and dietitian will apply medical, behavioral and nutritional approaches to improve individuals’ health and quality of life.
“Our team is excited for this program,” Dr. Elina Durchman, a clinic psychiatrist for the center, said. “We all think this is what is needed and it’s exactly what we need to do.”
Durchman and her fellow psychiatrists Dr. Khalid Ahmed have been working on this program for more than three years.
“This population — these people are not cared for in the best way,” Durchman said. “They do not get what they need.”
Individuals affected by eating disorders often experience shame, guilt and anxiety about food choices. Binge eating disorder is commonly under-diagnosed in patients affected by obesity, according to the Obesity Action Coalition.
“Obesity is not purely just a behavioral problem,” Ahmed said. “It’s a complex disorder and it has multiple factors.”
Body Mind’s intensive program will use up-to-date and evidence-based treatment protocols. According to both psychiatrists, the program is not “just another diet program” and they are the only clinic on the Eastside targeting binge eating disorders.
“We want to decrease the stigma and educate people that it’s not something we should be blaming people,” Ahmed said. “It’s a very sensitive issue and we need to be very careful, respectful but at the same time, we need to be concerned that something needs to be done.”
Binge eating is a complex disorder that involves social, psychological, biological and metabolic issues. According to Durchman, there is a stigma that people facing obesity just need to eat less but that is not the case.
“We have to look much deeper in what is happening in a human body,” she said.
The center applies Obesity Medicine Association’s treatment principles and is a nonjudgmental and therapeutic environment in which all individuals can find safety and support, Durchman said.
“People can be helped,” she said. “I want people to have hope.”
Durchman is a board-certified psychiatrist with several years of experience of treating children, adolescents and adults. She received her medical degree, completed her residency programs and leadership education in neurodevelopmental disorders fellowship at the University of Washington.
Ahmed has extensive clinical experience in treating a diverse patient population with a wide range of psychiatric issues in different settings. He completed his residency in child and adolescent psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed his residency in general adult psychiatry at Drexel University College of Medicine.
The Center for Body Mind Intuition at Pan Pacific Health is a Washington state credentialed mental health facility.
To learn more, visit site at www.bodymindintuition.org.