Glossary of Terms:

Eating Disorders
Feeding and eating disorders are characterized by a persistent disturbance of eating or eating-related behavior that results in the altered consumption or absorption of food and that significantly impairs physical health or psychosocial functioning. (DSM V, p. 329)
Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder is characterized by:
the following to the point that a person experiences significant weight loss, significant nutritional deficiency, impaired psychosocial functioning, and/or dependence on supplemental nutrition:”

  • Lack of interest in eating
  • Avoiding food based on sensory characteristics of food
  •  Concern about negative consequences of eating
Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by:
  • A restriction of energy intake leading to a significantly low body weight
  • Intense fear of gaining weight and/or engaging in behavior that interferes with weight gain despite being at a significantly low weight (e.g. restricting food intake, binging/purging, laxative misuse, excessive exercising)
    • Restricting Type doesn’t involve binging and purging
  • Disturbance in the way one’s body weight/shape is experienced, attributing self-worth to one’s weight/shape, lack of recognition of the seriousness of one’s low body weight
Bulimia Nervosa is charaterized by:
  • Repeated binge episodes, which means consuming a very large amount of food in a very short period of time
  • Feeling out of control
  • Repeated “compensatory behaviors” to prevent weight gain such as purging, misuse of laxatives, fasting, or excessive exercising
  • A fixation on one’s body weight/shape and attributing this to self-worth
Binge-Eating Disorder is characterized by:
  • Repeated binge episodes, which means eating an abnormally large amount of food in a very short period of time and feeling out of control
    • A person can experience eating faster than normal, feeling uncomfortably full, eating a lot when not actually hungry, eating alone out of shame or guilt, feelings of disgust with oneself as a result of bingeing
  • A lack of compensatory behaviors
Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
  • A feeding or eating disorder that causes significant distress or impairment, but does not meet the specific criteria for another feeding or eating disorder.

Other important terms to know:

Characterized a fixation on “perfect eating,” often in the form of eating “perfectly healthy,” and a fixation on food quality and purity. Eventually, a person’s relationship with food can become so rigid and restrictive that he or she actually compromises health as well as relationships, social activities, etc. Though this is not an officially recognized eating disorder, it has many of the same characteristics of other eating disorders and is why we feel like Orthorexia is an important concept to acknowledge.

  • Consider the following questions. The more questions you respond “yes” to, the more likely you are dealing with orthorexia (Copied from NEDA).
    • Do you wish that occasionally you could just eat and not worry about food quality?
    • Do you ever wish you could spend less time on food and more time living and loving?
    • Does it seem beyond your ability to eat a meal prepared with love by someone else – one single meal – and not try to control what is served?
    • Are you constantly looking for ways foods are unhealthy for you?
    • Do love, joy, play and creativity take a back seat to following the perfect diet?
    • Do you feel guilt or self-loathing when you stray from your diet?
    • Do you feel in control when you stick to the “correct” diet?
    • Have you put yourself on a nutritional pedestal and wonder how others can possibly eat the foods they eat?
Attuned/Mindful Eating
We believe in the model of attuned eating and hold it as a goal for our clients. The aim of attuned eating is to learn to trust that our bodies work! This means trusting that our bodies know what to do with the foods we put in it, that our bodies will tell us when we’re hungry and when we’re full, and that we can distinguish between our physical and emotional feelings. Intuitive eating also aims to separate self-worth from diet and weight, allowing us to make peace with food and our bodies. We recognize that intuitive eating does not come easily to many of us and can even be quite frightening to consider – this is why we take care to meet each client where they are in this journey and work at a pace that is appropriate for each person.
Meal Plan
As many clients who begin treatment struggle to nourish themselves appropriately, we help provide structure through an individualized meal plan. Clients and their dietitians create meal plans together at the beginning of treatment; the goal is to move away from this structure to more attuned eating over time.
Food Values
This refers to eating choices that are distinct from disordered eating, such as vegetarianism, veganism, or choices to eating locally-sourced foods, for example. Food values are an important part of each person’s general food choices, yet can become intermingled with disordered eating as well. We work to honor each person’s unique values while also paying special attention to how a food value could be part of one’s eating disorder.
Health at Every Size
The simple premise that the best way to improve health is to honor your body. It supports people in adopting health habits for the sake of health and well-being (rather than weight control)
Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) is a new treatment that targets over-controlled behavior. It has been used to treat some of the rigid responses and emotional inhibition thought to underlie many treatment-resistant conditions. RO-DBT has been informed by over 20 years of clinical and experimental research, and is a talk therapy that involves weekly individual and group sessions.  The RO-DBT treatment typically involves a 1-hour weekly individual session and a 2.5-hour weekly group session.
Opal offers this in Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Program.

Staff Credentials:

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist/Associate
Licensed Mental Health Counselor/Associate
Registered Dietitian, by Commission on Dietetic Registration
Certified Dietitian, by Washington State Department of Health
Certified Eating Disorder Specialist Registered Dietitian by International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals
Certified Eating Disorder Specialist by International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals