Occupational Therapy for Eating Disorders

Our specialist mental health occupational therapists provide therapy online for people with eating disorders. 

We are a registered NDIS provider and use an inclusive approach to therapy, where the person can be in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.

How can occupational therapy benefit people with eating disorders?

A mental health occupational therapist is different from a psychologist or psychiatrist. Mental health occupational therapists look at how your condition affects the functional aspects of your life and work with you on ways to improve this.

Occupational therapy can benefit people with eating disorders in the following ways:

1. Food and meal planning: Occupational therapists can work with individuals with eating disorders to develop meal plans and structure their day around meals and snacks. They can create visual schedules, set timers, or use other strategies to help individuals follow their meal plans and establish a healthy eating routine.

2. Body image and self-esteem: Occupational therapists can help individuals with eating disorders develop a positive body image and improve self-esteem. They may use activities and interventions to promote self-acceptance, encourage self-care, and build confidence.

3. Coping skills and stress management: Occupational therapists can teach individuals with eating disorders healthy coping mechanisms and stress management techniques. They may incorporate activities such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, journaling, art therapy, or guided relaxation to help individuals better manage their emotions and stress.

4. Engagement in meaningful occupations: Occupational therapists focus on engaging individuals in activities that they find meaningful and enjoyable. They may help individuals explore and develop new hobbies or identify activities that provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. These activities can distract from negative thoughts related to eating disorders and help in overall recovery.

5. Life skills training: Occupational therapists can assist individuals with eating disorders in developing and refining essential life skills. This may include meal planning, grocery shopping, kitchen skills, budgeting, time management, and self-care routines. Enhancing these life skills can support healthier eating behaviors and independent living.

6. Sensory integration: Some individuals with eating disorders may have sensory sensitivities related to food textures, temperatures, or smells, which can contribute to their disordered eating behaviors. Occupational therapists can work on sensory integration techniques to help individuals develop tolerance and adaptability to different sensory experiences related to food.

7. Collaborative care: Occupational therapists often work as part of a multidisciplinary team in the treatment of eating disorders. They collaborate with other professionals, such as psychologists, dietitians, and medical professionals, to ensure a holistic approach to treatment and collectively address the individual’s physical, psychological, and environmental needs.

Overall, occupational therapy aims to support individuals with eating disorders in regaining control of their lives, fostering better eating habits, and promoting overall well-being.

Occupational therapy assessments for eating disorders

We are able to provide many types of occupational therapy assessments online, including Functional Capacity Assessments (FCA) and reports required for the NDIS. Please see this article for more information on assessments we can provide.

NDIS registered provider

We are a registered NDIS provider and work with self-managed, plan-managed and agency-managed clients. 

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If your are an NDIS provider or support coordinator we can provide reliable occupational therapy for clients with eating disorders in any location. Refer a client and we’ll connect you to the right clinician. 

Is online occupational therapy effective?

Yes! A growing body of evidence shows that online delivery of therapy can be as effective as face to face. Online therapy has many other benefits too, including being convenient and accessible for people in regional and rural areas.  

How does online occupational therapy work?

At Umbo online therapy is not just zoom plus business-as-usual. It’s much more diverse than simply videoconferencing. Umbo therapists provide an individualised approach to each person, using the latest evidence, and a variety of technologies and engagement techniques.

Umbo champions person-centred therapy. It means the person and their family/support people leads the conversation. We believe that the most effective therapy occurs when support is given in the environment where the person lives, learns, works or plays. Therefore we work with the family, and teach skills to you or to other supporters. This means you’re achieving real-life goals, rather than just achieving goals in a clinic.

We are a certified social enterprise helping Australian families access allied health services.