Eating disorders are real, complex and devastating conditions that have serious consequences for health, productivity and relationships for women and men of all ages. The good news: RecoverED Eating Disorder Services is here to help.
Eating disorders are complex psychiatric and medical illnesses. They have serious consequences to a person’s health and wellness, and can be caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Eating disorders are not lifestyle choices, phases, or fads. Persons who struggle with eating disorders very often become obsessed with food, weight, and/or body image. Eating disorders can be life-threatening if they are not identified and treated. The earlier someone receives treatment, the greater the chance of a full recovery.
Anorexia Nervosa is primarily characterized by excessive weight loss, preoccupation with body image, and self-starvation.
Bulimia Nervosa is primarily characterized by episodes of binge eating, which is then followed by using a compensatory behavior to counteract the effects.
Binge Eating Disorder is primarily characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating without regular use of compensatory behavior
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED) is an eating disorder that causes significant impairment, but does not meet all of the criteria for another feeding or eating disorder diagnosis. Examples of OSFED would be:
Atypical anorexia nervosa (weight is not below normal – other criteria met)
Bulimia nervosa or Binge eating disorder (with behaviors that are less frequent)
Purging disorder (purging without binge eating)
Warning Signs of an Eating Disorder
Preoccupation with food, weight, body image, calories, and/or dieting
Withdrawal from usual friends and activities
Evidence of purging, including self-induced vomiting, frequent bathroom trips following meals, periods of fasting
Developing abnormal, extreme, ritualized, or secretive eating habits
Evidence of binge eating – large amounts of food disappearing, food remnants left out
Feelings of depression, irritability, anxiety, or isolation
These signs are not inclusive, but represent many indicators of an eating disorder.
Outpatient Eating Disorder Therapy
Outpatient therapy is designed for adolescent and adult women and men who need support and guidance but can manage eating disorder behaviors and thoughts in a well-supported home environment. The range of clients varies from patients just beginning the recovery process to patients well into the journey of recovery. Clients who need to restore weight or who are experiencing physiological distress should consider a more structured level of care.
Outpatient eating disorder treatment for anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED) at Burrell Behavioral Health is available for clients who are motivated, medically stable, and require little structure to maintain weight. Outpatient therapy is designed to assist clients with their emotional concerns as well as offering guidance with eating disorder behaviors. Clients often find it helpful to their recovery to attend an outpatient group offered during the week and to meet with an outpatient dietitian.
RecoverED Intensive Outpatient Program
RecoverED Eating Disorder Services in Springfield is offering our area's only Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for adolescent and adult eating disorders.
This four-day-a-week program is for ages 12 and up, and is intended as a "next step" from standard outpatient care for acute eating disorder patients not yet needing inpatient treatment, or as a way to step down from inpatient, residential, or partial hospitalization treatment. (RecoverED's standard outpatient care option is detailed lower on this page.)
Why is IOP a needed option? With the exception of opioid addiction, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any behavioral disorder. Additionally, American Psychological Association data shows that you are more likely to successfully complete treatment for eating disorders if you have a dedicated, consistent team to help you along the way.
Those in need of this type of program currently have to drive to Kansas City, St. Louis, or Tulsa for care. This will increase access to much-needed care and eliminate travel barriers that may affect families in southwest Missouri. Additionally, this will be the only IOP in Missouri to readily accept Medicaid as payment, in addition to self-pay clients. More program details and information on accepted insurance will be posted on this page after the first of the year.
What RecoverED IOP Offers
RecoverED IOP offers the following services:
Group therapy sessions four days a week, three hours a day
A daily meal with a registered dietician and a therapist
Eating Disorders require the help of a trained professional who has expertise in treating eating disorders.
The most effective treatment involves a multidisciplinary team approach so that the individual is engaged in psychotherapy or counseling, as well as attending to medical and nutritional needs.
Eating disorder treatment should be focused on the specific needs of the individual being treated.
Eating disorder treatment addresses the presenting symptoms in addition to considering the biological, psychological, interpersonal, nutritional, and cultural considerations impacting the disorder.
Experts in the field
Clients at RecoverED will have access to individual and group therapies with experts who have received specialized training in evidence-based practices. The RecoverED program team includes therapists/psychologists, registered dietitians, and psychiatric providers. We work closely with your regular physician to monitor medical stability, and to ensure that your treatment encompasses every aspect of your life.
When you begin working with your team at The RecoverED program you can expect to meet with your therapist one to two times per week, your registered dietitian weekly, and your psychiatric provider as recommended.
Your Individual Treatment team will include:
Licensed Clinician (1-2 Individual sessions per week)
Registered Dietitian (one 50-minute assessment followed by one 15-30 minute session per week)
Group Therapy (One therapy group per week)
Psychiatry (Appointments as recommended)
Meet the Team
Stephanie Robbins, MS, LPC
Stephanie Robbins is a licensed professional counselor and associate with the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals. Robbins has provided mental health services in both private practice and community mental health settings. Robbins has always had an interest in working with eating disorders.
Kelly Huisenga, ND, LPC, NCC
Kelly Huisenga is a licensed professional counselor who has worked in mental health for over 30 years. Huisenga’s experience has allowed her to be certified in a variety of trauma techniques. Huisenga has worked with multiple populations including residential, chronically mentally ill and those in crisis. Huisenga’s current focus is trauma and eating disorders.
Sherrie Lambert, LMSW
Sherrie Lambert is a licensed social worker, whose professional interests include, treating children with emotional or behavioral issues, adolescents and adults with trauma, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. Lambert blends creativity, knowledge, encouragement, and compassion to help individuals in an ever-changing world.
Alaina Steele, LCWS
Alaina Steele is a licensed social worker and faith-based clinician who specializes in eating disorders, EMDR, trauma, and working with diverse populations. Steele’s previous experience includes serving as a psychiatric clinician, medical social worker, crisis intervention specialist, residential group therapist, and in leadership at an emergency shelter.
Molly Six, PhD
Molly Six is a licensed psychologist with a doctorate in counseling psychology. In addition to eating disorder treatment, Six’s other areas of clinical interest include trauma, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, women’s issues, interpersonal challenges, and mental health within the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ populations.
Sara Dee, LPC
Sara Dee is a licensed professional counselor, certified EMDR therapist and an associate with the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals. Dee provides individual therapy, group therapy for adults and is a facilitator for the RecoverED Intensive Outpatient Program.
Taylor Jolliff, MS, RD, LD
Taylor Jolliff is a licensed dietitian who provides an individualized, evidenced-based approach to help clients navigate the ever-changing world of nutrition. Jolliff strives to help each client build a healthy relationship with food, while living a life free of food rules and restriction.
Nicole Ethridge, MA, LPC, NCC
Nicole Ethridge is a licensed professional counselor who has experience in helping clients with stress and anxiety, trauma and abuse, motivation, self-esteem and confidence, depression, and disordered eating. Ethridge believes clients are the expert of their own story and they have many strengths that will assist them in overcoming challenging things.
Suzanne Boss, LPC
Suzanne Boss is a licensed professional counselor who provides care to individuals across their lifespan utilizing developmental therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and person-centered therapy. Boss strives to help her clients reach their most successful self-identity and discover their inner true worth and value.
Kayla Jones, LMSW
Kayla Jones is a licensed master social worker who works with different populations including, children, adolescents, and adults within the RecoverED program. Jones believes it’s important to provide a safe, healing environment to allow clients to be their authentic self through the therapeutic process. Jones strives to assist clients achieve their therapeutic goals through the use of evidence-based treatment.
To access this service, take the first step of visiting one of the Burrell walk-in clinics near you. Our team will evaluate and assess the client's needs and identify the appropriate service for that person. Burrell walk-in clinics file insurance information and applications for financial assistance and schedule follow up appointments to start clients in proper care. Click the link below to find the walk-in clinics serving your area, see hours and find more information. Call 417-761-5000 with any questions.
While treatment will vary based on individual needs, our eating disorder treatment services have these common goals.
Restore Physical Health
Restoring physical health involves medical and psychiatric stabilization, as well as weight restoration when necessary. This process involves a full medical history and physical upon admission, as well as medication management to address issues of anxiety, depression or other complications.
Provide Dietary Therapy and Support
Clients in RecoverED Eating Disorder Services will work with a Registered Dietitian to develop a recovery-based meal plan. A key goal for clients with nutritional needs is to restore body weight to a level that will promote ongoing recovery. Restoration of body weight is often the most difficult issue clients struggle with during treatment, and they will often communicate this struggle to families and friends. Families are urged to talk to their loved one’s treatment team about how to support the client while they move through this highly emotional and often physically painful component of treatment.
Understand the “Big Picture” and Identify Values
Those who suffer with eating disorders are often caught up in a cycle of attempting to control and manage thoughts, feelings and body sensations. At RecoverED, our clients will be taught the skills to move their focus onto the big picture and look at what they value and want in life, and how to get there without getting caught up in the struggles experienced in their eating disorder.
Establish a Treatment Plan and Set Individualized Goals
Clients will discuss treatment goals and personal progress with a psychiatrist and therapist. Clients are given an active role in developing their goals. The more an individual can share with the treatment team their struggles, progress and experiences, the more the team can work with the individual to achieve their established goals.
Resources for Friends and Family + Eating Disorder Myths
No one should go it alone. Education for friends and family is vital to the recovery of anyone seeking treatment for an eating disorder. These resources will help educate you on the myths surrounding eating disorders as well as some best practices for being an important ally in treatment and recovery.
Truth: Eating Disorders are complex illnesses with biological, psychological, and sociological underpinnings. While behaviors associated with eating disorders may begin with a fixation on calories and weight, eating disorders generally stem from issues beyond food and body size, and signify an attempt to control some thing of substance in an individual’s life. The mistaken belief that eating disorders are about food compels friends and loved ones to encourage individuals to “just eat” when in fact, the disorder from which they are suffering is incredibly complex.
Myth #2: Eating disorders are an illness of choice.
Truth: Eating disorders are a mental illness, and no one chooses to have an eating disorder. The men, women and children suffering from an eating disorder are generally wonderful people with a horrible illness. They’re often the best and the brightest, come from good families that care deeply about their well-being and, on the surface, look like they have everything in the world going for them. Individuals suffering from eating disorders can’t “just eat”, and recovering from the disease is far more complicated than simply making healthy lifestyle choices.
Truth: The mortality rates associated with eating disorders are the second highest of any mental illness, including depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Even for patients whose eating disorders don’t prove fatal, there are often severe medical complications associated with starvation and purging that can eventually result in bone disease, cardiac complication, gastrointestinal distress, organ failure, infertility and death.
Myth #4: Dysfunctional families cause eating disorders.
Truth: While previous models of eating disorder treatment viewed families and dysfunctional dynamics therein as a contributing cause of these illnesses, the community has moved away from the blaming of families toward an understanding that families are not a cause, but rather an integral part of eating disorder recovery. While families don’t cause eating disorders, these illnesses have been shown to run in families. Those that develop an eating disorder likely had a latent genetic predisposition toward the illness, and a precipitant event, such as going on a diet, a traumatic event, or significant life changes which triggered their anorexia, bulimia or related disorder.
Myth #5: Eating disorders are a women's illness.
Truth: While eating disorders involve many women’s issues and females represent a large part (90 percent) of the affected population, research suggests that male eating disorders now account for at least 10 percent of all cases. Interestingly, despite significant biological, psychological, and sociological differences between men and women, the etiology of eating disorders remains fairly constant between the two genders. Like in their female counterparts, eating disorders in men and boys are genetic in nature and are often supported by the psychological and sociological pressures such as traditional gender roles and socially accepted ideas about masculinity.