Educating Staff at Fitness Centers

Do you ever enter a fitness center and see someone who’s health looks concerning? Do you ever notice a man or woman exercising for periods of time that are longer than what seems normal?

So often staff of fitness centers notice their members struggling with over exercising or body image issues, or even eating disorders.

But it is difficult for the staff person to know how to approach these challenging topics with their members. Psychoeducation on eating disorders for the staff of fitness centers is a great place to begin in helping their members get the appropriate support. Psychoeducation includes educating people on the diagnostic criteria of eating disorders as set by the DSM-IV-TR, how anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) are different from one another, examining other debilitating eating patterns such as constant dieting, binge eating or compulsive over-eating, how eating disorders are generally thought to develop, how eating disorders affect behavior, emotions, relationships and medical stability, and how those struggling can recover.

As eating disorders become more prevalent in our society and more people want some form of treatment, it is imperative that we as a society become educated on how to support those individuals that are struggling with eating disorders or disordered eating to get the help they deserve. This summer, La Ventana in San Francisco is honored with the opportunity to educate staff at the YMCA in San Francisco. Therapists and registered dieticians alike are combing forces to ensure that the most accurate information is available to the YMCA. We hope to continue to be able to serve our city and the Bay Area in understanding eating disorders and how to support those struggling so that they may have a different chance at life.

-Erin Bass

Therapist at La Ventana Treatment Center