The Power of Trauma-Informed Care in eating disorder treatment


Last Updated on: 26th February 2024, 12:55 am

trauma informed care

Trauma-Informed care has now been recognised as a very essential part of eating disorder treatment.

This compassionate and empathetic approach recognizes the profound impact of trauma on individuals with eating disorders. By integrating trauma-informed care into treatment, we can create a safe and healing space that honours each person’s lived experiences

So what is Trauma-Informed Care? 

This is a therapeutic approach that acknowledges the prevalence of trauma and its potential influence on individuals’ mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It emphasizes the importance of creating a safe, supportive, and empowering environment that promotes healing and growth.

As discussed in my other blogs, Trauma can manifest in various forms, including physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, neglect, witnessing violence, or experiencing natural disasters. Recognising that many individuals with eating disorders have experienced trauma or that perhaps their eating disorders have been triggered by trauma is crucial for effective treatment.

Trauma-informed care recognizes that eating disorders often serve as coping mechanisms for individuals to manage the distress and pain associated with traumatic experiences. By addressing  or as a dietitian, holding space for any underlying trauma, honouring personal boundaries, and  most importantly, avoiding retraumatizing the patient, we begin to offer real personalised support that meets the person where they are. 

Studies have shown that trauma-informed approaches will always prioritize creating safe spaces which in turn allows patients to feel heard, respected, and validated. This approach fosters a trusting relationship between HCP and the patient which can have a really positive impact on treatment interventions (Patients will likely engage more in treatment). 

Trauma-informed care acknowledges each person’s lived experience, which means, treatment is more individualized, paying close attention to the patients specific trauma history, preferences, and strengths. This approach ensures that individuals receive the support and interventions most beneficial to their healing process which increases the likelihood of recovery. 

Trauma-informed care promotes a collaborative therapeutic relationship, where the individual is actively involved in their recovery journey. By fostering empowerment, studies have shown individuals gain a sense of control and autonomy, allowing them to rebuild trust, self-esteem, and a positive sense of self.

Trauma-informed treatment encourages individuals to prioritize self-care and develop resilience. This includes nurturing physical well-being,  being kind to self, practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques, engaging in creative outlets, and fostering healthy relationships.

This important part of the treatment puzzle has garnered a lot of attention recently and rightly so. Over 50 studies  to date have shown treatment interventions with trauma-informed lens have better outcomes compared to the more traditional methods of treatment. Trauma-informed care represents a transformative approach to treating eating disorders. 

I’m so proud that at The Hungry Nutritionist, we are committed to providing trauma-informed care by fostering healing, growth, and resilience in order to offer our patients the best chance at lasting, permanent recovery.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, book a free discovery call today. We would be happy to help.

About Me

I’m Sarah, a UK registered dietitian and eating disorder specialist. I am passionate about helping individuals and families overcome the challenges of eating disorders, disordered eating, and mental health conditions. My expertise lies in supporting families and individuals with a history of trauma, including domestic abuse, and guiding children and teenagers through the complexities of eating disorders, particularly those stemming from adverse childhood experiences.

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