Auburn University expands psychological services to treat people with eating disorders | Community

Auburn University’s Center for Psychological Services recently opened a new section focused on people with eating disorders.

The clinic will provide low-cost empirical treatment to people in the community.

Graduate students pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology will deal with clinical training. Students will be supervised by Auburn University Associate Professors Tiffany Brown and April Smith.

“A lot of people don’t realize that eating disorders can affect anyone,” Smith said. “I think it’s really important to be able to work with people in the community and also in college.”

The clinic will work with adults who have an eating disorder such as anorexia, binge eating or bulimia. They will also treat people who may not meet the criteria for an eating disorder, but have eating or body image issues.

“We often find that a lot of eating disorders kind of start a little earlier than college for an optimal peak or some sort of college initiation as well,” Smith said.

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This fall, the clinic will accept fewer than 10 patients, who must be 18 years of age or older. By spring, he hopes to double his workload and allow adolescents and children to be seen at the clinic.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of people seeking treatment and wanting treatment for eating disorders,” Smith said.

A typical treatment plan will include weekly 50 minute sessions after the initial two hour assessment.

“We’re really pleased there’s been a lot of interest already,” Brown said. “We are starting small and hope to build bigger.”

Those interested in becoming patients can complete an online survey on the AU Eating Disorders Clinic Facebook page, call the Auburn University Psychological Services Center or email [email protected]

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