Eating Disorders Program

The Eating Disorders Program (EDP) is an ACT community-based service that provides assessment and therapy programs for people with an eating disorder as their primary presenting concern. These eating disorders may include Bulimia Nervosa, Anorexia Nervosa or Binge Eating Disorder.

This service is based on the principles of recovery and person and carer/family participation. It focuses on delivering therapies that are sensitive to age, gender, spirituality and culture.

The EDP provides Maudsley Family-Based Therapy for Adolescents (up to age 18) and Adult Day Program for adults aged 18 and over.

The EDP is not a crisis or medical service.  

GP Referral Form

Download: GP Referral Form

Waiting List

The EDP triages all referrals made and attempts to respond as quickly as possible. A waiting list for assessment may occur at various times throughout the year. 

Contact Us

Contact hours:  8:30 am to 4:51 pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.

Phone: 6205 1519 
Fax: 6205 1152

Located at:
Phillip Health Centre
Cnr Keltie and Corinna Streets
Woden, ACT 2606

About the Program

The Eating Disorders Program (EDP) provides free, public, specialist outpatient eating disorders therapy to residents of the ACT. It is made up of a highly dedicated multi-disciplinary team with expertise in eating disorder assessment and treatment.

The EDP is a specialist tertiary service, meaning that the person’s primary presenting issue must be their eating disorder. Should a person be experiencing very complex comorbid disorders, the EDP will provide secondary consultation to an allocated case manager or private therapist regarding the presenting eating disorder issues.

The EDP provides evidence-based therapeutic services grounded in the principles of recovery. Participation and motivation of the person and their carers/parents are essential in eating disorder recovery and significantly valued, supported and encouraged by the EDP team.

Given this focus on evidence-based recovery principles the EDP have some eligibility criteria. One of the most important criteria is medical stability determined by the person’s GP.

Please contact the Intake Officer on 6205 1519 for more information regarding eligibility criteria.

Referral

All referrals to the EDP must come from the person’s GP. This is to ensure ongoing medical monitoring of the person throughout therapy as the EDP is not a medical service. It is important that the GP complete the specific EDP referral form, which is available below or can be faxed directly to the GP if requested.

Referrals must be accompanied by recent blood test results. Information regarding the required tests is outlined on the referral form as are hospital admission criteria.

Download: GP Referral Form

People contacting the EDP will speak to the EDP Intake Officer. The Intake Officer will go through the eligibility criteria, provide some information about the EDP therapy services available, the necessity of a GP referral and ask a number of questions about current eating, health concerns and other mental health issues. They will then guide the person through the next steps of the process.

Adult Day Program

The Day Program is designed for residents of the ACT over the age of 18 years with an eating disorder diagnosis as their primary presenting concern. The Day Program is a closed group and operates on a 4-week cycle with a 2-week break. The break period provides an opportunity for participants to practise the skills they have learned in the Day Program.

The Day Program is conducted on Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 10:00am to 1:30pm with Clinical Reviews performed every 4 weeks.  The program involves:

Meal Therapy - The EDP provides supervision and support for two meals a day, morning tea and lunch, free of charge. Meal plans are developed by the EDP Dietitian.

Group Therapy – Enhanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT-E) for Eating Disorders, Creative Therapy, Nutritional Education Sessions and Physical Health Education Sessions.

Review and Planning – An opportunity for participants to develop and reflect on their achievement of S.M.A.R.T. goals related to implementing strategies discussed and knowledge gained during meal and group therapy.

Each participant will also receive individual therapy alongside Day Program.

Our Aims

The aims of the program include:

  • Establishing patterns of regular eating behaviours and attitudes
  • Exposing participants to feared foods
  • Supporting the reduction and cessation of eating disordered behaviours
  • Providing expert education on the physical and nutritional impacts of eating disorders
  • To work in a direction of achieving meaningful recovery goals 
  • To identify factors that maintain the eating disorder and develop strategies to overcome these

The Team

The Eating Disorders Program multidisciplinary team comprises a total of six staff made up of:

  • An Operational and Clinical Manager
  • Eating Disorder Therapists (psychologists, occupational therapists, and/or social workers)
  • A Dietitian
  • A Nurse 
  • An Office Administrator 

The Eating Disorders Program also has a part-time consultant psychiatrist, available for people engaged in the EDP therapy services.

Secondary Consultation

Clinicians from the Eating Disorders Program are available for secondary consultation and liaison. At times the EDP clinicians are able to provide education and presentations. 
Please contact us on 6205 1519 for details.

Maudsley Family-Based Therapy (FBT)

FBT (or Maudsley as it is sometimes called) is a form of family therapy used to treat Anorexia Nervosa (AN) and Bulimia Nervosa (BN) in adolescents aged 12 to 18 years. At this time it is considered the equal most effective treatment for AN and BN in this age group, in terms of both symptom reduction and relapse prevention.

Given the serious concerns for the physical and mental health of the child, FBT is an intensive full family intervention initially requiring weekly sessions that all family members attend.

FBT requires significant commitment from parents in particular. FBT works on the idea that parents themselves are the best people to bring their child back to full health, given their unparalleled knowledge of their child, and their dedication to their child’s wellbeing. The family is seen as the strongest resource in bringing the child back to health.

The therapist’s role is to support parents in this endeavour.

Aims of FBT

The main goals of FBT are:

  • Supporting parents to identify and address their child’s eating disorder thoughts and behaviours
  • Achieving regular, varied and balanced eating and balanced physical activity for the child
  • Weight and health restoration for the child
  • After achieving initial aims, focus on returning to normal family functioning and supporting child in a developmentally appropriate level of autonomy

General Practitioners

Given the number of medical and health complications associated with eating disorders, GP’s are considered to be extremely important external members of the EDP multidisciplinary team.

All people receiving therapy with the EDP are required to maintain regular contact with their GP.

The GP provides ongoing medical management including blood tests, medication and referrals to specialists.

GP Referral Form

Download:  GP Referral Form

Web Links

These websites may help you to learn more about eating disorders and access useful resources.