Demi Lovato Is Not In Rehab! Here's What Her Treatment For Her Eating Disorder & Cutting Looks Like! EXCLUSIVE!

Wed, November 3, 2010 4:26pm EDT by 2 Comments
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Experts tell HollywoodLife.com what Demi’s outpatient treatment most likely consists of!

Disney star Demi Lovato, 18, is not in a rehabilitation center! “Demi isn’t in rehab,” a source close to Demi tells HollywoodLife.com exclusively. “She is getting treatment, but she’s not checking into a facility.” Instead of checking into a center, Demi is most likely focusing on an intensive outpatient program to seek professional help to cope with her battle with cutting and an eating disorder.

Here’s what Demi’s outpatient program most likely entails:

  • If Demi is in the most intensive outpatient program, she will most likely be there for 30 days to two months from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Demi will live at home while she’s in this outpatient program.
  • Upon starting the program, the first step is to get a “medical assessment by someone who specializes in eating disorders to determine if the individual needs immediate restoration (hospitalization) or can go through outpatient,” explains Lynn Grefe, President and CEO of the National Eating Disorders Association. Then, Demi would “start out with counseling.”
  • The treatment will focus on both mental and physical restoration. “Eating disorders impair your physical health,” says Lynn. You’re “starving your organs. It effects your brain and your kidney.”
  • Demi will have a whole group of experts working with her including therapists, nutritionists, social workers, nurses and physicians.
  • Nutritionists work with Demi to help her restore her body back to a healthy weight. She needs to “get electrolytes and eat the appropriate number of calories,” says Lynn.
  • “A social worker helps an individual to integrate back into the community,” says Lynn.
  • Weekly medical evaluations to check on physical restoration progress.
  • If she has problems with depression, medication can be prescribed to lessen her anxiety.
  • Attend group therapy with other people her same age to talk about their problems.
  • Family therapy is big! “If a patient is young, parents can work with the therapist,” says Lynn.
  • Help Demi to find different ways to express herself. “Most common activities can include yoga or art therapy,” says Lynn. Demi needs to “find a different outlet to let the pain out,” says Dr. Allison Kress, psychologist who specializes in the treatment of cutting and other self injurious behaviors, “like writing, music, having healthy relationships, exercise and eating healthy.”
  • The program will be “focusing on the underlying causes of the pain,” says Dr. Kress. “Help them to resolve what’s causing the pain and resolving it.”

To specifically target her self injurious behavior, Demi’s therapist might try DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) with her. This is another common kind of therapy used to deal with self-injury cases. “It helps people to stop long enough to recognize what’s happening and let the emotion pass without having to act on it,” says Janis Whitlock, Director of the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behavior in Adolescents and Young Adults. “It helps them re-frame the negative stories they tell themselves that cause the emotions.”

All of our experts agree that it’s terrific that Demi’s getting help! And like them, HollywoodLife.com says good for her and that we wish her well.

– Lindsey DiMattina

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