Eating Disorder (ED) Assessments

An ED Assessment provides assessment and brief therapy to assist students in gaining insight into ED issues and learning skills to take care of themselves, as well as to connect them with the most appropriate care following assessment. 

Function and Structure

An ED Assessment typically takes four to six scheduled sessions to complete.  Sessions consist of:

  • Working with an interdisciplinary team, including appropriate referrals to on-campus resources such as a dietician (i.e. meal plan), psychiatrist, and physician (i.e. labs) 
  • Use of various ED assessment tools (i.e. EDI-3)
  • Providing referrals for long-term therapy as appropriate (a group at the Counseling Center and/or community resources such as individual counseling or inpatient treatment)

Steps to Pre-Arranging an ED Assessment

The following criteria should be met before a student is referred to ED Assessment:

  • The student is struggling with issues around food or body image.
  • Disordered eating is the student’s primary concern. 
  • The student is early in their struggle to address and manage symptoms. If a student has a long history of treatment for an eating disorder, assessment may not be an ideal referral.

Always consult with a member of the ED Clinical Team prior to making a referral to ED Assessment as this helps to ensure that the student is receiving the best course of care. Common scenarios in which consultation is especially important include:

  • The student is in need of immediate treatment (i.e. direct referral to a dietician at McKinley Health Center) and is not able to schedule an ED assessment in the next few weeks. 
  • The student presents with severe eating concerns and needs an immediate higher level of care than is offered by the Counseling Center. 
  • The student has a long history of an eating disorder treatment and will likely benefit from a direct referral to community resources. 
  • The student reports a desire to engage in ED Groups offered by the Counseling Center, rather than an ED Assessment.

Following consultation, if it is determined that a student is appropriate for a referral to ED Assessment, assist the student in pre-arranging an appointment for ED Assessment by calling the Counseling Center at 217-333-3704. Please let the student know that it may take up to a couple of weeks before they are able to get an assessment appointment. 

Alternatives to ED Assessment

Some students may benefit from ED services other than ED Assessment. The Counseling Center also offers two ED focused groups. 

  • Eating Disorder Process Group
  • Binge Eating Disorder & Body Image Group

An ED group referral may be appropriate for students who have engaged in  an ED Assessment in the past and are now presenting with similar concerns or who have an individual counselor in the community and would like to engage in group as an addition to their treatment. Please always consult with members of the ED Clinical Team before making a referral for an ED group screening.