The Initial Appointment
If you are interested in consulting with a mental health professional about your concerns over disturbed eating, the first step is to schedule an Initial Appointment (IA) at the Counseling Center. You can request to meet with a counselor who is on the Eating Disorders/Disturbances Treatment Team. If you do not feel ready to schedule an IA, you are also welcome to consult with a member of this team over the phone at 217-333-3704. All services at the Counseling Center are confidential and covered by the student health fee.
What happens during the IA? Your counselor will gather information about your history and current struggles with eating and get a sense of your current functioning (e.g., academics, family, relationships). They will then make some recommendations about next steps. They might suggest one of the following: an eating disorders assessment (to gather more comprehensive information about your past and present struggles, including completion of some questionnaires), individual counseling here or in the community, group therapy, and/or referrals to a physician or nutritionist.
The Counseling Center offers a variety of services in addition to the Initial Appointment. Students can receive short-term individual counseling to gain a better understanding of their eating struggles and find ways to cope and move toward recovery. Students who may need longer-term work are often referred for counseling services in the community.
We also offer two therapy groups centered on eating concerns where students can support and learn from each other. The groups are co-facilitated by two staff counselors and are open to eight members. Group therapy can provide a unique opportunity to learn that you are not alone, to interact with people at all stages of recovery, and to help others with their journey.