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When Kira was referred to WYS from the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) eating disorder clinic, she was suffering from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) which is where you can’t stop thinking about your real or perceived flaws. In Kira’s case, her BDD resulted in her restricting her eating, exercising three times a day, leading to losing 29 pounds in a three month period.

Kira lacked recognition of the seriousness of her significantly low body weight and wasn’t understanding the potential consequence for overall health. Due to her presenting problem, she was isolating herself from friends and family, unable to express her thoughts and feelings and often was irritable and frustrated.

Leveraging Services For A Comprehensive Approach

The WYS therapist began working with Kira on her treatment goals through individual, collateral, and case management services. Her individual sessions were utilized to teach, implement, and generalize healthy coping skills.

Collateral services were used to develop a safety plan to monitor Kira’s health and increase Kira’s support system through family and friends. Case management allowed the therapist to consult with Kira’s eating disorder team at CHOC and provide comprehensive services through a multidisciplinary approach.

Understanding How to Process Feelings

Through her therapy, Kira worked to challenge her perceptions about her body. She was eventually able to stabilize her weight and implement new foods into her diet by using skills and tools learned at WYS and CHOC.

Once she was able to share her insecurities, thoughts, and feelings with both her mother and father, her behaviors of withdrawal from others and her feelings of irritability and frustration began to decrease. Therapy sessions provided a safe place for Kira to process thoughts and feelings, practice her approach to eating, and then speak up for herself.

Kira has since been placed in group therapy services, along with continuing to see her individual counsellor once a month — down from the previous baseline of once a week. She’s on track to graduate once group therapy ends.

Our Success Stories

Western Youth Services works hard to protect the privacy of the children we help. As such, the names and images of our clients are changed where necessary.