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Eating Disorders: Etiological Factors, Assessment & Diagnosis

Enroll in the Online Self-Study and complete the training on your own schedule.
6 CE hours available for behavioral health clinicians completing the Online Self-Study.

Eating disorders are serious illnesses that can impact all areas of functioning and have the second highest mortality rate of any mental health condition. Despite misleading stereotypes about who suffers from eating disorders, we know that people of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religious beliefs, socioeconomic statuses, body shapes, and weights can develop eating disorders. It is estimated that nearly 30 million individuals in the U.S. will suffer from an eating disorder during their lifetime, with prevalence rates in children and adolescents increasing by over 100% in the past decade. There are numerous etiological factors that influence the development and maintenance of eating disorders, including the many sociocultural stressors of the current day including the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For these reasons, it is imperative for clinicians to have adequate training and knowledge in the treatment of these complex and often misunderstood conditions.  

This course provides mental health clinicians with an overview of the genetic, biological, psychological, and myriad of sociocultural factors that contribute to the rising numbers of individuals affected by eating disorders. Assessment tools, as well as important considerations for culturally competent assessment eating disorder symptomatology and severity are explored. Strategies for differential diagnosis and assessment for level of care appropriateness are reviewed. Additionally, resources for additional support for individuals with severe eating disorders are provided.

 Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the etiological factors that increase vulnerability for the development of eating disorders.
  • Recognize how to comprehensively assess and differentially diagnose a range of eating disorders and related conditions.
  • List the criteria for level of care appropriateness based on a comprehensive eating disorder assessment.

    Dr. Melanie Smith is the instructor of four courses that provide in depth material on the topic of Eating Disorders.  Completion of all four courses offers participants the Eating Disorder Training Certificate (EDTC).  You can enroll in these course individually or as a bundle for a reduced price of $595 (a $125 savings).

    Select each tab above to view specific details about this course

    Eating disorders are serious illnesses that can impact all areas of functioning and have the second highest mortality rate of any mental health condition. Despite misleading stereotypes about who suffers from eating disorders, we know that people of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religious beliefs, socioeconomic statuses, body shapes, and weights can develop eating disorders. It is estimated that nearly 30 million individuals in the U.S. will suffer from an eating disorder during their lifetime, with prevalence rates in children and adolescents increasing by over 100% in the past decade. There are numerous etiological factors that influence the development and maintenance of eating disorders, including the many sociocultural stressors of the current day including the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For these reasons, it is imperative for clinicians to have adequate training and knowledge in the treatment of these complex and often misunderstood conditions.  

    This course provides mental health clinicians with an overview of the genetic, biological, psychological, and myriad of sociocultural factors that contribute to the rising numbers of individuals affected by eating disorders. Assessment tools, as well as important considerations for culturally competent assessment eating disorder symptomatology and severity are explored. Strategies for differential diagnosis and assessment for level of care appropriateness are reviewed. Additionally, resources for additional support for individuals with severe eating disorders are provided.

    This course was recorded on January 13, 2023.

    Upon completion of this training, professionals will be able to do the following:

    • Identify the etiological factors that increase vulnerability for the development of eating disorders.
    • Recognize how to comprehensively assess and differentially diagnose a range of eating disorders and related conditions.
    • List the criteria for level of care appropriateness based on a comprehensive eating disorder assessment.

    Melanie Smith, PhD, LMHC, CEDS-S

    Melanie Smith, PhD, LMHC, CEDS-S, is the Director of Training for The Renfrew Center for Eating Disorders. In this role, she provides ongoing training, supervision and consultation to clinicians across disciplines for the purpose of continually assessing and improving competence in the treatment of eating disorders. Dr. Smith is co-author of The Renfrew Unified Treatment for Eating Disorders and Comorbidity Therapist Guide and Workbook (Oxford University Press), is a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist and Approved Supervisor, and is a Certified Therapist and Trainer for the Unified Protocol for the Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (UP).  In addition to her work with the Renfrew Center, Dr. Smith maintains a telehealth private practice specializing in the supervision and consultation of registered mental health counselor interns (Florida) and individuals seeking eating disorder specialist certification through the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (iaedp).

    You can find more information about Dr. Smith here and the Renfrew Center here.

    Credit Hours: 

    This course provides 6 credit hours

    Counselors: Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No, 6693.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified.  Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. 

    Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0048. Approval renewal date: 1/31/2026

    Marriage and Family Therapists: Many MFT licensing boards accept our courses or one of the approvals which we have from professional associations.  You can check with your board to determine if this course would be accepted by your licensing board.

    Social Workers: Telehealth Certification Institute LLC, #1609, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Telehealth Certification Institute LLC maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 05/02/2021 – 05/02/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 6 clinical continuing education credits.

    Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0435. Approval renewal date: 2/28/2026

    Addiction Professionals: Telehealth Certification Institute is an approved provider of continuing education by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals, provider #193104, effective 02/23/2021. Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance.

    Psychologists: Telehealth Certification Institute LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Telehealth Certification Institute LLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

    Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0128. Effective 8/31/2021 – 8/31/2024 

    Art Therapists: Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed creative arts therapists #CAT-0093. 7/21/2021 – 7/31/2024

    Other Professionals: This course qualifies for 360 minutes of instructional content as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations.  Retain your certificate of completion and contact your board or organization for specific filing requirements.

    This is a non-interactive, self-study course.

    To receive your certificate of completion you must complete the course in its entirety.

    Online courses are completed by registering, logging in, navigating to your course using the menu (My Courses – the Course Title), completing all of the modules, completing and passing the post-test, and completing the course evaluation. Participants have 6 months from registration to access and complete online self-study courses.

    Live Webinar courses are completed by registering, logging in to this website, navigating to your course using the menu (My Courses – the Course Title), attending the full course via webinar, submitting your attendance, and completing the post-test and course evaluation online.

    Psychologists and other professionals seeking CE credit through our approval with the American Psychological Association are asked, but not required, to complete the course evaluation before obtaining their certificate of completion, however passing a post-test for online self-study courses and live webinars, and submitting one's attendance for live on-site and live webinars is required.

    You can receive your certificate of completion by logging onto this website, navigating to the course using the menu (My Courses – the Course Title), scroll to the bottom of your course, and click on your certificate to either download it or print it.

    Directions for completing a course can be found by clicking here.

    Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities

    Click here to view our Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities.

    Cancellation Policy

    Refunds are offered within the first 30 days for courses which have not been completed.  There is a 10% service fee for refunds.

    Grievance Policy

    Click here to view our Grievance Policy.

    This course is intended for clinicians who provide behavioral health services.

    Teaching methods for this course include recorded lectures, videos, a post-test, and a course evaluation.
    This program was recorded January 13, 2023.

    You have six months to access online courses from the time of purchase.

    Dr. Melanie Smith Headshot

    Melanie Smith
    PhD, LMHC, CEDS-S

    Melanie Smith, PhD, LMHC, CEDS-S, is the Director of Training for The Renfrew Center for Eating Disorders. In this role, she provides ongoing training, supervision and consultation to clinicians across disciplines for the purpose of continually assessing and improving competence in the treatment of eating disorders. Dr. Smith is co-author of The Renfrew Unified Treatment for Eating Disorders and Comorbidity Therapist Guide and Workbook (Oxford University Press), is a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist and Approved Supervisor, and is a Certified Therapist and Trainer for the Unified Protocol for the Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (UP).  In addition to her work with the Renfrew Center, Dr. Smith maintains a telehealth private practice specializing in the supervision and consultation of registered mental health counselor interns (Florida) and individuals seeking eating disorder specialist certification through the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (iaedp).

    You can find more information about Dr. Smith here and the Renfrew Center here.