Mirasol's alternative approach to eating disorder treatment is based on the conviction that eating disorders are chronic, stress-related conditions. Many eating disorders begin as a way of coping with stress, and since initially it appears to work quite well, the individual may not have the opportunity to develop healthy coping strategies.
There are two types of coping strategies: "approach coping" and "avoidance coping". An individual who uses approach coping skills is someone who takes direct action to deal with the situation that is creating stress. Someone who is uses avoidance strategies will go to any lengths to avoid the cause of the stress.
Individuals with support from family and friends will rely less on avoidance coping methods and more on approach coping methods. Coping skills include information gathering, stopping a certain behavior or action, and using cognitive coping skills that can change the way the person looks at the problem.
Approach coping mechanisms can include:
The use of effective coping skills can often help improve mental and emotional well-being. People who are able to adjust to stressful or traumatic situations (and the lasting impact these incidents may have) through productive coping mechanisms may be less likely to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns as a result of painful or challenging events.