Josh Spurlock MA LPC | Professional Counseling

The Relationship Center provides Biblically Christian and Clinically Proven Professional Counseling services. TRC is a multi-specialty professional counseling practice with 8 therapists in Springfield and Branson, Missouri offices. Josh specializes in Marriage Counseling, Sex Therapy, and Eating Disorder Treatment.

About Josh Spurlock

Josh Spurlock, MA, LPC is Director of The Relationship Center.

The Relationship Center provides Biblically Christian and Clinically Proven Professional Counseling services. TRC is a multi-specialty professional counseling practice with 8 therapists in Springfield and Branson, Missouri offices. Josh specializes in Marriage Counseling, Sex Therapy, and Eating Disorder Treatment.

Springfield Missouri Eating Disorder Counseling

Eating Disorders come in all different shapes and sizes.

Figure out why you do what you do

and learn how to be at peace with your body and food,

so you can be happy.

I just want to be “healthy.” I just can’t seem to stop. It’s not as bad as they think. If they knew they would think I’m crazy. I feel crazy. Out of control. I don’t know how to get control of this. I’m embarrassed, ashamed, anxious, depressed, mad,                                              .

I don’t really want to admit this is a problem, but it probably is.

How do I know if I have an Eating Disorder?

eating disorder the relationship center

Eating disorders are scary. Of all mental health issues a person can struggle with eating disorders have the highest mortality rate. How do you know if you have an eating disorder?

The Eating Attitudes Test (EAT) ask 26 quick questions that if answered Yes may mean that you struggle with an eating disorder.

Eating Attitudes Test

  1. I am terrified about being overweight.
  2. I avoid eating when I am hungry.
  3. I find myself preoccupied with food.
  4. I have gone on eating binges where I feel that I may not be able to stop.
  5. I cut my food into small pieces.
  6. I am aware of the calorie content of foods that I eat.
  7. I particularly avoid food with a high carbohydrate content (i.e. bread, rice, potatoes, etc.)
  8. I feel that others would prefer if I ate more.
  9. I vomit after I have eaten.
  10. I feel extremely guilty after eating.
  11. I am preoccupied with a desire to be thinner.
  12. I think about burning up calories when I exercise.
  13. Other people think that I am too thin.
  14. I am preoccupied with the thought of having fat on my body.
  15. I take longer than others to eat my meals.
  16. I avoid foods with sugar in them.
  17. I eat diet foods.
  18. I feel that food controls my life.
  19. I display self-control around food.
  20. I feel that others pressure me to eat.
  21. I give too much time and thought to food.
  22. I feel uncomfortable after eating sweets.
  23. I engage in dieting behavior.
  24. I like my stomach to be empty.
  25. I have the impulse to vomit after meals.
  26. I enjoy trying rich new foods.

The EAT quiz was developed by D.M. Garner, M.P. Olmsted, Y. Bohr, and P.E. Garfinkel.

The post How do I know if I have an Eating Disorder? appeared first on Josh Spurlock – Professional Counseling | Business Consulting.

Binge Eating Disorder

binge eating springfield moObesity has now reached epidemic levels in the United States. Today, ten million adults struggle with binge eating disorder.

Although billions of dollars are spent each year on weight-loss programs and diet products, the number of dangerously overweight children and adults continues to grow.

Binge Eating Disorder is when a person binges uncontrollably on large amounts of food, often consuming thousands of calories at a time. The individual is not eating because of physiological hunger; instead, the behavior is driven by the need to regulate unpleasant or painful emotions. This condition differs from bulimia because the individual does not subsequently purge after the binge. Studies show that more people suffer from binge eating disorder than anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa combined.

Binge eating is very hard on the human body, since it was never intended to ingest so much food at one time. The primary medical consequence of binge eating disorder is obesity. This disorder can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and type-II diabetes. Many of these medical complications can improve once a person changes their behaviors. And for those medical issues that don’t resolve, the sooner a person seeks treatment, the less severe the complication will be.

How Does a Child Present with Anorexia?

anorexia signs symptomsToday, children as young as six years old are being diagnosed with eating disorders. In addition to the classic signs and symptoms of anorexia, a child may present with the following:

  • Classic self starvation behavior
  • Severe anxiety
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Obsessive thoughts related to a fear of eating and a fear of getting fat
  • Tremendous psychological torment
  • Desire to please their parents, but cannot bring themselves to eat the food as their parents request
  • Not typically an act of defiance, but a serious obsessive thought disorder which must be carefully treated by mental health professionals who are experienced with eating disorders and related co-morbidities
  • Persistent food avoidance and weight loss for emotional reasons
  • Some children may not have body image concerns or obsessions
  • Eating disorders in children need to be distinguished from feeding disorders that might cause failure to thrive and growth problems
  • Disturbed parent-child relationships often manifest with food and eating problems

This article was first published on

What Is Bulimia?

bulimia help springfield moBulimia nervosa, not unlike anorexia nervosa, is a psychiatric disorder that revolves around food. Those with bulimia consume tremendous amounts of food, often thousands of calories, in a short period of time, then purge it from their bodies. Self-induced vomiting is the standard method of purging, though laxative abuse is also extremely common.

These behaviors are incredibly hard on the human body. A person with this disorder may binge, and subsequently purge, between 20 and 30 times a day. The truth is, the body was not designed to take in such a huge volume of food at one time. The medical complications of bulimia include extreme injury to the esophagus, stomach, teeth and intestines as well as damage to the kidneys and heart.

The emotional impact of prolonged bulimia is also severe. Unlike an individual with anorexia who is often proud of her strength and appearance, a girl or woman with bulimia suffers a tremendous amount of shame and guilt over her behavior. Even she knows that the act of consuming thousands upon thousands of calories, then purging, doesn’t make sense. This guilt is intensified by the cost involved with aquiring so much food. It is not unusual for the person to begin stealing the necessary food.

Professional care is usually required to break the highly addictive binge/purge cycle. Bulimia treatment typically begins with outpatient therapy from a counselor experienced in treating eating disorders. Although this can be effective, it is not unusual for patients to require a higher level of care, where their behavior can be monitored.

This article was originally published on

Remuda Ranch | Inpatient Eating Disorder Treatment

inpatient eating disorder treatment

Remuda Ranch: Treatment That Works

Where to go for Eating Disorder Treatment?

Life is full of choices – some big, others small. The decision to enter inpatient treatment may be difficult; however, the decision regarding who to trust with your care is easy. More than 10,000 patients have come to Remuda Ranch for treatment. Why? Because it works.

Our Remuda West Location – Arizona

The Arizona desert has always been a place of healing. In decades past, many with physical ailments traveled west to recover in the warm climate. Today, women and girls come to Remuda Ranch to regain strength, restore health and enter recovery. Learn more about this incredible treatment center.

Videos and Virtual Tours

Words alone cannot possibly capture the splendor of the Sonoran desert. So, take a moment to experience it yourself. Learn more about these healing environments and Remuda Ranch treatment programs.

Admission Process and Insurance Coverage

Our Admissions Representatives are highly trained and very knowledgeable individuals. Even more important, they are caring, compassionate women who truly understand what it’s like to have an eating or anxiety disorder. Their goal is to answer all of your questions, then make treatment as accessible and affordable as possible. Learn more about admissions here.

Company History

Remuda Ranch was founded on the belief that complete and lasting recovery from an eating disorder was possible. In time, we extended that same belief to those with anxiety disorders.Learn more about how this small company became the leading treatment program in the country today.


Every woman or girl who comes to us for treatment remains important to us, long after she returns home. That’s why we stay in touch in a variety of ways. Learn more about our alumni interaction and support.


Everyday we receive letters and messages from professionals in the field, former patients and their families. Learn more about what these people have to say about treatment at Remuda Ranch.

Contact Us

Whether you are a professional in need of resource material, or a potential patient with questions about treatment, we are always here for you. Learn more about how to contact us and how we can help.

Common Eating Disorder Myths

eating disorder help

Common Eating Disorder Myths

1) Individuals suffering from anorexia are easy to identify. Due to extreme thinness, it is sometimes easier to identify a person who struggles with anorexia than other Eating Disorders, but simply being thin is not the determining factor. There are medical issues that might cause someone to be unusually thin, or it could be an inherited body type. Appearance is not the exclusive determinant of an Eating Disorder. People struggling with Eating Disorders come in all shapes and sizes.

2) Physicians and other healthcare professionals can be counted on to discover and diagnose an Eating Disorder. Though we would like to believe this is true, unfortunately, it is not always the case. Sometimes, due to a lacked of training/education or lack of exposure to Eating Disorders, professionals may not catch the behavior. Remember, a professional may only see and talk with the individual for a few minutes during a visit. Most Eating Disorder behavior goes on behind closed doors and is denied.Parents are the cause of their child’s Eating Disorder. Genetic research is being done to determine what role family genes play, but there are also many other contributions to an Eating Disorder. Factors outside the family are influential, such as media, peers, and trauma.

3) Eating Disorders affect only the rich or celebrities. Eating Disorders cross all socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, and religious boundaries. Many suffer in silence, without the social spotlight or camera.
Normal or overweight people do not have an Eating Disorder. A person with Bulimia often has normal body weight. That is why it can be so difficult to notice. Most ED issues are about the person’s relationship with food, not his or her appearance.

4) A fat-free or low-carb diet is healthy. Any diet that severely limits an entire food group, emphasizes excessive consumption of one or two foods, or permits very high or very low caloric intake is unhealthy. All foods are acceptable, and can fit into a healthy diet. Fat is needed for the body and brain to operate as they were designed. 25%-35% of caloric intake should come from fat. Healthy eating is guided by balance, variety, and moderation.

5) Eating Disorders are not fatal. Thankfully, this can be true, but not always. Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder; as high as 10% of those with anorexia and 1% of those with bulimia will die as a result of the disorder.

6) A “natural” diet pill is a “safe” diet pill. The FDA does not regulate many over-the-counter foood supplements. Advertisements often distort the truth about the results a diet pill or supplement will provide. The practice of dieting itself, even without the use of pills, can lead to Eating Disorders.

7) Laxatives are an effective way to prevent the absorption of calories. The use/abuse of laxatives only depletes the body’s store of fluids. Laxatives react with the colon, where absorption of calories takes place. Laxative abuse can lead to extreme dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and additional medical complication up to and including the need for a colostomy.

8) A person who “always eats” does not have an Eating Disorder. A person practicing an Eating Disorder may only play with his or her food, making it appear as though they have eaten a meal. He or she may eat at such a slow rate that they only consume a few calories. He or she may even eat large amounts of food, but of insufficient variety to offer proper nutrition. They may later secretly purge the food they have eaten.

9) “I obviously don’t have an Eating Disorder.” Simply saying it does not make it so. People often state what they believe others want to hear or what they want to believe about themselves. Or they may be misled about Eating Disorders.

10) Exercise is good – you can never overdo a good thing. You can overdo a good thing. Excessive exercise is a problem, potentially leading to stress fractures of the bone, chronic pain, curvature of the spine, osteopenia or osteoporosis, loss of menstrual cycle, and even sudden death.

 11) People with Eating Disorders are vain. Although a few people with anorexia want to look like super models, for most people with Eating Disorders nothing could be further from the truth. Far from flaunting their bodies, they are often disgusted by their bodies.

12) Eating Disorders are a temporary way to lose weight. Eating Disorders rapidly get out of control due to chemical changes they produce in the body. What starts as a way to get control of one’s eating quickly takes over the person’s entire life. Many people with Eating Disorders feel trapped and unable to stop their behavior, even though they know they are hurting themselves.

13) Cutting and other self-injurious behaviors are not related to an eating disorder. While one behavior is not likely to cause the other, both the Eating Disorder and self-harm are an attempt to deal with stress or trauma and often occur together.

What is Drunkorexia & Drugorexia?

Drunkorexia DrugorexiaDrunkorexia is a combination of restricting type eating disorders and binge drinking. This extremely dangerous combination of disorders is becoming increasingly common among high school and college age girls.

Reasons for Drunkorexia:

  1. To feel less inhibited in social contexts.
  2. Wanting to be skinny at all costs.
  3. To go out, be popular and party without gaining weight.
  4. To intensify the effects of alcohol use.
  5. To “numb out” stress or anxiety.

Fear of rejection ultimately plays a big role in this sort of behavior. The need to feel accepted, good enough, and wanted are powerful motivators of extreme behavior.

Drugorexia takes the well-known habit of using nicotine as an appetite suppressant to a whole new level by abusing prescription and illicit drugs as a means to manage body image.

5 Question Eating Disorder Screen

Eating Disorder TestQuick Eating Disorder Screen

  1. Do you make yourself sick because you feel uncomfortably full?
  2. Do you worry you have lost control over how much you eat?
  3. Have you recently lost more than 15 pounds in a three-month period?
  4. Do you believe yourself to be fat when others say you are too thin?
  5. Would you say that food dominates your life?

Any person answering “yes” to two or more of these five questions is quite likely to have an eating disorder, even if he or she is currently at a “normal” weight range.

What causes Eating Disorders?

BODY IMAGE HELP SPRINGFIELD MOThere is no single cause for any eating disorder. All eating disorders are a perfect storm of complex variables. There is, however, a constant pressure to achieve unrealistic and unhealthy body conditions brought on by the media and pop culture. This pressure adds to the other factors that may influence disordered eating. Here are a few other influencers:

  • Dieting

While dieting may seem harmless, statistics show that girls who diet before the age of 14 are eight times more likely to develop an Eating Disorder. Dieting disrupts normal eating patterns and can start a cycle of unhealthy eating. 50% of adolescent females report dieting before the age of 14.

  • Media Influence

The current message from movies, television, billboards, popular music, and magazines is that thin is “in”, regardless of the cost. Media images equate thinness with beauty, peer acceptance, success, self-esteem, morality, and health.

  • Peer Pressure

In an attempt to fit in, individuals may feel they need to change their physical appearance, even to the extent of significant weight loss. Within peer groups, dieting or other Eating Disorder specific behaviosr can become competitive.

  • Trauma

Trauma can occur in one significant event or repeatedly over a period of years. Sexual abuse, rape, the death of a loved one, divorce, changing schools, or moving are all serious life events that could trigger an Eating Disorder.

  • Performance

High performers in athletics are academics often believe their worth is found in what they do and how they perform. Image can be very important and fuel an Eating Disorder.

  • Athletic Achievement

Certain competitive sports may lead to the development of an Eating Disorder. For example:

  • Gymnastics or dance participation may be dependent on a certain body type or “look”.
  • Sports like cross-country may be a convenient outlet for an individual to over-exercise in an “acceptable” fashion.
  • Wrestling often mandates “making weight” in order to wrestle at a certain weight-class.
  • Life Transitions

Times of transition can lead to emotional stress. Puberty is one of those transitions; another often occurs at ages 18-20. Fear of physical development, which naturally brings curves to the female body, can lead to extreme dieting.