Eating Disorders Therapists in Edmonton, AB

Photo of Melanie Samaroden, Psychologist in Edmonton, AB
Melanie Samaroden
Psychologist, MC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Edmonton, AB T6E
Life experiences can hinder our emotional, mental, or spiritual growth, making it difficult to move forward in an effective way. My experience has been working with teens, men, and women and their issues with trauma, addictions, OCD, eating disorders, and anxiety. I am passionate about helping my clients understand how the brain works and taking a strength-based approach to developing skills. The research focus of my thesis was on resiliency in Indigenous adults with FASD. Together, we can find the power within you.
Life experiences can hinder our emotional, mental, or spiritual growth, making it difficult to move forward in an effective way. My experience has been working with teens, men, and women and their issues with trauma, addictions, OCD, eating disorders, and anxiety. I am passionate about helping my clients understand how the brain works and taking a strength-based approach to developing skills. The research focus of my thesis was on resiliency in Indigenous adults with FASD. Together, we can find the power within you.
(825) 602-5188 View (825) 602-5188
Photo of Ellen M Klaver, Registered Provisional Psychologist in Edmonton, AB
Ellen M Klaver
Registered Provisional Psychologist, MEd
Verified Verified
Edmonton, AB T5N
I specialize in the assessment and treatment of emotion dysregulation and related conditions including eating disorders, borderline personality disorder, depression, anxiety, and insomnia in adolescents and adults.
I am passionate about the therapeutic process and privileged when a client allows me to join them in theirs. My approach balances the art and science of therapy by using evidence-based treatments and tailoring them to be most effective for you. I believe in being as authentic as possible so I stay genuinely curious and collaborate with you to make sense of emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. I value taking a strength-based approach and promoting a safe and non-judgmental environment that empowers you to engage in the meaningful work of self-discovery, acceptance, and change.
I specialize in the assessment and treatment of emotion dysregulation and related conditions including eating disorders, borderline personality disorder, depression, anxiety, and insomnia in adolescents and adults.
I am passionate about the therapeutic process and privileged when a client allows me to join them in theirs. My approach balances the art and science of therapy by using evidence-based treatments and tailoring them to be most effective for you. I believe in being as authentic as possible so I stay genuinely curious and collaborate with you to make sense of emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. I value taking a strength-based approach and promoting a safe and non-judgmental environment that empowers you to engage in the meaningful work of self-discovery, acceptance, and change.
(587) 815-4751 View (587) 815-4751
Photo of Eating Disorder Support Network of Alberta (EDSNA) in Edmonton, AB
Eating Disorder Support Network of Alberta (EDSNA)
Verified Verified
Edmonton, AB T5B
The Eating Disorder Support Network of Alberta (EDSNA) is a non-profit organization and a registered charity dedicated to providing meaningful support to those affected– directly and indirectly– by eating disorders. EDSNA provides information, guidance, a provincial voice, a community hub and most of all, support. We offer professionally-facilitated support groups in Edmonton, Calgary and online. Thanks to ongoing funding from Alberta Health, Addictions and Mental Health Branch, we are able to offer these groups at a very low cost to the participants and can even waive fees if people are experiencing financial difficulty.
The Eating Disorder Support Network of Alberta (EDSNA) is a non-profit organization and a registered charity dedicated to providing meaningful support to those affected– directly and indirectly– by eating disorders. EDSNA provides information, guidance, a provincial voice, a community hub and most of all, support. We offer professionally-facilitated support groups in Edmonton, Calgary and online. Thanks to ongoing funding from Alberta Health, Addictions and Mental Health Branch, we are able to offer these groups at a very low cost to the participants and can even waive fees if people are experiencing financial difficulty.
(587) 801-4206 View (587) 801-4206
Photo of Michelle Emmerling, Psychologist in Edmonton, AB
Michelle Emmerling
Psychologist, PhD, RPsych
Verified Verified
7 Endorsed
Edmonton, AB T5J
Waitlist for new clients
I have specialized training in Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) for Eating Disorders/Body Image concerns from some of the world's leading experts.
I am a Registered Psychologist with over 15 years of extensive professional training in working with a diverse range of individual, couple, and family issues from a holistic and client focused perspective. This means I tailor my work to your unique experience and concerns so that we can work together to help you become aware of different aspects of your experience and areas where you may be stuck. I believe in building a caring, genuine, and supportive therapeutic relationship where you can feel safe to explore your concerns and together we can work towards helping you live a more fulfilling life.
I have specialized training in Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) for Eating Disorders/Body Image concerns from some of the world's leading experts.
I am a Registered Psychologist with over 15 years of extensive professional training in working with a diverse range of individual, couple, and family issues from a holistic and client focused perspective. This means I tailor my work to your unique experience and concerns so that we can work together to help you become aware of different aspects of your experience and areas where you may be stuck. I believe in building a caring, genuine, and supportive therapeutic relationship where you can feel safe to explore your concerns and together we can work towards helping you live a more fulfilling life.
(825) 435-1306 View (825) 435-1306
Photo of Nicolas Allen, Psychologist in Edmonton, AB
Nicolas Allen
Psychologist, MA, BPE, MES
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Edmonton, AB T5N
My areas of special interest and expertise include Depression, Anxiety, Sport Psychology, Concussion Treatment and Baseline Testing, Eating Disorders, and weight loss.
There are problems . . . and there are solutions, and sometimes it's just nice to talk through them! I am not your typical psychologist. I don't work in a stuffy office and you won't lay down on a couch. I help you develop the skills and abilities necessary to move forward and conquer your problems. By helping people identify the things they wish to have changed in their lives and further develop the skills they already have, I help clients construct a concrete vision for themselves and make that vision a reality. I help you find solutions!
My areas of special interest and expertise include Depression, Anxiety, Sport Psychology, Concussion Treatment and Baseline Testing, Eating Disorders, and weight loss.
There are problems . . . and there are solutions, and sometimes it's just nice to talk through them! I am not your typical psychologist. I don't work in a stuffy office and you won't lay down on a couch. I help you develop the skills and abilities necessary to move forward and conquer your problems. By helping people identify the things they wish to have changed in their lives and further develop the skills they already have, I help clients construct a concrete vision for themselves and make that vision a reality. I help you find solutions!
(587) 400-1203 View (587) 400-1203
Photo of Paula Diane Beard, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Edmonton, AB
Paula Diane Beard
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MA, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
Edmonton, AB T5H
I have a general practice focusing on depression, anxiety, grief, eating disorders and addictions.
It can feel overwhelming when you are someone who is usually content and productive in life and find yourself struggling to get out of bed, leave the house, or be in relationship with others. It is important to know that we all struggle with our mental health at some point in our lives and it can be difficult to take the first step and seek help. If you are ready, our work together will be to build on your strengths and develop the insights, knowledge, and skills necessary to get relief from your suffering.
I have a general practice focusing on depression, anxiety, grief, eating disorders and addictions.
It can feel overwhelming when you are someone who is usually content and productive in life and find yourself struggling to get out of bed, leave the house, or be in relationship with others. It is important to know that we all struggle with our mental health at some point in our lives and it can be difficult to take the first step and seek help. If you are ready, our work together will be to build on your strengths and develop the insights, knowledge, and skills necessary to get relief from your suffering.
(825) 809-5524 View (825) 809-5524
Photo of Debra Lee Konyk, Psychologist in Edmonton, AB
Debra Lee Konyk
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Edmonton, AB T5K
My expertise focuses on anxiety, depression, eating disorders, body image issues, and work-related stress.
I am a Registered Clinical Psychologist with experience in both hospital and private practice settings. I believe a holistic approach to client care is important to promote well-being. I consider physical, mental, developmental, behavioral, interpersonal, social, and spiritual factors to understand your needs, to personalize techniques/coping strategies, and to promote personal growth and healing. I work to develop an accepting and understanding environment to help you to become more aware of attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs that are negatively affecting your mood, behaviours, and physiology.
My expertise focuses on anxiety, depression, eating disorders, body image issues, and work-related stress.
I am a Registered Clinical Psychologist with experience in both hospital and private practice settings. I believe a holistic approach to client care is important to promote well-being. I consider physical, mental, developmental, behavioral, interpersonal, social, and spiritual factors to understand your needs, to personalize techniques/coping strategies, and to promote personal growth and healing. I work to develop an accepting and understanding environment to help you to become more aware of attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs that are negatively affecting your mood, behaviours, and physiology.
(855) 658-5689 View (855) 658-5689
Photo of Savannah Beckman, Psychologist in Edmonton, AB
Savannah Beckman
Psychologist, MACP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Edmonton, AB T5J
Hello! I am a Provisional Psychologist working within Edmonton, and other areas of Alberta through virtual means. In my career I have been able to work alongside many individuals in both clinical and medical settings. I work with adolescent populations, preteens, and adults. I have training and experience working with a variety of mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, grief, relationship concerns and trauma. However, working alongside those who are recovering from eating disorders is one area I am particularly passionate about.
Hello! I am a Provisional Psychologist working within Edmonton, and other areas of Alberta through virtual means. In my career I have been able to work alongside many individuals in both clinical and medical settings. I work with adolescent populations, preteens, and adults. I have training and experience working with a variety of mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, grief, relationship concerns and trauma. However, working alongside those who are recovering from eating disorders is one area I am particularly passionate about.
(587) 854-3990 View (587) 854-3990
Photo of Taylor Tymchyshyn, Psychologist in Edmonton, AB
Taylor Tymchyshyn
Psychologist, MEd
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Edmonton, AB T6E
Using a client-centered approach, my main areas of focus are individual counselling with concerns such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, stress, trauma, grief and loss.
Working through life's difficulties or personal issues on your own can be overwhelming, that's where counselling comes in. My goal is to create a safe, warm place where we can work collaboratively to achieve your therapeutic goals and reconnect with the best version of yourself.
Using a client-centered approach, my main areas of focus are individual counselling with concerns such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, stress, trauma, grief and loss.
Working through life's difficulties or personal issues on your own can be overwhelming, that's where counselling comes in. My goal is to create a safe, warm place where we can work collaboratively to achieve your therapeutic goals and reconnect with the best version of yourself.
(587) 870-6658 View (587) 870-6658
Photo of Margaret Marean, Psychologist in Edmonton, AB
Margaret Marean
Psychologist, MEd, RPsych
Verified Verified
Edmonton, AB T5H
Waitlist for new clients
My main areas of interest include food addiction, eating disorders, lifestyle and nutritional psychology, body image, self esteem/ self compassion, depression and anxiety.
I am passionate about helping people lead their best lives and overcome barriers that may be holding them back. With more than 25 years of experience as a psychologist I take an outcome-based approach based on clients desires. Having lived many years of my younger adulthood with anxiety, low confidence and eating disorders it is my goal to help individuals heal and move towards their potential rather than staying stuck in a cycle of helplessness and self-loathing.
My main areas of interest include food addiction, eating disorders, lifestyle and nutritional psychology, body image, self esteem/ self compassion, depression and anxiety.
I am passionate about helping people lead their best lives and overcome barriers that may be holding them back. With more than 25 years of experience as a psychologist I take an outcome-based approach based on clients desires. Having lived many years of my younger adulthood with anxiety, low confidence and eating disorders it is my goal to help individuals heal and move towards their potential rather than staying stuck in a cycle of helplessness and self-loathing.
(825) 445-1179 View (825) 445-1179
Photo of Alice Wilmes, Licensed Professional Counsellor in Edmonton, AB
Alice Wilmes
Licensed Professional Counsellor, MA, RPC, CT, CCTP
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Edmonton, AB T6E
Are you ready to feel connected again, to let go of trauma, dysfunctional habits, and fears that have prevented you from moving forward and reaching your goals? I can help. I work in the areas of self-esteem, emotional regulation, eating disorders, addictions, relationships, work, and overall fulfillment in life. Whether you are caught in destructive patterns, experiencing anxiety, depression, panic, unexplainable sadness, or disconnection from yourself, together we can work to help you gain a sense of grounding, safety, healing, and freedom.
Are you ready to feel connected again, to let go of trauma, dysfunctional habits, and fears that have prevented you from moving forward and reaching your goals? I can help. I work in the areas of self-esteem, emotional regulation, eating disorders, addictions, relationships, work, and overall fulfillment in life. Whether you are caught in destructive patterns, experiencing anxiety, depression, panic, unexplainable sadness, or disconnection from yourself, together we can work to help you gain a sense of grounding, safety, healing, and freedom.
(825) 250-3497 View (825) 250-3497
Photo of Revestin Matias, Registered Provisional Psychologist in Edmonton, AB
Revestin Matias
Registered Provisional Psychologist, BA Hon, MEd
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Edmonton, AB T6X
Waitlist for new clients
Hi I am Revestin (Revs-stin). I enjoy supporting individuals who struggle with anxiety, childhood trauma, low self-esteem, eating disorders/disordered eating and body shame and racial discrimination/trauma. I use a feminist and holistic lens because I believe everything is connected. Therefore, together we will do a deep dive to learn more about yourself and identify ways to overcome barriers that get in the way of self-fulfillment.
Hi I am Revestin (Revs-stin). I enjoy supporting individuals who struggle with anxiety, childhood trauma, low self-esteem, eating disorders/disordered eating and body shame and racial discrimination/trauma. I use a feminist and holistic lens because I believe everything is connected. Therefore, together we will do a deep dive to learn more about yourself and identify ways to overcome barriers that get in the way of self-fulfillment.
(587) 815-4692 View (587) 815-4692
Photo of Beth Murray, Psychologist in Edmonton, AB
Beth Murray
Psychologist, RPsych, MA
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Edmonton, AB T5P
Waitlist for new clients
I have helped clients recover fully from anorexia, bulimia, EDNOS and binge eating.
I am a Registered Psychologist with over 22 years experience working with adult clients with eating disorders, trauma, chronic pain, and highly sensitive people (HSP). I am a compassionate professional skilled in helping clients resolve problem areas and find healing. Other specializations include depression, damaged core beliefs/self-image, anxiety, body image, and faith issues. I work with clients going through transition, loss and/or grief to make positive changes which bring empowerment, hope & healing. My clients like the fact that I am action oriented and want to see them make progress as quickly as possible. See freshhope.ca
I have helped clients recover fully from anorexia, bulimia, EDNOS and binge eating.
I am a Registered Psychologist with over 22 years experience working with adult clients with eating disorders, trauma, chronic pain, and highly sensitive people (HSP). I am a compassionate professional skilled in helping clients resolve problem areas and find healing. Other specializations include depression, damaged core beliefs/self-image, anxiety, body image, and faith issues. I work with clients going through transition, loss and/or grief to make positive changes which bring empowerment, hope & healing. My clients like the fact that I am action oriented and want to see them make progress as quickly as possible. See freshhope.ca
(587) 742-0274 View (587) 742-0274
Photo of Bryan Halabi, Psychologist in Edmonton, AB
Bryan Halabi
Psychologist, BSC Hon, MA
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Edmonton, AB T5P
However, my areas of expertise include Anxiety, Anger, ADHD, PTSD/Complex Trauma, and Eating Disorders.
I am a Registered Psychologist in good standing with the College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP). I work from a client-centred approach where I believe that the best therapeutic results come from a collaborative approach between client and therapist. I believe that my role is to provide a supportive safe space where your voice is heard and your goals take centre stage. My commitment is to help you not just cope, but to thrive. Together, we will create realistic goals and map out a unique path to achieve them. When the right therapeutic fit is found, you may be surprised at how quickly you begin to feel meaningful change.
However, my areas of expertise include Anxiety, Anger, ADHD, PTSD/Complex Trauma, and Eating Disorders.
I am a Registered Psychologist in good standing with the College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP). I work from a client-centred approach where I believe that the best therapeutic results come from a collaborative approach between client and therapist. I believe that my role is to provide a supportive safe space where your voice is heard and your goals take centre stage. My commitment is to help you not just cope, but to thrive. Together, we will create realistic goals and map out a unique path to achieve them. When the right therapeutic fit is found, you may be surprised at how quickly you begin to feel meaningful change.
(587) 209-5162 View (587) 209-5162
Photo of Tamara Stuart, Psychologist in Edmonton, AB
Tamara Stuart
Psychologist, MC, RPsych
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Edmonton, AB T6E  (Online Only)
I work with individuals with a wide-range of concerns and backgrounds but my main areas of focus are working with anxiety, eating disorders, ADHD and addiction issues. In my therapeutic approach, I aim to understand you and your world. Although people may share the same common symptoms, issues, and life’s ups and downs, no two people experience them exactly the same. It is important for me to understand how you experience your world, so I can help you find solutions that fit for you. Together we will work collaboratively to figure out what is working for you and how to change the things that are not.
I work with individuals with a wide-range of concerns and backgrounds but my main areas of focus are working with anxiety, eating disorders, ADHD and addiction issues. In my therapeutic approach, I aim to understand you and your world. Although people may share the same common symptoms, issues, and life’s ups and downs, no two people experience them exactly the same. It is important for me to understand how you experience your world, so I can help you find solutions that fit for you. Together we will work collaboratively to figure out what is working for you and how to change the things that are not.
(587) 801-2438 View (587) 801-2438
Photo of Brandi Gruninger, Psychologist in Edmonton, AB
Brandi Gruninger
Psychologist, MC, RPsych
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Edmonton, AB T6X
I have always loved connecting with people. I have fourteen years of experience and still love what I do. I work with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety and relationship problems using a client-centered focus. I also have experience with eating disorders, trauma, domestic violence, and body image issues. I also help adolescents to navigate the unique pressures that come with their developmental stage. I enjoy helping people find more adaptive ways of relating to each other and to improve their communication and social skills.
I have always loved connecting with people. I have fourteen years of experience and still love what I do. I work with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety and relationship problems using a client-centered focus. I also have experience with eating disorders, trauma, domestic violence, and body image issues. I also help adolescents to navigate the unique pressures that come with their developmental stage. I enjoy helping people find more adaptive ways of relating to each other and to improve their communication and social skills.
(866) 989-6769 View (866) 989-6769
Photo of Vanessa LaPrairie, Psychologist in Edmonton, AB
Vanessa LaPrairie
Psychologist, MC, R Psych
Verified Verified
Edmonton, AB T5A
Vanessa is a dedicated psychologist with a profound commitment to the well-being of her clients. Her extensive clinical expertise spans a range of areas, including 2sLGBTQIA+ mental health, PTSD and complex trauma, eating disorders, addictions, and concurrent disorders. Vanessa approaches each client with a unique blend of empathy, understanding, and evidence-based interventions.
Vanessa is a dedicated psychologist with a profound commitment to the well-being of her clients. Her extensive clinical expertise spans a range of areas, including 2sLGBTQIA+ mental health, PTSD and complex trauma, eating disorders, addictions, and concurrent disorders. Vanessa approaches each client with a unique blend of empathy, understanding, and evidence-based interventions.
(587) 412-2715 View (587) 412-2715
Photo of Tracy Colson, Registered Social Worker in Edmonton, AB
Tracy Colson
Registered Social Worker, BA, BSW, RSW
Verified Verified
Edmonton, AB T5T  (Online Only)
I specialize in treating the vast spectrum of disordered eating and eating disorders - focusing first and foremost on improving your relationship with food.
Do you want to stop feeling consumed with thoughts of food or 'dieting', and feel more in charge of your eating behaviours? Do you want to find self-acceptance, and feel more at peace with your body? Incorporate movement in a joyful way? You are in the right place! I bring a unique skillset to the therapy process - I am educated in personal training and basic nutrition spending many years engrossed in the gym 'diet-culture. I believe that all bodies should move for enjoyment, as a positive coping strategy, and for overall health.
I specialize in treating the vast spectrum of disordered eating and eating disorders - focusing first and foremost on improving your relationship with food.
Do you want to stop feeling consumed with thoughts of food or 'dieting', and feel more in charge of your eating behaviours? Do you want to find self-acceptance, and feel more at peace with your body? Incorporate movement in a joyful way? You are in the right place! I bring a unique skillset to the therapy process - I am educated in personal training and basic nutrition spending many years engrossed in the gym 'diet-culture. I believe that all bodies should move for enjoyment, as a positive coping strategy, and for overall health.
(587) 412-1560 View (587) 412-1560
Photo of Harpreet Kaur Gill, Psychologist in Edmonton, AB
Harpreet Kaur Gill
Psychologist, PhD, RPsych
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Edmonton, AB T6G
My areas of expertise are depression, anxiety, PTSD, relationship issues, grief, addictions, anger management, family of origin issues, life transition, eating disorders, self esteem issues, work-life balance, and immigrants mental health.
Hello! I am a Registered Psychologist with over 15 years of counselling experience with adults and couples in Canada. Life can be unpredictable and challenging. Most of the times, we are able to effectively deal with difficulties, emerging stronger and more learned. There are times when one may need help to deal with emotional distress. It can happen to anyone. I work as a facilitator of change, healing and growth. I help clients to detox self from vulnerabilities, anxieties, egos and misconceptions to be more powerful.
My areas of expertise are depression, anxiety, PTSD, relationship issues, grief, addictions, anger management, family of origin issues, life transition, eating disorders, self esteem issues, work-life balance, and immigrants mental health.
Hello! I am a Registered Psychologist with over 15 years of counselling experience with adults and couples in Canada. Life can be unpredictable and challenging. Most of the times, we are able to effectively deal with difficulties, emerging stronger and more learned. There are times when one may need help to deal with emotional distress. It can happen to anyone. I work as a facilitator of change, healing and growth. I help clients to detox self from vulnerabilities, anxieties, egos and misconceptions to be more powerful.
(587) 401-3154 View (587) 401-3154
Photo of One Tree Psychological and Therapeutic Services, Psychologist in Edmonton, AB
One Tree Psychological and Therapeutic Services
Psychologist, MSc, MCFC
Verified Verified
Edmonton, AB T5L
As well as those who are experiencing, anxiety, depression, anger management concerns, eating disorders, self-harm, grief & loss, relationship issues, life transitions, or attachment issues.
I am registered psychologist. My Master's degree is in couples and family counselling and I have completed adjunct training in Play Therapy, Sand Play Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). I have experience working with clients of all ages from 3 years old and up as well as families and couples. I can accommodate those who are considering online counselling. I also have a team of Therapeutic Support Counsellors who can work with you and your family in a unique way to support coping, wellbeing, and trauma symptoms. Look for more information on our website https://onetreepsychological.ca
As well as those who are experiencing, anxiety, depression, anger management concerns, eating disorders, self-harm, grief & loss, relationship issues, life transitions, or attachment issues.
I am registered psychologist. My Master's degree is in couples and family counselling and I have completed adjunct training in Play Therapy, Sand Play Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). I have experience working with clients of all ages from 3 years old and up as well as families and couples. I can accommodate those who are considering online counselling. I also have a team of Therapeutic Support Counsellors who can work with you and your family in a unique way to support coping, wellbeing, and trauma symptoms. Look for more information on our website https://onetreepsychological.ca
(844) 205-0217 View (844) 205-0217

See more therapy options for Edmonton

Eating Disorders Counsellors

What happens in therapy for eating disorders?

In therapy for eating disorders, patients typically describe their eating and exercise behaviors, their patterns of eating in relation to stress, their beliefs about their body, the ways their eating behavior affects their relationships, and their desire (or lack of it) to change. Such information helps the therapist understand the origins of the disorder and the role it plays in the patient’s life, important for guiding treatment. Attitudes and feelings about food and eating, body weight, and physical appearance are common topics of discussion throughout treatment.

What therapy types help with eating disorders?

Once any acute medical or psychiatric emergency is resolved, psychoactive medication is often prescribed, requiring the supervision of a psychiatrist. In addition, patients receive some form of nutritional counseling along with one or more forms of psychotherapy. For adolescents, family-based treatment is empirically validated and considered the first line of treatment; parents and their children meet weekly with a clinician as the adults are coached on how to nourish and psychologically support the young patient. Adults typically receive some form of individual psychotherapy, intended to resolve the cognitive and behavioral disturbances that underlie the disorder and to relieve the mood disturbances that accompany it. In addition, patients may also be helped by group therapy.

What is the goal of therapy for eating disorders?

The most immediate goal of treatment for eating disorders is to save the life of people who are on a path of starving themselves to death or engaging in eating patterns that are doing irreparable physical harm to their body. Once the acute medical danger is past, therapy is required to understand the nature of the disordered eating and/or exercise patterns, establish healthy eating behavior, and to tackle the many erroneous beliefs and distorted self-perceptions that underlie eating disorders and continue to pose a threat to health and life. Therapy also addresses the impaired mood that not only accompanies eating disorders but intensifies the danger to health and life.

What are the limitations of therapy for eating disorders?

Therapy can be very helpful for eating disorders—but that can happen only after people recognize they have a condition that must be treated. Especially with anorexia, the distortions in self-image that accompany the disorder can keep people from acknowledging they have a problem. Individuals may in fact see their eating disorder as a badge of self-control. Those with binge-eating disorder may feel too ashamed to seek help. Therapy cannot help those who do not avail themselves of it.

How long does therapy last for eating disorders?

Because of their complexity, recovery from eating disorders is usually a long-term process—measured in months and years— often marked by setbacks and relapse. Some form of help, such as individual or group therapy, may be advisable for much of that time. It is a general rule of thumb that the longer the illness has endured and the dysregulated eating behavior has taken root, the longer treatment is likely to be needed.