Eating Disorders Therapists in Kitchener, ON

Photo of Devyn Eadie, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) in Kitchener, ON
Devyn Eadie
Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), MACP
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Kitchener, ON N2K
Not currently accepting new clients. Do you find yourself often thinking negatively about yourself? Do you struggle with confidence and feeling good about yourself? Do you feel like your life is out of your control? Do you just need someone to talk to? Do you need help reaching your goals? If any of these questions resonate with you, we could be a good fit. I have a special interest in working with those struggling with low self-esteem, poor body image or body dysmorphia, and disordered eating or eating disorders. I also enjoy working with neurodivergent individuals as I have ADHD myself and know what that struggle can be like.
Not currently accepting new clients. Do you find yourself often thinking negatively about yourself? Do you struggle with confidence and feeling good about yourself? Do you feel like your life is out of your control? Do you just need someone to talk to? Do you need help reaching your goals? If any of these questions resonate with you, we could be a good fit. I have a special interest in working with those struggling with low self-esteem, poor body image or body dysmorphia, and disordered eating or eating disorders. I also enjoy working with neurodivergent individuals as I have ADHD myself and know what that struggle can be like.
(548) 490-0841 View (548) 490-0841
Photo of Leanne Sawchuk, Registered Psychotherapist in Kitchener, ON
Leanne Sawchuk
Registered Psychotherapist, DipTIRP, BA, RP, CTIC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Kitchener, ON N2H  (Online Only)
Life can be overwhelming at times and it often takes courage and bravery to open the door to something new and to something different. Perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed or disconnected or maybe you need to better understand and work through what is happening in your life right now. I specialize in supporting individuals with eating disorders, body image issues, anxiety and self-esteem, addictions, relationship issues, and trauma. Together we will explore what is happening for you interpersonally and relationally, while making sense of the feelings, thoughts, and behaviours that are holding you back or causing you emotional pain.
Life can be overwhelming at times and it often takes courage and bravery to open the door to something new and to something different. Perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed or disconnected or maybe you need to better understand and work through what is happening in your life right now. I specialize in supporting individuals with eating disorders, body image issues, anxiety and self-esteem, addictions, relationship issues, and trauma. Together we will explore what is happening for you interpersonally and relationally, while making sense of the feelings, thoughts, and behaviours that are holding you back or causing you emotional pain.
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Photo of Voices In Recovery- Jerilyn Hurwitz, Registered Social Worker in Kitchener, ON
Voices In Recovery- Jerilyn Hurwitz
Registered Social Worker, BA, BSW, MSW, RSW, CIEC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Kitchener, ON N2A
I provide psychotherapy to individuals struggling with eating disorders, poor body image, and low self-esteem.
Accepting NEW clients both in-person and virtually. Thank you for taking the time to visit my profile. If you are struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating, I know how alone you must feel and finding someone who truly gets where you are coming from is hard to find. I want you to know that I have been there, and am passionate about helping others along their journey, while recognizing that no two individuals are alike. I see myself as not only your therapist, but also your coach and mentor. I will always strive to provide client-centered care that is collaborative and tailored to meet your needs.
I provide psychotherapy to individuals struggling with eating disorders, poor body image, and low self-esteem.
Accepting NEW clients both in-person and virtually. Thank you for taking the time to visit my profile. If you are struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating, I know how alone you must feel and finding someone who truly gets where you are coming from is hard to find. I want you to know that I have been there, and am passionate about helping others along their journey, while recognizing that no two individuals are alike. I see myself as not only your therapist, but also your coach and mentor. I will always strive to provide client-centered care that is collaborative and tailored to meet your needs.
(226) 242-6976 View (226) 242-6976
Photo of Dana Rourke, Registered Social Worker in Kitchener, ON
Dana Rourke
Registered Social Worker, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Kitchener, ON N2H
With a background in yoga, conflict resolution/mediation, restorative justice, domestic violence, eating disorders, and holistic modalities, I bring a colourful and varied array of experiences and knowings to my therapeutic relationships.
I believe deeply in the transformative power of a non-judgemental space where all of you is welcome. In the past, you may have made the wise choice to separate from who you were to create safety. In the present, this fragmentation can give rise to anxiety, depression, disordered eating, aggression/anger, and an overall feeling of being lost and purposeless—all contributing to difficulty in everyday life. I see my role as a compassionate companion, walking along side clients on their journey back home to their authentic self, by supporting their innate capacity for growth and change.
With a background in yoga, conflict resolution/mediation, restorative justice, domestic violence, eating disorders, and holistic modalities, I bring a colourful and varied array of experiences and knowings to my therapeutic relationships.
I believe deeply in the transformative power of a non-judgemental space where all of you is welcome. In the past, you may have made the wise choice to separate from who you were to create safety. In the present, this fragmentation can give rise to anxiety, depression, disordered eating, aggression/anger, and an overall feeling of being lost and purposeless—all contributing to difficulty in everyday life. I see my role as a compassionate companion, walking along side clients on their journey back home to their authentic self, by supporting their innate capacity for growth and change.
(548) 798-0093 View (548) 798-0093
Photo of VivelaVitaTherapies, Registered Social Worker in Kitchener, ON
VivelaVitaTherapies
Registered Social Worker, BHSc, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
Kitchener, ON N2M
and I have expertise in mood, sleep and eating disorders, stress and emotion regulation and compassion fatigue.
Do you want to develop strategies to better manage the thoughts, feelings and relationships that are holding you back from a healthy and productive life? Are you struggling to find enjoyment in life, experiencing mental or physical illness, grief, and loss, stress in your job, relationships or as a caregiver or parent? There are steps you can take to improve your psychological well-being, strengthen your relationships and attachments and move towards personal healing and growth. I am here to help you break the cycle or negative thoughts, emotions and relationships and take steps to experience a more positive and fulfilling life.
and I have expertise in mood, sleep and eating disorders, stress and emotion regulation and compassion fatigue.
Do you want to develop strategies to better manage the thoughts, feelings and relationships that are holding you back from a healthy and productive life? Are you struggling to find enjoyment in life, experiencing mental or physical illness, grief, and loss, stress in your job, relationships or as a caregiver or parent? There are steps you can take to improve your psychological well-being, strengthen your relationships and attachments and move towards personal healing and growth. I am here to help you break the cycle or negative thoughts, emotions and relationships and take steps to experience a more positive and fulfilling life.
(226) 400-1912 View (226) 400-1912
Photo of Marc Blainey, Registered Psychotherapist in Kitchener, ON
Marc Blainey
Registered Psychotherapist, PhD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Kitchener, ON N2H
Marc is a cultural anthropologist, psychotherapist, and chaplain who provides professional counseling for people of all faiths and people of no faith. Marc is ready to work with you in-person or online on the challenges of being human. Having earned a Ph.D. based on anthropological fieldwork across Europe, North America, and Latin America, Marc maintains respect for different cultural ways of knowing. He compassionately helps clients identity, explore, and address some of the most difficult problems of human existence, including issues of Meaning, Grief/Loss, Mood (anxiety, depression), Addiction, Eating Disorders, and Trauma.
Marc is a cultural anthropologist, psychotherapist, and chaplain who provides professional counseling for people of all faiths and people of no faith. Marc is ready to work with you in-person or online on the challenges of being human. Having earned a Ph.D. based on anthropological fieldwork across Europe, North America, and Latin America, Marc maintains respect for different cultural ways of knowing. He compassionately helps clients identity, explore, and address some of the most difficult problems of human existence, including issues of Meaning, Grief/Loss, Mood (anxiety, depression), Addiction, Eating Disorders, and Trauma.
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Photo of W Experience Counselling and Wellness Services, Registered Social Worker in Kitchener, ON
W Experience Counselling and Wellness Services
Registered Social Worker, HBSc, BSW, MSW, RSW, PhD (c)
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Kitchener, ON N2E
Using evidenced-based therapeutic practices, we provide compassionate, empathetic support and practical strategies to address challenges including, but not limited to, addictions, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, ASD, mood disorders, trauma, school challenges, stress, life transitions, chronic illness, interpersonal conflict, and rehabilitation.
Hello! At W Experience, W can mean many things... Wellness, Worthy, Willpower and Warrior. What will W mean for you? Our therapists have over 25 years of combined experience helping adults, children, couples and families achieve wellness. Allow W Experience Counselling and Wellness Services to support you on your wellness journey. Our clinic supports children, adults, couples and families. We are registered social workers who have provided therapy in hospital inpatient and outpatient units, K-12 and post-secondary spaces, specialized children's mental health treatment centres and residential settings.
Using evidenced-based therapeutic practices, we provide compassionate, empathetic support and practical strategies to address challenges including, but not limited to, addictions, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, ASD, mood disorders, trauma, school challenges, stress, life transitions, chronic illness, interpersonal conflict, and rehabilitation.
Hello! At W Experience, W can mean many things... Wellness, Worthy, Willpower and Warrior. What will W mean for you? Our therapists have over 25 years of combined experience helping adults, children, couples and families achieve wellness. Allow W Experience Counselling and Wellness Services to support you on your wellness journey. Our clinic supports children, adults, couples and families. We are registered social workers who have provided therapy in hospital inpatient and outpatient units, K-12 and post-secondary spaces, specialized children's mental health treatment centres and residential settings.
(226) 781-7495 View (226) 781-7495
Photo of My Healing Space, Registered Social Worker in Kitchener, ON
My Healing Space
Registered Social Worker, MSW RSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Kitchener, ON N2R
Reaching out for help can be a difficult thing to do and takes courage. If you are struggling with Relationships, Mental Health, PTSD/Trauma, Depression, Anxiety, Grief, Loss, Eating Disorders, you don't have to struggle alone. Together we can work towards the best version of you and progress towards your healing goals. I am a clinical Social Worker and provide Individual, Couple and Family counselling for a wide range of concerns. Effective therapy happens when there is a relationship established between the client and the counsellor. I have many years of experience working with clients from diverse backgrounds.
Reaching out for help can be a difficult thing to do and takes courage. If you are struggling with Relationships, Mental Health, PTSD/Trauma, Depression, Anxiety, Grief, Loss, Eating Disorders, you don't have to struggle alone. Together we can work towards the best version of you and progress towards your healing goals. I am a clinical Social Worker and provide Individual, Couple and Family counselling for a wide range of concerns. Effective therapy happens when there is a relationship established between the client and the counsellor. I have many years of experience working with clients from diverse backgrounds.
(226) 894-8330 View (226) 894-8330
Photo of Leanne Wagner, Psychological Associate in Kitchener, ON
Leanne Wagner
Psychological Associate, MA, CPsych, Assoc
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Kitchener, ON N2H
I work with a variety of clients including adolescents and adults in individual as well as couples formats. My areas of interest include anxiety, communication skills, relationship difficulties, parenting, depression, self esteem issues, eating disorders, trauma, post traumatic stress, and pain.
I work with a variety of clients including adolescents and adults in individual as well as couples formats. My areas of interest include anxiety, communication skills, relationship difficulties, parenting, depression, self esteem issues, eating disorders, trauma, post traumatic stress, and pain.
(226) 777-0409 View (226) 777-0409
Photo of Pam Fanjoy, Registered Social Worker in Kitchener, ON
Pam Fanjoy
Registered Social Worker, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
Kitchener, ON N2A
Specializing in LGBTQ2S+ issues, youth, parenting, and women undergoing major life transitions, including separation/divorce, Pam is a dynamic & creative social worker with over 30 years of clinical experience. Pam is best known for her compassionate, trauma-informed work with those who want to overcome depression, anxiety, eating disorders and/or complex relationship patterns. Also a Chef, Pam is the founder of the Fanjoy Culinary Therapy Programs where she works with youth, families, seniors & mental health agencies offering alternative solutions to traditional counselling. Now offering online sessions globally
Specializing in LGBTQ2S+ issues, youth, parenting, and women undergoing major life transitions, including separation/divorce, Pam is a dynamic & creative social worker with over 30 years of clinical experience. Pam is best known for her compassionate, trauma-informed work with those who want to overcome depression, anxiety, eating disorders and/or complex relationship patterns. Also a Chef, Pam is the founder of the Fanjoy Culinary Therapy Programs where she works with youth, families, seniors & mental health agencies offering alternative solutions to traditional counselling. Now offering online sessions globally
(226) 212-5216 View (226) 212-5216
Photo of Crina Fantanaru, Registered Social Worker in Kitchener, ON
Crina Fantanaru
Registered Social Worker, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
Kitchener, ON N2A
What do you need, and what stays in the way? We can figure it all out together. With 25+ years of experience, I specialize in helping individuals heal and discover effective therapy tools. My expertise spans anxiety, depression, trauma/PTSD, addictions, relationship issues, work-related stress, grief, negative body image, and eating disorders. Also, having worked extensively with military, law enforcement, and CAS, I offer therapy for uniformed personnel, first responders, CAS workers, and their families. Additionally, I provide support for fellow therapists and mental health professionals for burnout and vicarious trauma.
What do you need, and what stays in the way? We can figure it all out together. With 25+ years of experience, I specialize in helping individuals heal and discover effective therapy tools. My expertise spans anxiety, depression, trauma/PTSD, addictions, relationship issues, work-related stress, grief, negative body image, and eating disorders. Also, having worked extensively with military, law enforcement, and CAS, I offer therapy for uniformed personnel, first responders, CAS workers, and their families. Additionally, I provide support for fellow therapists and mental health professionals for burnout and vicarious trauma.
(226) 796-6703 View (226) 796-6703
Photo of Paula Shepard, Registered Social Worker in Kitchener, ON
Paula Shepard
Registered Social Worker, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Kitchener, ON N2H  (Online Only)
Change is hard and becoming a parent is perhaps one of the most transformative life transitions of all. Each stage we go through from conception to empty nesting comes with its joys and challenges. I have experience walking alongside people as they navigate change in their lives. It is my intention to support you so you feel safe to open up and explore yourself. As I’ve learned, parenting is tough and it is common to feel lost. There is such value in creating connection with others, as well as ourselves. Change may also be embracing opportunities to focus on one's well-being and goals, in a way that brings balance.
Change is hard and becoming a parent is perhaps one of the most transformative life transitions of all. Each stage we go through from conception to empty nesting comes with its joys and challenges. I have experience walking alongside people as they navigate change in their lives. It is my intention to support you so you feel safe to open up and explore yourself. As I’ve learned, parenting is tough and it is common to feel lost. There is such value in creating connection with others, as well as ourselves. Change may also be embracing opportunities to focus on one's well-being and goals, in a way that brings balance.
(548) 490-6754 View (548) 490-6754
Photo of Andrea Lobsinger, Registered Social Worker in Kitchener, ON
Andrea Lobsinger
Registered Social Worker
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Kitchener, ON N2K  (Online Only)
I believe people are innately resilient, able to withstand adversity, bounce back from life challenges, and flourish. Being resilient does not mean you will never feel stressed, emotionally overwhelmed or suffer. Being resilient means having the courage to climb the mountain, embracing the journey of vulnerability and having the strength to heal. On the other side of this experience is self-awareness, meaningful connections with others, purpose and improved emotional and physical health.
I believe people are innately resilient, able to withstand adversity, bounce back from life challenges, and flourish. Being resilient does not mean you will never feel stressed, emotionally overwhelmed or suffer. Being resilient means having the courage to climb the mountain, embracing the journey of vulnerability and having the strength to heal. On the other side of this experience is self-awareness, meaningful connections with others, purpose and improved emotional and physical health.
(548) 488-0023 View (548) 488-0023
Photo of Krystal Kellington, Registered Social Worker in Kitchener, ON
Krystal Kellington
Registered Social Worker, MA, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Kitchener, ON N2H  (Online Only)
Feeling underwhelmed or stuck in your life? When looking at your life, do you get a sense of disappointment, sadness, or confusion, or one of purpose, motivation, and contentment? Our careers, families, friends, partners, and our own interests, can help us feel connected and content. They can also wreck emotional havoc - exposing our unmet needs and wounds, keeping us stuck in patterns that keep the misery going. In exploring the past, you can release yourself from the pitfalls of the present. You can align yourself to live a productive, purposeful, and content life.
Feeling underwhelmed or stuck in your life? When looking at your life, do you get a sense of disappointment, sadness, or confusion, or one of purpose, motivation, and contentment? Our careers, families, friends, partners, and our own interests, can help us feel connected and content. They can also wreck emotional havoc - exposing our unmet needs and wounds, keeping us stuck in patterns that keep the misery going. In exploring the past, you can release yourself from the pitfalls of the present. You can align yourself to live a productive, purposeful, and content life.
(226) 241-8376 View (226) 241-8376
Photo of Rooted Thistle Counselling, Registered Social Worker in Kitchener, ON
Rooted Thistle Counselling
Registered Social Worker, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
Kitchener, ON N2H  (Online Only)
Do you feel overwhelmed since becoming a mom or dad? Putting everyone else's needs before your own can make you feel lost. Balancing family life with work, friendships, and things you enjoy is tough. Learn new strategies to manage the mental load and reconnect with yourself. I offer individual counselling to people experiencing anxiety, depression, burnout, interpersonal conflict, and more. Together we can identify your goals and come up with a plan to support you in whatever stage of life you are in. If you have been putting yourself on the back burner now is a great time to reach out. What are you waiting for?
Do you feel overwhelmed since becoming a mom or dad? Putting everyone else's needs before your own can make you feel lost. Balancing family life with work, friendships, and things you enjoy is tough. Learn new strategies to manage the mental load and reconnect with yourself. I offer individual counselling to people experiencing anxiety, depression, burnout, interpersonal conflict, and more. Together we can identify your goals and come up with a plan to support you in whatever stage of life you are in. If you have been putting yourself on the back burner now is a great time to reach out. What are you waiting for?
(226) 400-8910 View (226) 400-8910
Photo of Sandra Tocitu, Registered Social Worker in Kitchener, ON
Sandra Tocitu
Registered Social Worker, BSc, BSW, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Kitchener, ON N2C
Hello and welcome to my page. Clients often seek me out for help with their anxiety, depression, trauma, social anxiety, panic, family and parenting difficulties, pre-natal and post-partum challenges, domestic violence, addictions, relationship issues and motor vehicle rehabilitation therapy. I have over 10 years experience supporting children and adults in complex mental health and challenging family circumstances. I am certified in Circle of Security Parenting, I provide EMDR Therapy to youth and adults, and i am a member of the Arizona Trauma Institute.
Hello and welcome to my page. Clients often seek me out for help with their anxiety, depression, trauma, social anxiety, panic, family and parenting difficulties, pre-natal and post-partum challenges, domestic violence, addictions, relationship issues and motor vehicle rehabilitation therapy. I have over 10 years experience supporting children and adults in complex mental health and challenging family circumstances. I am certified in Circle of Security Parenting, I provide EMDR Therapy to youth and adults, and i am a member of the Arizona Trauma Institute.
(548) 490-8665 View (548) 490-8665
Photo of Jenna Matisz, Registered Social Worker in Kitchener, ON
Jenna Matisz
Registered Social Worker, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
8 Endorsed
Kitchener, ON N2M
Waitlist for new clients
Have you ever been told that you worry too much? That you get stressed out too easily? That you’re too hard on yourself? Have you ever wondered why you need to constantly feel in control? Why you always think the worst is about to happen? Do you feel like your brain is constantly running and never quiets down? Do you have difficulty just relaxing and being present? Do you have a hard time trusting yourself? Do you often feel overwhelmed by fear, guilt, or self-doubt? Do you ever wish you could feel more confident? Or go with the flow a bit more? Or just turn your brain off for a little while?
Have you ever been told that you worry too much? That you get stressed out too easily? That you’re too hard on yourself? Have you ever wondered why you need to constantly feel in control? Why you always think the worst is about to happen? Do you feel like your brain is constantly running and never quiets down? Do you have difficulty just relaxing and being present? Do you have a hard time trusting yourself? Do you often feel overwhelmed by fear, guilt, or self-doubt? Do you ever wish you could feel more confident? Or go with the flow a bit more? Or just turn your brain off for a little while?
(548) 490-2606 View (548) 490-2606
Photo of Shelley Restall, Registered Social Worker in Kitchener, ON
Shelley Restall
Registered Social Worker, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Kitchener, ON N2H
I help anxious, perfectionistic, and highly sensitive people shift their relationship with their body to feel grounded and confident. You feel exhausted as your mind and body remind you each moment of every day of being consumed with worry. Not understood by those closest to you, is overwhelmingly dreadful. You may have an idea when this started, or maybe it came suddenly and you aren't sure why. It’s here and feels fierce as it has taken over your life. You are trapped in your mind, ruminating about what has happened, while you wish it was different. You're left feeling "stuck", the old patterns of life aren’t helping you now.
I help anxious, perfectionistic, and highly sensitive people shift their relationship with their body to feel grounded and confident. You feel exhausted as your mind and body remind you each moment of every day of being consumed with worry. Not understood by those closest to you, is overwhelmingly dreadful. You may have an idea when this started, or maybe it came suddenly and you aren't sure why. It’s here and feels fierce as it has taken over your life. You are trapped in your mind, ruminating about what has happened, while you wish it was different. You're left feeling "stuck", the old patterns of life aren’t helping you now.
(226) 778-5349 View (226) 778-5349
Photo of Amy Smith, Registered Psychotherapist in Kitchener, ON
Amy Smith
Registered Psychotherapist, BSc, MA
Verified Verified
Kitchener, ON N2E
Have you exhausted yourself trying to find a way out of your anxiety, depression, or eating disorder, only to find that you continue to struggle? Are you looking to make genuine and lasting change but haven't found a "how" that works for you? Getting better is not meant to be so complicated. I guide you through a healing process that does not rely on using willpower, difficult techniques or superficial quick fixes. Having gone through this process myself, I am compassionate to your struggle.
Have you exhausted yourself trying to find a way out of your anxiety, depression, or eating disorder, only to find that you continue to struggle? Are you looking to make genuine and lasting change but haven't found a "how" that works for you? Getting better is not meant to be so complicated. I guide you through a healing process that does not rely on using willpower, difficult techniques or superficial quick fixes. Having gone through this process myself, I am compassionate to your struggle.
(844) 332-2873 View (844) 332-2873
Photo of Skye McCrindle, Registered Social Worker in Kitchener, ON
Skye McCrindle
Registered Social Worker, BSW, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Kitchener, ON N2H  (Online Only)
Body Image and Binge Eating Disorder Specialist. You’re tired of hating your body and feeling out of control around food. Avoiding mirrors and photos, eating in secret, and dreading clothes shopping are all too familiar to you. You are overwhelmed by the pressure to look and eat a certain way and lose weight, and you are exhausted by trying to measure up. You feel judged by others, and you are frustrated and defeated by dieting. You want to feel at peace with your body and freedom around food. If you are ready to improve your relationship with your body and yourself, you’re in the right place.
Body Image and Binge Eating Disorder Specialist. You’re tired of hating your body and feeling out of control around food. Avoiding mirrors and photos, eating in secret, and dreading clothes shopping are all too familiar to you. You are overwhelmed by the pressure to look and eat a certain way and lose weight, and you are exhausted by trying to measure up. You feel judged by others, and you are frustrated and defeated by dieting. You want to feel at peace with your body and freedom around food. If you are ready to improve your relationship with your body and yourself, you’re in the right place.
(289) 778-0387 View (289) 778-0387

See more therapy options for Kitchener


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.