Eating Disorders Counselling in Bristol

Photo of Maria Brooks, Psychotherapist in Bristol, England
Maria Brooks
Psychotherapist, PNCPS Acc.
Verified Verified
Bristol BS8
This experience includes working with bereavement and loss, trauma, sexual abuse, addictions, dual diagnosis, eating disorders, self-harming behaviour, relationship problems, depression and anxiety.
If you are looking for therapy in Bristol then I can help. Life can be complicated and sometimes we need support to make changes and improve the quality of our lives. Entering into counselling or psychotherapy can be one of the hardest but bravest decisions you can make for yourself. I am an Integrative Psychotherapist, Trauma, Eating Disorder and Addiction Specialist. As well as ‘talking therapy’ and 'somatic (body) work' I incorporate eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy into my practice. To treat a range of psychological issues including complex trauma and attachment issues.
This experience includes working with bereavement and loss, trauma, sexual abuse, addictions, dual diagnosis, eating disorders, self-harming behaviour, relationship problems, depression and anxiety.
If you are looking for therapy in Bristol then I can help. Life can be complicated and sometimes we need support to make changes and improve the quality of our lives. Entering into counselling or psychotherapy can be one of the hardest but bravest decisions you can make for yourself. I am an Integrative Psychotherapist, Trauma, Eating Disorder and Addiction Specialist. As well as ‘talking therapy’ and 'somatic (body) work' I incorporate eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy into my practice. To treat a range of psychological issues including complex trauma and attachment issues.
0117 456 2425 View 0117 456 2425
Photo of Deborah Louise Creed, Psychotherapist in Bristol, England
Deborah Louise Creed
Psychotherapist, MA, MUKCP
Verified Verified
Bristol BS6
Deborah Creed is a UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy) and AFT (Association of Family Therapy) accredited systemic psychotherapist with over ten years experience working with children, adolescents, and adults.

She has a wealth of experience working with problems such as anxiety, behaviour, eating disorders, sleep, social anxiety, bullying, or school-related problems. Deborah has worked with many clients affected by separation, divorce, trauma, or couples wanting to reconnect. Deborah offers a bespoke service to meet the needs of the client. This is a private practice. It is a highly successful and discreet place to talk
Deborah Creed is a UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy) and AFT (Association of Family Therapy) accredited systemic psychotherapist with over ten years experience working with children, adolescents, and adults.

She has a wealth of experience working with problems such as anxiety, behaviour, eating disorders, sleep, social anxiety, bullying, or school-related problems. Deborah has worked with many clients affected by separation, divorce, trauma, or couples wanting to reconnect. Deborah offers a bespoke service to meet the needs of the client. This is a private practice. It is a highly successful and discreet place to talk
07576 088328 View 07576 088328
Photo of Lucy Perkins Counselling, Counsellor in Bristol, England
Lucy Perkins Counselling
Counsellor, MNCPS Acc.
Verified Verified
Bristol BS8
I have an extensive background working with both eating disorders and gender identity and I am a proud ally of the LGBTQIA+ community.
A very warm welcome to you. I work with a person centred approach, ensuring our sessions feel right for you as a unique individual. My style of counselling is non-directive, relaxed and inclusive, which means our work together is designed around what you want and need. The work is supportive and respectful as we go at your pace and my aim is to get alongside you on your path, helping you explore your world to find understanding, clarity or solution. Sessions are centered around you and how you experience yourself and the world around you. You are free to come as you are and be accepted, as you are.
I have an extensive background working with both eating disorders and gender identity and I am a proud ally of the LGBTQIA+ community.
A very warm welcome to you. I work with a person centred approach, ensuring our sessions feel right for you as a unique individual. My style of counselling is non-directive, relaxed and inclusive, which means our work together is designed around what you want and need. The work is supportive and respectful as we go at your pace and my aim is to get alongside you on your path, helping you explore your world to find understanding, clarity or solution. Sessions are centered around you and how you experience yourself and the world around you. You are free to come as you are and be accepted, as you are.
01392 690513 View 01392 690513
Photo of Pascale Palazzo, Counsellor in Bristol, England
Pascale Palazzo
Counsellor, MBACP Accred
Verified Verified
Bristol BS1  (Online Only)
Are you struggling with body image and food or compensatory behaviours and in need of some support? I am an accredited integrative therapist and clinical supervisor specialising in eating disorders; specifically, bulimia, binge eating disorder and anorexia. My aim is to support you in overcoming these stressful symptoms that negatively impact your health and well-being. I offer emotional exploration and practical guidance to help you improve your relationship with food and with yourself, improve your body image and self-esteem, and move past your symptoms toward your life aspirations. My fee is £65 per session, concessions available
Are you struggling with body image and food or compensatory behaviours and in need of some support? I am an accredited integrative therapist and clinical supervisor specialising in eating disorders; specifically, bulimia, binge eating disorder and anorexia. My aim is to support you in overcoming these stressful symptoms that negatively impact your health and well-being. I offer emotional exploration and practical guidance to help you improve your relationship with food and with yourself, improve your body image and self-esteem, and move past your symptoms toward your life aspirations. My fee is £65 per session, concessions available
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Photo of Dr Elene Robson, Psychologist in Bristol, England
Dr Elene Robson
Psychologist, HCPC - Clin. Psych.
Verified Verified
Bristol BS1  (Online Only)
I can support you and your loved ones to overcome a wide range of difficulties, with particular expertise in working with: anxiety, eating disorders, depression and low mood, neurodiversity (Autism and ADHD), and physical health conditions.
I have over 20 years of experience working in the NHS, specialising in child and adolescent mental health. This has allowed me to gain extensive experience in working with children, adolescents, young adults, siblings and parents to overcome a wide range of psychological, emotional and behavioural difficulties.
I can support you and your loved ones to overcome a wide range of difficulties, with particular expertise in working with: anxiety, eating disorders, depression and low mood, neurodiversity (Autism and ADHD), and physical health conditions.
I have over 20 years of experience working in the NHS, specialising in child and adolescent mental health. This has allowed me to gain extensive experience in working with children, adolescents, young adults, siblings and parents to overcome a wide range of psychological, emotional and behavioural difficulties.
01803 308929 View 01803 308929
Photo of Simone Harding, Psychotherapist in Bristol, England
Simone Harding
Psychotherapist, MSc, MBACP
Verified Verified
Bristol BS8
Waitlist for new clients
My specialities are relational trauma, body, c-ptsd, eating, relationships and eating disorders.
Are you looking for the kind of therapy that explores relational trauma and how this is embodied, and affects our relationships with others, food, body and self? If you've found yourself querying your childhood, or wondering why you can't seem to feel ok, or why your relationships seem dissatisfying, or why you feel like you are not able to care for yourself or cope well, come on in. This is a queer friendly space and politically liberatory practice.
My specialities are relational trauma, body, c-ptsd, eating, relationships and eating disorders.
Are you looking for the kind of therapy that explores relational trauma and how this is embodied, and affects our relationships with others, food, body and self? If you've found yourself querying your childhood, or wondering why you can't seem to feel ok, or why your relationships seem dissatisfying, or why you feel like you are not able to care for yourself or cope well, come on in. This is a queer friendly space and politically liberatory practice.
07723 497599 View 07723 497599
Photo of Toby Messer, Counsellor in Bristol, England
Toby Messer
Counsellor, MNCPS Acc.
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Bristol BS4  (Online Only)
I am a clinical psychotherapist specialising in multiple approaches including trauma therapy. I am an accredited member of the NCPS register. I currently work internationally online operating from a range of modalities including CBT, REBT and CAT and hold a integrative approach. As a therapist I have clinical experience working with adults with a range of issues including Trauma, attachment injuries, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, gaming addictions, substance misuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence.
I am a clinical psychotherapist specialising in multiple approaches including trauma therapy. I am an accredited member of the NCPS register. I currently work internationally online operating from a range of modalities including CBT, REBT and CAT and hold a integrative approach. As a therapist I have clinical experience working with adults with a range of issues including Trauma, attachment injuries, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, gaming addictions, substance misuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence.
01446 501258 View 01446 501258
Photo of Martin Conway Counselling, Counsellor in Bristol, England
Martin Conway Counselling
Counsellor, MSc, BACP
Verified Verified
Bristol BS3
I offer counselling in Bristol and online for individuals and couples experiencing a range of issues. I completed my Level 6 Diploma with merit and MSc in Psychology with commendation. I have worked in placements at an addiction clinic and the Wellbeing Service at the University of West of England and I have 1500+ hours of therapy experience. My experience includes (but is not limited to) stress, anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, relationship difficulties, long-term illness and self-esteem.
I offer counselling in Bristol and online for individuals and couples experiencing a range of issues. I completed my Level 6 Diploma with merit and MSc in Psychology with commendation. I have worked in placements at an addiction clinic and the Wellbeing Service at the University of West of England and I have 1500+ hours of therapy experience. My experience includes (but is not limited to) stress, anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, relationship difficulties, long-term illness and self-esteem.
01275 408902 View 01275 408902
Photo of The Rose May Practice - Sarah Davies , Psychotherapist in Bristol, England
The Rose May Practice - Sarah Davies
Psychotherapist, MNCPS Acc.
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Bristol BS5  (Online Only)
As a therapist I have clinical experience working with adolescents and adults with a range of issues including Trauma, attachment injuries, anxiety, depression, looked after children, county lines, FGM, CSE, CCE, Child on Child abuse, eating disorders, gaming addictions, substance misuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence.
I am a clinical psychotherapist specialising in EMDR Trauma therapy. I am an accredited member of the NCPS, NCYPT & EMDRIA register. I currently work internationally online operating from a range of modalities including IFS (informed) as a member of the IFS Online Circle in an integrative approach.
As a therapist I have clinical experience working with adolescents and adults with a range of issues including Trauma, attachment injuries, anxiety, depression, looked after children, county lines, FGM, CSE, CCE, Child on Child abuse, eating disorders, gaming addictions, substance misuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence.
I am a clinical psychotherapist specialising in EMDR Trauma therapy. I am an accredited member of the NCPS, NCYPT & EMDRIA register. I currently work internationally online operating from a range of modalities including IFS (informed) as a member of the IFS Online Circle in an integrative approach.
0117 463 3666 View 0117 463 3666
Photo of Joey Jenkins, Psychotherapist in Bristol, England
Joey Jenkins
Psychotherapist, MA, MBACP
Verified Verified
Bristol BS1
I am an accredited BACP counsellor who is in the process of seeking accreditation as a psychotherapist. I have over 700 hours of clinical experience and work part time for a charity specialising in eating disorders, which works with the NHS. As well as that I am in private practice and work with a range of mental health issues. If you have happened upon this then you might have been struggling with something life has thrown at you, or you are simply feeling distress for seemingly no apparent reason. I’m sorry if this is the case. But you have taken an important step towards asking for help, which is commendable as well as daunting.
I am an accredited BACP counsellor who is in the process of seeking accreditation as a psychotherapist. I have over 700 hours of clinical experience and work part time for a charity specialising in eating disorders, which works with the NHS. As well as that I am in private practice and work with a range of mental health issues. If you have happened upon this then you might have been struggling with something life has thrown at you, or you are simply feeling distress for seemingly no apparent reason. I’m sorry if this is the case. But you have taken an important step towards asking for help, which is commendable as well as daunting.
0117 463 4580 View 0117 463 4580
Photo of Fiona Clare Hayden, Counsellor in Bristol, England
Fiona Clare Hayden
Counsellor, DCounsPsych, MBACP
Verified Verified
Bristol BS16
I have been a counsellor for nearly ten years and within that time I have an extensive knowledge of most difficulties. I initially trained on placement for 2 years alongside my diploma within the Swan Project they specialise in Addiction and Trauma. I have successfully worked with many clients but not limited to Addiction, Trauma, ADHD, Autism, LGBTQIA, Childhood sex abuse, Childhood neglect, Domestic violence, Rape, PTSD and Eating disorders. I particularly enjoy working with neurodiversity including teenagers as I have my own personal journey and I feel this helps add an extra layer of empathy and understanding.
I have been a counsellor for nearly ten years and within that time I have an extensive knowledge of most difficulties. I initially trained on placement for 2 years alongside my diploma within the Swan Project they specialise in Addiction and Trauma. I have successfully worked with many clients but not limited to Addiction, Trauma, ADHD, Autism, LGBTQIA, Childhood sex abuse, Childhood neglect, Domestic violence, Rape, PTSD and Eating disorders. I particularly enjoy working with neurodiversity including teenagers as I have my own personal journey and I feel this helps add an extra layer of empathy and understanding.
07938 763578 View 07938 763578
Photo of Natasha Menoni: ADHD & Autism Specialist, Psychologist in Bristol, England
Natasha Menoni: ADHD & Autism Specialist
Psychologist, MSc, HCPC - Couns. Psych.
Verified Verified
Bristol BS1  (Online Only)
My expertise acknowledges challenges neurodivergent individuals may encounter including: anxiety, social anxiety, depression, addiction, anger management, autistic burnout, OCD, motivation challenges, low self esteem, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, trauma.
I am an HCPC registered Counselling Psychologist dedicated to serving adults who have been diagnosed or believe they might have Autism and/or ADHD. I invite you to work together on a therapeutic journey especially catered to your goals and needs. We can work together to identify and make the most out of your own unique strengths, establish robust coping strategies, and build self-awareness to develop a greater understanding of yourself so you can live a more fulfilling life.
My expertise acknowledges challenges neurodivergent individuals may encounter including: anxiety, social anxiety, depression, addiction, anger management, autistic burnout, OCD, motivation challenges, low self esteem, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, trauma.
I am an HCPC registered Counselling Psychologist dedicated to serving adults who have been diagnosed or believe they might have Autism and/or ADHD. I invite you to work together on a therapeutic journey especially catered to your goals and needs. We can work together to identify and make the most out of your own unique strengths, establish robust coping strategies, and build self-awareness to develop a greater understanding of yourself so you can live a more fulfilling life.
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Photo of The Child Psychiatric & Psychological Consultants, Psychotherapist in Bristol, England
The Child Psychiatric & Psychological Consultants
Psychotherapist, PsychD, ACP
Verified Verified
Bristol BS1
We provide medical psychiatric & psychological assessment, diagnosis, treatment for Autism, ADHD, anxiety, depression, gender dysmorphia, eating disorders, tic disorders, mood disorders, PTSD, trauma, self-harm, psychotic disorders and emotional dysregulation and more. We have over 20 years’ experience working in various CAMHS mental health settings with extensive experience and knowledge. The service is clinically led by a consultant child psychiatrist and a consultant child & adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapist who both trained in the NHS who have provided clinical leadership for services.
We provide medical psychiatric & psychological assessment, diagnosis, treatment for Autism, ADHD, anxiety, depression, gender dysmorphia, eating disorders, tic disorders, mood disorders, PTSD, trauma, self-harm, psychotic disorders and emotional dysregulation and more. We have over 20 years’ experience working in various CAMHS mental health settings with extensive experience and knowledge. The service is clinically led by a consultant child psychiatrist and a consultant child & adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapist who both trained in the NHS who have provided clinical leadership for services.
01452 687104 View 01452 687104
Photo of Duncan Moss, Psychotherapist in Bristol, England
Duncan Moss
Psychotherapist, MBABCP
Verified Verified
Bristol BS1
I can help with a wide range of anxiety and mood difficulties helping to bring about understanding and positive change. This includes depression, low esteem, panic, phobias (spiders, animals, storms, heights, emetophobia etc), social anxiety, OCD (which includes ERP), BDD, eating disorders, health anxiety, GAD (worry), PTSD/trauma, driving anxiety, insomnia and anger/temper. I offer appointments 10am -4pm Monday to Thursday.
I can help with a wide range of anxiety and mood difficulties helping to bring about understanding and positive change. This includes depression, low esteem, panic, phobias (spiders, animals, storms, heights, emetophobia etc), social anxiety, OCD (which includes ERP), BDD, eating disorders, health anxiety, GAD (worry), PTSD/trauma, driving anxiety, insomnia and anger/temper. I offer appointments 10am -4pm Monday to Thursday.
07815 563832 View 07815 563832
Photo of Melissa Steyn, Counsellor in Bristol, England
Melissa Steyn
Counsellor, DCounsPsych, MNCPS Acc.
Verified Verified
Bristol BS1  (Online Only)
I have experience in working with eating disorders, ADHD, autism, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Bipolar Disorder, addictions, self-abuse, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, bullying, social anxiety, grief and loss, bullying, childhood sexual abuse, narcissistic abuse, domestic abuse and rape.
I work from a Humanistic stance and integrate the following approaches: Person-centred Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Gestalt, Existential Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Polyvagal Theory, Mindfulness Meditation, Motivational Interviewing, Solution Focused Approach, Inner Child Healing, Creative Therapies and Compassionate Mind Training. Moreover, I work holistically thus exploring the mind-body connection; alongside helping clients to gain a better understanding of the automatic nervous system (ANS) and more importantly to learn how to regulate their nervous system.
I have experience in working with eating disorders, ADHD, autism, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Bipolar Disorder, addictions, self-abuse, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, bullying, social anxiety, grief and loss, bullying, childhood sexual abuse, narcissistic abuse, domestic abuse and rape.
I work from a Humanistic stance and integrate the following approaches: Person-centred Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Gestalt, Existential Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Polyvagal Theory, Mindfulness Meditation, Motivational Interviewing, Solution Focused Approach, Inner Child Healing, Creative Therapies and Compassionate Mind Training. Moreover, I work holistically thus exploring the mind-body connection; alongside helping clients to gain a better understanding of the automatic nervous system (ANS) and more importantly to learn how to regulate their nervous system.
01642 065522 View 01642 065522
Photo of Alison Fraser, Psychotherapist in Bristol, England
Alison Fraser
Psychotherapist, MSc, MBACP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Bristol BS8  (Online Only)
I have 30 years experience giving counselling, I’ve been a specialist NHS eating disorders therapist, addictions therapist, CAMHS therapist, Adult mental health clinician and counselling manager. I’m neurodivergant informed and developing a government counselling service for Special schools. There are many reasons why people come to counselling, we all struggle at times and may experience anxiety, low mood, loss or find life harder to cope with. It’s scary to ask for support, I understand this, I grew up in a family with complex needs and this experience is the compassionate basis for my work, bringing a deep understanding.
I have 30 years experience giving counselling, I’ve been a specialist NHS eating disorders therapist, addictions therapist, CAMHS therapist, Adult mental health clinician and counselling manager. I’m neurodivergant informed and developing a government counselling service for Special schools. There are many reasons why people come to counselling, we all struggle at times and may experience anxiety, low mood, loss or find life harder to cope with. It’s scary to ask for support, I understand this, I grew up in a family with complex needs and this experience is the compassionate basis for my work, bringing a deep understanding.
0131 381 1852 View 0131 381 1852
Photo of Sarah Smith, Psychotherapist in Bristol, England
Sarah Smith
Psychotherapist, MSc, MUKCP
Verified Verified
Bristol BS1
Perhaps you are struggling to communicate your needs within a particular relationship in your life; or feel “stuck” in repetitive communication patterns with others. Perhaps you have been struggling with your own mental health, and are noticing how this is impacted by, and impacts upon your position in certain close relationships. As an individual, couple, or family, I can explore with you different ways of understanding and communicating about those things which may be troubling you. I believe that therapy can help us to tap into our own resources and solutions to problems which maybe feel more difficult to discover alone.
Perhaps you are struggling to communicate your needs within a particular relationship in your life; or feel “stuck” in repetitive communication patterns with others. Perhaps you have been struggling with your own mental health, and are noticing how this is impacted by, and impacts upon your position in certain close relationships. As an individual, couple, or family, I can explore with you different ways of understanding and communicating about those things which may be troubling you. I believe that therapy can help us to tap into our own resources and solutions to problems which maybe feel more difficult to discover alone.
01275 408843 View 01275 408843
Photo of Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Psychotherapist in Bristol, England
Stress, Anxiety, Depression
Psychotherapist, MA, MBACP Accred
Verified Verified
Bristol BS4
Need help with finding your excitement for life again? I want to help you feel less stressed and rediscover what makes you happy. I offer remote counselling services both online and by telephone, as well as 1 to 1 psychotherapy sessions in Bristol, BS4. Over 20 years as a qualified Psychotherapist providing counselling to help improve mental health in Bristol (and the UK):  Learn how to deal with & reduce levels of anxiety, so that you can feel happier just being yourself Deal with depression to start enjoying life again Improve your relationships so that they enrich your life.
Need help with finding your excitement for life again? I want to help you feel less stressed and rediscover what makes you happy. I offer remote counselling services both online and by telephone, as well as 1 to 1 psychotherapy sessions in Bristol, BS4. Over 20 years as a qualified Psychotherapist providing counselling to help improve mental health in Bristol (and the UK):  Learn how to deal with & reduce levels of anxiety, so that you can feel happier just being yourself Deal with depression to start enjoying life again Improve your relationships so that they enrich your life.
0117 456 2134 View 0117 456 2134
Photo of Aurelia Sleigh, Counsellor in Bristol, England
Aurelia Sleigh
Counsellor, BACP
Verified Verified
Bristol BS49  (Online Only)
We are currently living in a really unprecedented, uncertain and confusing time. Anxiety can rise, health anxiety feels very real, we can feel confused and lonely wondering how can we reach out and feel less alone, along with feeling listened to and supported. At the moment, every day there are new messages from the media, social media, and even the Government, which can feel overwhelming. Being able to sit with the unknown, the uncertainty of what will and is happening can feel really challenging.
We are currently living in a really unprecedented, uncertain and confusing time. Anxiety can rise, health anxiety feels very real, we can feel confused and lonely wondering how can we reach out and feel less alone, along with feeling listened to and supported. At the moment, every day there are new messages from the media, social media, and even the Government, which can feel overwhelming. Being able to sit with the unknown, the uncertainty of what will and is happening can feel really challenging.
07411 113466 View 07411 113466
Photo of Ruth Taylor, Counsellor in Bristol, England
Ruth Taylor
Counsellor, DCounsPsych, MBACP
Verified Verified
Bristol BS9
Experiences in life can sometimes prevent us from living our life as fully as we would like to or in the way we wish. Anxiety, depression and other issues can leave us feeling confused and stuck, unable to move forward and take charge of our lives. ​ I offer one-one counselling in a private, confidential and safe space. This can help you explore and understand your experiences, your feelings and your thoughts. It can help you consider and deal with the dilemmas and decisions you face and it can help you understand your patterns, to see new perspectives for your future and to regain the confidence to make the changes you want to. ​
Experiences in life can sometimes prevent us from living our life as fully as we would like to or in the way we wish. Anxiety, depression and other issues can leave us feeling confused and stuck, unable to move forward and take charge of our lives. ​ I offer one-one counselling in a private, confidential and safe space. This can help you explore and understand your experiences, your feelings and your thoughts. It can help you consider and deal with the dilemmas and decisions you face and it can help you understand your patterns, to see new perspectives for your future and to regain the confidence to make the changes you want to. ​
0117 456 2423 View 0117 456 2423

See more therapy options for Bristol

Eating Disorders Counsellors

What happens in therapy for eating disorders?

In therapy for eating disorders, patients typically describe their eating and exercise behaviours, their patterns of eating in relation to stress, their beliefs about their body, the ways their eating behaviour 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 counselling 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 behavioural 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 behaviour, 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 recognise 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 behaviour has taken root, the longer treatment is likely to be needed.