Eating Disorders Therapists in Tucson, AZ

Photo of Julia M Ambriz, MS, LPC, Counselor
Julia M Ambriz
Counselor, MS, LPC
Verified Verified
Tucson, AZ 85712  (Online Only)
I work with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, eating disorders, body image issues, complex trauma, PTSD, grief and relationship issues.
In a world where we are constantly experiencing trauma, both directly and indirectly, it can be difficult to identify how deeply different things in life affect us. I believe that the experience of feeling understood can be the catalyst for change and something that allows for healing to begin. I aim to provide a space of healing, openness and exploration for those things that you might otherwise suppress or carry with heaviness or judgment. Together, we can heal that unresolved stuff from the past and create skills to support you through future circumstances.
I work with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, eating disorders, body image issues, complex trauma, PTSD, grief and relationship issues.
In a world where we are constantly experiencing trauma, both directly and indirectly, it can be difficult to identify how deeply different things in life affect us. I believe that the experience of feeling understood can be the catalyst for change and something that allows for healing to begin. I aim to provide a space of healing, openness and exploration for those things that you might otherwise suppress or carry with heaviness or judgment. Together, we can heal that unresolved stuff from the past and create skills to support you through future circumstances.
(520) 210-5247 View (520) 210-5247
Photo of Faith Suaso, PhD, LPC-S, Licensed Professional Counselor
Faith Suaso
Licensed Professional Counselor, PhD, LPC-S
Verified Verified
Tucson, AZ 85716
I specialize in the treatment of eating disorders and work with those dealing with various forms of disordered eating including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, ARFID, compulsive overeating, and other unspecified forms of disordered eating. If you are experiencing any problems related to disordered eating, together we will explore your needs and work towards recovery.
I specialize in the treatment of eating disorders and work with those dealing with various forms of disordered eating including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, ARFID, compulsive overeating, and other unspecified forms of disordered eating. If you are experiencing any problems related to disordered eating, together we will explore your needs and work towards recovery.
(520) 348-2359 View (520) 348-2359
Photo of Laura K Orlich, MS, MC, LPC, NCC, CEDS, Licensed Professional Counselor
Laura K Orlich
Licensed Professional Counselor, MS, MC, LPC, NCC, CEDS
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Tucson, AZ 85704
I support individuals and couples who are struggling with relationship issues, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, body image concerns, and other mood disorders to arrive at long-term, sustainable solutions. Years of experience and varied theoretical approaches address root-causes that drive your distress. In a safe, compassionate environment, you can explore your questions, concerns, fears, and goals. I devote attention, energy, expertise, humor and best recommendations to help you discover what you need to move forward. I work with English and Spanish speakers and all religions and backgrounds, including the LDS community.
I support individuals and couples who are struggling with relationship issues, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, body image concerns, and other mood disorders to arrive at long-term, sustainable solutions. Years of experience and varied theoretical approaches address root-causes that drive your distress. In a safe, compassionate environment, you can explore your questions, concerns, fears, and goals. I devote attention, energy, expertise, humor and best recommendations to help you discover what you need to move forward. I work with English and Spanish speakers and all religions and backgrounds, including the LDS community.
(520) 686-7377 View (520) 686-7377
Photo of Dr. Jodi Tudisco, DSW, LPC, MS, EMDR, TRE, Licensed Professional Counselor
Dr. Jodi Tudisco
Licensed Professional Counselor, DSW, LPC, MS, EMDR, TRE
Verified Verified
Tucson, AZ 85719  (Online Only)
As a previous Clinical Director and Trauma Therapist at a Treatment Center for Eating Disorders, I gained experience with Family Therapy, Adults, Couples and Teens.
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson. Using a holistic approach in therapy we will explore the mind, body and spirit connection. We will learn balance and build resilience through the power of self-discovery, thus improving your quality of life. Negative thought patterns and beliefs will be identified and challenged through DBT, mindfulness, and EMDR. When needed we may create healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with exercise. Cultivating your spirituality to relieve fear and nurture an attitude of gratitude and abundance is encouraged.
As a previous Clinical Director and Trauma Therapist at a Treatment Center for Eating Disorders, I gained experience with Family Therapy, Adults, Couples and Teens.
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson. Using a holistic approach in therapy we will explore the mind, body and spirit connection. We will learn balance and build resilience through the power of self-discovery, thus improving your quality of life. Negative thought patterns and beliefs will be identified and challenged through DBT, mindfulness, and EMDR. When needed we may create healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with exercise. Cultivating your spirituality to relieve fear and nurture an attitude of gratitude and abundance is encouraged.
(520) 441-8865 View (520) 441-8865
Photo of Katie Klein, MS, LISAC, Drug & Alcohol Counselor
Katie Klein
Drug & Alcohol Counselor, MS, LISAC
Verified Verified
Tucson, AZ 85704
I specialize in working with teens, adults, and families with addictions of all types, eating disorders, and body image issues. I also have vast experience working with trauma, life transitions, chronic pain, anxiety disorders, and depression in teens and adults. In addition, I like working with young adults and teens who are facing transitions into adulthood. I believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach to therapy and that healing takes place on all levels- mind, body, and spirit. Nothing has gone wrong in your life to get you to this point of reaching out- we all need help at some point and you deserve to feel better!
I specialize in working with teens, adults, and families with addictions of all types, eating disorders, and body image issues. I also have vast experience working with trauma, life transitions, chronic pain, anxiety disorders, and depression in teens and adults. In addition, I like working with young adults and teens who are facing transitions into adulthood. I believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach to therapy and that healing takes place on all levels- mind, body, and spirit. Nothing has gone wrong in your life to get you to this point of reaching out- we all need help at some point and you deserve to feel better!
(520) 210-7573 View (520) 210-7573
Photo of Jenna Jarrold, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Jenna Jarrold
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC
Verified Verified
Tucson, AZ 85715
I have many years experience working in a variety of settings, including community behavioral health, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient programs. I have worked with individuals with a range of struggles including depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, and substance abuse. I have a strong background in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT), and mindfulness, and use an integrative approach to meet the unique needs of each individual.
I have many years experience working in a variety of settings, including community behavioral health, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient programs. I have worked with individuals with a range of struggles including depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, and substance abuse. I have a strong background in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT), and mindfulness, and use an integrative approach to meet the unique needs of each individual.
(520) 523-4902 View (520) 523-4902
Photo of Jordan Stone, LPC, NCC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Jordan Stone
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, NCC
Verified Verified
Tucson, AZ 85718
I've specialized in eating disorders, body image, and disordered eating over the past few years and am now working toward my Certified Eating Disorder Specialist - CEDS - credential.
Hello! I've had the privilege to work with clients in a wide range of life stages and situations - from inpatient or residential treatment to incarceration to college campuses - I've come to find in every setting that all of us are just doing our best. My hope is to help you find that next best step to make life a little more doable. Whether it be eating disorders, trauma, spiritual/religious concerns, identity, or relationships - I'm more than willing to lend a hand (or a listening ear). I don't promise to know all the answers, but I'm more than willing to help you find the right questions to further your growth and recovery.
I've specialized in eating disorders, body image, and disordered eating over the past few years and am now working toward my Certified Eating Disorder Specialist - CEDS - credential.
Hello! I've had the privilege to work with clients in a wide range of life stages and situations - from inpatient or residential treatment to incarceration to college campuses - I've come to find in every setting that all of us are just doing our best. My hope is to help you find that next best step to make life a little more doable. Whether it be eating disorders, trauma, spiritual/religious concerns, identity, or relationships - I'm more than willing to lend a hand (or a listening ear). I don't promise to know all the answers, but I'm more than willing to help you find the right questions to further your growth and recovery.
(520) 502-7137 View (520) 502-7137
Photo of Tiffany Morgan, LPC, MS, MEd, MA, Counselor
Tiffany Morgan
Counselor, LPC, MS, MEd, MA
Verified Verified
Tucson, AZ 85712  (Online Only)
My other specialties are trauma, PTSD, eating disorders, and anxiety.
Would you like to reconnect to your authentic self? Are you fed up with doing the same things that don't work? As a therapist, I provide a safe place to become curious about experiences that burden you from enjoying your life. Do you want to stop criticizing yourself? Do you want to find relief from extreme behaviors, anxiety, and depression? Possibly you feel isolated from others or altered by a traumatic experience. I am listening. I welcome all aspects of you to be heard.
My other specialties are trauma, PTSD, eating disorders, and anxiety.
Would you like to reconnect to your authentic self? Are you fed up with doing the same things that don't work? As a therapist, I provide a safe place to become curious about experiences that burden you from enjoying your life. Do you want to stop criticizing yourself? Do you want to find relief from extreme behaviors, anxiety, and depression? Possibly you feel isolated from others or altered by a traumatic experience. I am listening. I welcome all aspects of you to be heard.
(520) 582-9313 View (520) 582-9313
Photo of Dr. Diane Fairhurst Ryan, DBH, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Dr. Diane Fairhurst Ryan
Licensed Professional Counselor, DBH, LPC
Verified Verified
Tucson, AZ 85704
Clients seek counseling for a wide and very personal variety of reasons They may be dealing with issues in their relationships or career; they may be facing life transitions or the demands of a new role, or be faced with life-impacting decisions. Alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, and ADHD may present obstacles for individuals, their partners and their friends and families, impairing connection and threatening stability. Trauma, anxiety, insomnia and physical challenges may create additional barriers.
Clients seek counseling for a wide and very personal variety of reasons They may be dealing with issues in their relationships or career; they may be facing life transitions or the demands of a new role, or be faced with life-impacting decisions. Alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, and ADHD may present obstacles for individuals, their partners and their friends and families, impairing connection and threatening stability. Trauma, anxiety, insomnia and physical challenges may create additional barriers.
(520) 214-5490 View (520) 214-5490
Photo of Erica N Walecka, MDiv, LPC, NCC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Erica N Walecka
Licensed Professional Counselor, MDiv, LPC, NCC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Tucson, AZ 85747
With specialties in trauma, eating disorders and perinatal disorders, my role is to help you tell the story of what it has meant to be you.
If you were given space to share the story of your body, how would it begin? What would that story say about love and loss, about eating and movement, about pain or trauma? Our lived experiences impact our ability to feel at home within ourselves and you may be there today. Maybe you’re feeling disconnected from yourself and others. Or you’re struggling to nourish and move your body in compassionate ways. Maybe your experiences have taught you that to connect to your internal experience would be dangerous or unsafe. Your ability to be in your body and use your voice may feel complicated, problematic, or even nonexistent.
With specialties in trauma, eating disorders and perinatal disorders, my role is to help you tell the story of what it has meant to be you.
If you were given space to share the story of your body, how would it begin? What would that story say about love and loss, about eating and movement, about pain or trauma? Our lived experiences impact our ability to feel at home within ourselves and you may be there today. Maybe you’re feeling disconnected from yourself and others. Or you’re struggling to nourish and move your body in compassionate ways. Maybe your experiences have taught you that to connect to your internal experience would be dangerous or unsafe. Your ability to be in your body and use your voice may feel complicated, problematic, or even nonexistent.
(520) 438-6117 View (520) 438-6117
Photo of Ann Claw, JD, MA, LPC, Counselor
Ann Claw
Counselor, JD, MA, LPC
Verified Verified
Tucson, AZ 85748
Specializing in Eating Disorders, Addictions, and Relationship Issues, I have been working with individuals, couples, families, and businesses for over 30 years. As a client, you will learn how to find peace inside yourself without using something or someone outside yourself to feel better. You will learn how to connect with yourself and others on a deeper and more meaningful level. You will learn how to stay instead of running, to speak instead of shutting down, to forgive instead of punishing. You will learn to see your reflection in the face of another and love what you see.
Specializing in Eating Disorders, Addictions, and Relationship Issues, I have been working with individuals, couples, families, and businesses for over 30 years. As a client, you will learn how to find peace inside yourself without using something or someone outside yourself to feel better. You will learn how to connect with yourself and others on a deeper and more meaningful level. You will learn how to stay instead of running, to speak instead of shutting down, to forgive instead of punishing. You will learn to see your reflection in the face of another and love what you see.
(520) 704-7287 View (520) 704-7287
Photo of Julie T. Anné Zeig, PhD, Psychologist
Julie T. Anné Zeig
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Tucson, AZ 85703
I have specialized in the treatment of eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia & binge eating disorder) & complex trauma since 1991.
Life should NEVER be compromised and your Self should never be left unloved. Not by others, and not by your Self. I am an internationally recognized master therapist, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine faculty and on-air psychologist (find me at Good Morning Arizona!) who brings my HOPE-filled work to those who are hurting - and those who help those who are hurt - worldwide. With a primary focus on completely healing the aftereffects of complex trauma, especially as it manifests in an unhealthy relationship with food, body and Self, as well as impacting relationships with others, I believe that everyone has the capacity to FULLY Heal.
I have specialized in the treatment of eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia & binge eating disorder) & complex trauma since 1991.
Life should NEVER be compromised and your Self should never be left unloved. Not by others, and not by your Self. I am an internationally recognized master therapist, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine faculty and on-air psychologist (find me at Good Morning Arizona!) who brings my HOPE-filled work to those who are hurting - and those who help those who are hurt - worldwide. With a primary focus on completely healing the aftereffects of complex trauma, especially as it manifests in an unhealthy relationship with food, body and Self, as well as impacting relationships with others, I believe that everyone has the capacity to FULLY Heal.
(480) 525-6734 View (480) 525-6734
Photo of Sydney Parker, LACMHC, LAC, NCC, CRC, RYT-200, Counselor
Sydney Parker
Counselor, LACMHC, LAC, NCC, CRC, RYT-200
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Tucson, AZ 85718  (Online Only)
Whether you’re dealing with an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, OSFED, or orthorexia, or navigating life transitions, mood disorders, trauma, or issues related to LGBTQIA+ identities or nonmonogamy, I'm here to help.
Are you feeling lost or overwhelmed, and not sure how to move forward? I'm here to help you navigate these challenges and discover a path to a more fulfilling life. My goal is to support you in finding healing and meaning in your everyday experiences and deeper personal growth. In our sessions, I will meet you where you are, focusing on your unique values and needs. My approach combines Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Internal Family Systems (IFS), ensuring that you are seen and heard as a whole person, not just a set of symptoms.
Whether you’re dealing with an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, OSFED, or orthorexia, or navigating life transitions, mood disorders, trauma, or issues related to LGBTQIA+ identities or nonmonogamy, I'm here to help.
Are you feeling lost or overwhelmed, and not sure how to move forward? I'm here to help you navigate these challenges and discover a path to a more fulfilling life. My goal is to support you in finding healing and meaning in your everyday experiences and deeper personal growth. In our sessions, I will meet you where you are, focusing on your unique values and needs. My approach combines Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Internal Family Systems (IFS), ensuring that you are seen and heard as a whole person, not just a set of symptoms.
(385) 425-5491 View (385) 425-5491
Photo of Dr. Brad A. MacNeil, PhD, Psychologist
Dr. Brad A. MacNeil
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
Tucson, AZ 85701  (Online Only)
Accepting new patients Spring/Summer 2024. I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with content expertise in mood and anxiety disorders, OCD, eating disorders, and PTSD. At my private telepsychology practice I provide evidence-based assessment and psychological treatment services. I hold formal certifications in cognitive and behavioral approaches to psychotherapy (Diplomate - Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy), healthcare leadership, and telepsychology.
Accepting new patients Spring/Summer 2024. I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with content expertise in mood and anxiety disorders, OCD, eating disorders, and PTSD. At my private telepsychology practice I provide evidence-based assessment and psychological treatment services. I hold formal certifications in cognitive and behavioral approaches to psychotherapy (Diplomate - Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy), healthcare leadership, and telepsychology.
(928) 852-7885 View (928) 852-7885
Photo of Isabel Ball, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Isabel Ball
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
7 Endorsed
Tucson, AZ 85718  (Online Only)
It takes courage to seek support and I celebrate the space you are making for growth in your life. I work with adults and adolescents struggling with issues such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, trauma, and/or family conflict. I have worked at all levels of care and practice in Spanish and English.
It takes courage to seek support and I celebrate the space you are making for growth in your life. I work with adults and adolescents struggling with issues such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, trauma, and/or family conflict. I have worked at all levels of care and practice in Spanish and English.
(928) 543-6794 View (928) 543-6794
Photo of Eric Benjamin Mckinley, MS, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Eric Benjamin Mckinley
Licensed Professional Counselor, MS, LPC
Verified Verified
Tucson, AZ 85719
I specialize in helping clients overcome anxiety, depression, anger, substance use, eating disorders, nightmares and sleep disturbances, stress, building self-confidence and self-compassion, PTSD, trauma, and dreamwork as it relates to recurring nightmares and dream interpretation for personal insight.
I am currently accepting new clients. I am an outside the box thinker that wants to help you see your struggles in a different light and help you be independent in working through all facets of your life and your mental health. I've worked with adults from all different lifestyles and backgrounds and I practice a person-centered approach, knowing that all people are unique beings requiring different approaches, modalities and techniques. The areas of your life that you want to grow take top priority and I want to help you with them. Your mental health is the top priority.
I specialize in helping clients overcome anxiety, depression, anger, substance use, eating disorders, nightmares and sleep disturbances, stress, building self-confidence and self-compassion, PTSD, trauma, and dreamwork as it relates to recurring nightmares and dream interpretation for personal insight.
I am currently accepting new clients. I am an outside the box thinker that wants to help you see your struggles in a different light and help you be independent in working through all facets of your life and your mental health. I've worked with adults from all different lifestyles and backgrounds and I practice a person-centered approach, knowing that all people are unique beings requiring different approaches, modalities and techniques. The areas of your life that you want to grow take top priority and I want to help you with them. Your mental health is the top priority.
(520) 376-0340 View (520) 376-0340
Photo of Kimberly M. Kotov, PhD, Psychologist
Kimberly M. Kotov
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
Tucson, AZ 85755  (Online Only)
I have over 20 years of experience working with individuals, couples, and families facing life's challenges: age and cultural transitions; relationship issues; work, school, and creativity blocks; eating disorders; sexuality and sexual orientation; infertility; and parenting. I can help you explore and overcome barriers to feeling stuck, including mourning, anxiety, anger, and low motivation. I have worked in university settings, private hospitals, and private practice. Having lived abroad for years (UK, France, Russia), I also have a deep respect for the meaning of cultural identity for all of us.
I have over 20 years of experience working with individuals, couples, and families facing life's challenges: age and cultural transitions; relationship issues; work, school, and creativity blocks; eating disorders; sexuality and sexual orientation; infertility; and parenting. I can help you explore and overcome barriers to feeling stuck, including mourning, anxiety, anger, and low motivation. I have worked in university settings, private hospitals, and private practice. Having lived abroad for years (UK, France, Russia), I also have a deep respect for the meaning of cultural identity for all of us.
(520) 867-9764 View (520) 867-9764
Photo of undefined - CalmOCD, PhD, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
CalmOCD
Licensed Professional Counselor, PhD, LPC
Verified Verified
Tucson, AZ 85704
At CalmOCD we treat individuals ages 5 and up with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Eating Disorders, Social Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Hair Pulling, Skin Picking, Agoraphobia, Phobias, and co-occurring Depression. We are currently offering in-person services in Scottsdale, and a NEW office in Tucson, AZ and telehealth services in AZ, TX, IL, NC and MN. In addition, CalmOCD provides single sessions and an intensive track for treatment (we can see someone up to 3 hours a day for however many weeks is needed). We can also do home-visits, school visits, and community based exposures.
At CalmOCD we treat individuals ages 5 and up with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Eating Disorders, Social Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Hair Pulling, Skin Picking, Agoraphobia, Phobias, and co-occurring Depression. We are currently offering in-person services in Scottsdale, and a NEW office in Tucson, AZ and telehealth services in AZ, TX, IL, NC and MN. In addition, CalmOCD provides single sessions and an intensive track for treatment (we can see someone up to 3 hours a day for however many weeks is needed). We can also do home-visits, school visits, and community based exposures.
(623) 292-7593 View (623) 292-7593
Photo of Robin Memel Fox, MA, BC-DMT, LPC, Counselor
Robin Memel Fox
Counselor, MA, BC-DMT, LPC
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Tucson, AZ 85715
Waitlist for new clients
I believe that clients are co-creators in the process. Healing and growth occurs when we are willing to share openly and work towards developing an authentic, therapeutic relationship. I have extensive experience with survivors of all types of trauma, relationship issues, domestic abuse, mood disorders, infertility issues, eating disorders, substance use, women's/men's issues & lifestyle changes. The therapeutic process will focus on helping you to re-discover & develop strengths, resiliency and coping skills. Join me as I create a safe space for you to dive into exploring the source of your current struggles and innate wisdom.
I believe that clients are co-creators in the process. Healing and growth occurs when we are willing to share openly and work towards developing an authentic, therapeutic relationship. I have extensive experience with survivors of all types of trauma, relationship issues, domestic abuse, mood disorders, infertility issues, eating disorders, substance use, women's/men's issues & lifestyle changes. The therapeutic process will focus on helping you to re-discover & develop strengths, resiliency and coping skills. Join me as I create a safe space for you to dive into exploring the source of your current struggles and innate wisdom.
(520) 332-6144 View (520) 332-6144
Photo of Vanessa Vann, LCSW, EMDR, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Vanessa Vann
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, EMDR
Verified Verified
Tucson, AZ 85742
Waitlist for new clients
Wait list! Have you found therapy unhelpful in the past? If you are looking for a change and a new approach, I can help. I have more than 20 years of experience helping individuals, couples and families overcome life's hurdles and feel fulfilled. I have a passion for helping individuals overcome PTSD, CPTSD, developmental, religious and other specific trauma. I have experience working with neurodivergent individuals, borderline, narcissistic and anti-social personalities, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, OCD, phobias, eating disorders, addiction, disassociation and chronic pain. I am passionate about LGBTQ+ and gender identity issues.
Wait list! Have you found therapy unhelpful in the past? If you are looking for a change and a new approach, I can help. I have more than 20 years of experience helping individuals, couples and families overcome life's hurdles and feel fulfilled. I have a passion for helping individuals overcome PTSD, CPTSD, developmental, religious and other specific trauma. I have experience working with neurodivergent individuals, borderline, narcissistic and anti-social personalities, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, OCD, phobias, eating disorders, addiction, disassociation and chronic pain. I am passionate about LGBTQ+ and gender identity issues.
(520) 597-8042 View (520) 597-8042

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Eating Disorders Therapists

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.