Eating Disorders Therapists in Los Angeles, CA

Jack Nelson Soll
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, MFT
Verified Verified
Los Angeles, CA 90049
I've worked with eating disorders for 30+ years, but my forte and first professional love is working with compulsive overeaters.
With 30 years experience, I bring an empathic, compassionate & affirming energy to my work & to my clients. I work well with both adult men & women of all ages, especially those willing to 'do the work' needed to grow, thrive, introspect and lead lives of happiness, empowerment, joy, fulfillment & freedom. I've been blessed w/ many miracles on my life's journey & eagerly desire to assist seekers in experiencing and creating their own miracles. I believe in the inherent good & deserving nature of clients & desire to have them work on, out & through the issues which have limited or impaired their lives!
I've worked with eating disorders for 30+ years, but my forte and first professional love is working with compulsive overeaters.
With 30 years experience, I bring an empathic, compassionate & affirming energy to my work & to my clients. I work well with both adult men & women of all ages, especially those willing to 'do the work' needed to grow, thrive, introspect and lead lives of happiness, empowerment, joy, fulfillment & freedom. I've been blessed w/ many miracles on my life's journey & eagerly desire to assist seekers in experiencing and creating their own miracles. I believe in the inherent good & deserving nature of clients & desire to have them work on, out & through the issues which have limited or impaired their lives!
(310) 910-9253 View (310) 910-9253
Photo of Dr. Tanya Hope Peters, Psychologist in Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Tanya Hope Peters
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
Los Angeles, CA 90049
I appreciate your interest in psychotherapy and commend your effort in finding a therapist. It is an important step to take towards feeling better. I am a clinical psychologist with several years of experience working with adolescents, adults, and families. I have worked with people who have experienced trauma, depression, eating disorders, addiction, anxiety, loss, and life transitions. I work collaboratively with my clients, and am supportive and dedicated to their increased well being. My approach to therapy is to be genuine, open and honest, supportive, and curious.
I appreciate your interest in psychotherapy and commend your effort in finding a therapist. It is an important step to take towards feeling better. I am a clinical psychologist with several years of experience working with adolescents, adults, and families. I have worked with people who have experienced trauma, depression, eating disorders, addiction, anxiety, loss, and life transitions. I work collaboratively with my clients, and am supportive and dedicated to their increased well being. My approach to therapy is to be genuine, open and honest, supportive, and curious.
(310) 997-2527 View (310) 997-2527
Photo of Kenda Price, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
Kenda Price
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Los Angeles, CA 90026
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in trauma and eating disorders. Together, we will work to build insight and self-compassion in order to help you heal from whatever brings you to therapy, let it be to work through trauma, address maladaptive coping skills, overcome perfectionism, or just feel better in your own skin. As a therapist, I am both direct and compassionate and pride myself on showing up authentically as a human. My priority is creating a trusting and safe therapeutic relationship that can serve as a container for you to get to know all parts of yourself - even (/especially) the messy parts.
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in trauma and eating disorders. Together, we will work to build insight and self-compassion in order to help you heal from whatever brings you to therapy, let it be to work through trauma, address maladaptive coping skills, overcome perfectionism, or just feel better in your own skin. As a therapist, I am both direct and compassionate and pride myself on showing up authentically as a human. My priority is creating a trusting and safe therapeutic relationship that can serve as a container for you to get to know all parts of yourself - even (/especially) the messy parts.
(323) 831-7844 View (323) 831-7844
Photo of Tanya Hope Peters, Psychologist in Los Angeles, CA
Tanya Hope Peters
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
Los Angeles, CA 90049
I appreciate your interest in psychotherapy and commend your effort in finding a therapist. It is an important step to take towards feeling better. I am a clinical psychologist with several years of experience working with adolescents, adults, and families. I have worked with people who have experienced trauma, depression, eating disorders, addiction, anxiety, loss, and life transitions. I work collaboratively with my clients, and am supportive and dedicated to their increased well being. My approach to therapy is to be genuine, open and honest, supportive, and curious.
I appreciate your interest in psychotherapy and commend your effort in finding a therapist. It is an important step to take towards feeling better. I am a clinical psychologist with several years of experience working with adolescents, adults, and families. I have worked with people who have experienced trauma, depression, eating disorders, addiction, anxiety, loss, and life transitions. I work collaboratively with my clients, and am supportive and dedicated to their increased well being. My approach to therapy is to be genuine, open and honest, supportive, and curious.
(424) 396-2833 View (424) 396-2833
Photo of James Kane, Marriage & Family Therapist Associate in Los Angeles, CA
James Kane
Marriage & Family Therapist Associate, AMFT
Verified Verified
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Find ease in your relationships; with your body, with food and with yourself. Providing personalized care for adults and adolescents who are struggling with eating disorders or disordered eating; as well as working with individuals with anxiety, mood disorders, life transitions, and relational challenges. Trauma-informed; Weight-Inclusive & Health At Every Size approach; Intuitive Eating aligned
Find ease in your relationships; with your body, with food and with yourself. Providing personalized care for adults and adolescents who are struggling with eating disorders or disordered eating; as well as working with individuals with anxiety, mood disorders, life transitions, and relational challenges. Trauma-informed; Weight-Inclusive & Health At Every Size approach; Intuitive Eating aligned
(323) 546-7652 View (323) 546-7652
Photo of Kate Clark, Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
Kate Clark
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified Verified
Los Angeles, CA 90048
I work with adults, adolescents and couples with varying challenges including relationship issues, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, parenting issues, and sexuality issues.
You may have asked yourself, "Why do I keep making the same mistakes again and again?" By looking at both your present state and personal history, we can find out together. We will work to bring the unconscious into the conscious mind to help you get out of your own way, and get the things that you want and deserve. I will support you through that journey in a safe environment. I can help you find your own voice and learn to use it.
I work with adults, adolescents and couples with varying challenges including relationship issues, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, parenting issues, and sexuality issues.
You may have asked yourself, "Why do I keep making the same mistakes again and again?" By looking at both your present state and personal history, we can find out together. We will work to bring the unconscious into the conscious mind to help you get out of your own way, and get the things that you want and deserve. I will support you through that journey in a safe environment. I can help you find your own voice and learn to use it.
(323) 358-2538 View (323) 358-2538
Photo of Kaley Leshem, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
Kaley Leshem
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Los Angeles, CA 90025
I help clients develop self-compassion and empower them to create meaningful lives informed by their values. I am passionate about supporting my clients through overwhelming moments including difficult life transitions, relationship conflicts, and career struggles. I specialize in treating eating disorders, body image, and depression and anxiety. I often work with individuals who are feeling lost or suffering from low self-esteem and perfectionism. I am also fully trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy, a method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences.
I help clients develop self-compassion and empower them to create meaningful lives informed by their values. I am passionate about supporting my clients through overwhelming moments including difficult life transitions, relationship conflicts, and career struggles. I specialize in treating eating disorders, body image, and depression and anxiety. I often work with individuals who are feeling lost or suffering from low self-esteem and perfectionism. I am also fully trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy, a method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences.
(424) 391-8546 View (424) 391-8546
Photo of Marcela Rondani, Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
Marcela Rondani
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT, CEDS, PsyD
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Los Angeles, CA 90025
I am specialized in Teens, Families, Eating Disorders, Trauma, Relationship issues, life struggles, depression, anxiety, Panic Disorder and Family Conflict.
I believe that psychotherapy can be a tool to help someone to increase their self-awareness and promote healing and reparation to the life's pain and struggles. If you would like someone on your side to the new journey of rediscovering who you are and who you want to be, that is my goal. To provide support through this new path with the objective that life will unfold with more joy and happiness.
I am specialized in Teens, Families, Eating Disorders, Trauma, Relationship issues, life struggles, depression, anxiety, Panic Disorder and Family Conflict.
I believe that psychotherapy can be a tool to help someone to increase their self-awareness and promote healing and reparation to the life's pain and struggles. If you would like someone on your side to the new journey of rediscovering who you are and who you want to be, that is my goal. To provide support through this new path with the objective that life will unfold with more joy and happiness.
(310) 933-3406 View (310) 933-3406
Photo of Bahar Moheban, Psychologist in Los Angeles, CA
Bahar Moheban
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Los Angeles, CA 90036  (Online Only)
With clinical training in eating disorders, body image issues, depression, anxiety, and trauma, I strive to create a safe space where together, we can access and heal the roots of such struggles.
“I hate my body.” If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, body dysmorphia, or disordered eating habits, these statements may sound familiar. A challenging relationship with food and body image can be debilitating and all-consuming. What you may be surprised to discover is that your obsession with weight, constant battle with eating, and urges to use self-destructive food behaviors are actually not about food or weight! They are, however, symptoms of deeper internal conflicts and emotional dysregulation - trauma, depression, anxiety, oppression, family turmoil, and low self-esteem. This is where I can help.
With clinical training in eating disorders, body image issues, depression, anxiety, and trauma, I strive to create a safe space where together, we can access and heal the roots of such struggles.
“I hate my body.” If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, body dysmorphia, or disordered eating habits, these statements may sound familiar. A challenging relationship with food and body image can be debilitating and all-consuming. What you may be surprised to discover is that your obsession with weight, constant battle with eating, and urges to use self-destructive food behaviors are actually not about food or weight! They are, however, symptoms of deeper internal conflicts and emotional dysregulation - trauma, depression, anxiety, oppression, family turmoil, and low self-esteem. This is where I can help.
(424) 374-2688 View (424) 374-2688
Photo of Jesse Carmen-Hay, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
Jesse Carmen-Hay
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Waitlist for new clients
I am so glad that you made it here - my name is Jesse Carmen-Hay, and I am a LCSW in the state of California. I work with those who are struggling with eating disorders and body image concerns, anxiety, depression, life transitions, codependency, interpersonal issues, mood disorders, and more. I have extensive experience working with the LGBTQ+ community. I also offer couples and sex therapy services if that is something you are looking for. I use an individualized approach as no two people are the same and I seek to meet my clients where they are at.
I am so glad that you made it here - my name is Jesse Carmen-Hay, and I am a LCSW in the state of California. I work with those who are struggling with eating disorders and body image concerns, anxiety, depression, life transitions, codependency, interpersonal issues, mood disorders, and more. I have extensive experience working with the LGBTQ+ community. I also offer couples and sex therapy services if that is something you are looking for. I use an individualized approach as no two people are the same and I seek to meet my clients where they are at.
(424) 233-1405 View (424) 233-1405
Photo of Andrea McLaughlin, Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
Andrea McLaughlin
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT, MFA
Verified Verified
Los Angeles, CA 90025  (Online Only)
While I see clients with a wide range of presenting issues, I have a high level of expertise in family conflict, trauma, addiction, adult children of alcoholics and addicts, codependency, and eating disorders.
My approach to therapy is rooted in a belief that change is possible. Most of my clients come to me because something in their lives isn't working. Whether the problem is familial, romantic, professional, emotional, or even existential, I find it usually comes down to a matter of relationship. How are we relating to the things that cause us to suffer? When we understand these relationships and the parts we play in them, we are free to make different choices, and to experience our lives, ourselves, and our loves in richer, more fulfilling ways.
While I see clients with a wide range of presenting issues, I have a high level of expertise in family conflict, trauma, addiction, adult children of alcoholics and addicts, codependency, and eating disorders.
My approach to therapy is rooted in a belief that change is possible. Most of my clients come to me because something in their lives isn't working. Whether the problem is familial, romantic, professional, emotional, or even existential, I find it usually comes down to a matter of relationship. How are we relating to the things that cause us to suffer? When we understand these relationships and the parts we play in them, we are free to make different choices, and to experience our lives, ourselves, and our loves in richer, more fulfilling ways.
(646) 760-8764 View (646) 760-8764
Photo of Rachel Negar Partiali, Psychologist in Los Angeles, CA
Rachel Negar Partiali
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Los Angeles, CA 90064
I have worked with individuals who have experienced trauma, eating disorders, acculturation issues, self-destructive behaviors, anxiety, depression, loss, identity issues, and life transitions.
Taking the first step toward your healing requires courage and I acknowledge the effort you have put forth. Perhaps you have reached a point where you need more awareness in order to deal with your present circumstances. I am a clinical psychologist with several years of experience working with adults, adolescents, and couples. I provide in-depth therapy where we both can begin to explore the underlying causes of your emotional symptoms. I view my role as a psychologist as one who guides you through the healing process. I believe that in order for this to occur, respect, safety, understanding and awareness must be present.
I have worked with individuals who have experienced trauma, eating disorders, acculturation issues, self-destructive behaviors, anxiety, depression, loss, identity issues, and life transitions.
Taking the first step toward your healing requires courage and I acknowledge the effort you have put forth. Perhaps you have reached a point where you need more awareness in order to deal with your present circumstances. I am a clinical psychologist with several years of experience working with adults, adolescents, and couples. I provide in-depth therapy where we both can begin to explore the underlying causes of your emotional symptoms. I view my role as a psychologist as one who guides you through the healing process. I believe that in order for this to occur, respect, safety, understanding and awareness must be present.
(310) 896-5932 View (310) 896-5932
Photo of Brian X Dunphey, Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
Brian X Dunphey
Marriage & Family Therapist, MS, JD, LMFT
Verified Verified
Los Angeles, CA 90069
I specialize in treating persons with Eating Disorders, Substance Use & Problem Sex Behavior from achieving abstinence to expanding fulfilling recovered lives.
I have over 12 years experience working in residential, intensive outpatient & outpatient settings, with people living successfully with mood disorders, substance abuse & dependence, disordered eating, and creating meaningful sense of interpersonal & relational patterns. My career has afforded me the privilege to work with young adults, professionals and aging adults throughout the Southern California area. I believe that as my clients, you know intuitively how you wish to grow and it's my job to listen with care so you can determine a route, means and hope to navigate a hopeful worthwhile path. I work hard with you in charge.
I specialize in treating persons with Eating Disorders, Substance Use & Problem Sex Behavior from achieving abstinence to expanding fulfilling recovered lives.
I have over 12 years experience working in residential, intensive outpatient & outpatient settings, with people living successfully with mood disorders, substance abuse & dependence, disordered eating, and creating meaningful sense of interpersonal & relational patterns. My career has afforded me the privilege to work with young adults, professionals and aging adults throughout the Southern California area. I believe that as my clients, you know intuitively how you wish to grow and it's my job to listen with care so you can determine a route, means and hope to navigate a hopeful worthwhile path. I work hard with you in charge.
(949) 541-8740 View (949) 541-8740
Photo of Maura Schauerman, Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
Maura Schauerman
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Los Angeles, CA 90048
My name is Maura Schauerman and I'm a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, eating disorders, and struggles with identity. Additionally, my expertise in couples therapy has helped many couples to improve their communication, deepen their emotional connection, and navigate conflicts in a more productive way. I work with couples who are experiencing a wide range of challenges, including infidelity, trust issues, and difficulties with intimacy.
My name is Maura Schauerman and I'm a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, eating disorders, and struggles with identity. Additionally, my expertise in couples therapy has helped many couples to improve their communication, deepen their emotional connection, and navigate conflicts in a more productive way. I work with couples who are experiencing a wide range of challenges, including infidelity, trust issues, and difficulties with intimacy.
(424) 375-6547 View (424) 375-6547
Photo of Brooke Spahn, Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
Brooke Spahn
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified Verified
Los Angeles, CA 90041
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in Eating Disorders and Substance abuse, and PTSD/Trauma. I approach my clients from a team stance, always making sure they have a well-rounded support base around them. I am EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) trained and use it as a tool with my existing clients and as well as see clients who primarily seek EMDR sessions to move stuck experiences and core beliefs. To me, the importance of therapy is to get your life back into balance as addiction and trauma can create an "all or nothing" element and a repetition of patters and maladaptive behaviors.
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in Eating Disorders and Substance abuse, and PTSD/Trauma. I approach my clients from a team stance, always making sure they have a well-rounded support base around them. I am EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) trained and use it as a tool with my existing clients and as well as see clients who primarily seek EMDR sessions to move stuck experiences and core beliefs. To me, the importance of therapy is to get your life back into balance as addiction and trauma can create an "all or nothing" element and a repetition of patters and maladaptive behaviors.
(818) 853-9442 View (818) 853-9442
Photo of Jessica Harris, Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
Jessica Harris
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT, CEDS
Verified Verified
Los Angeles, CA 90025  (Online Only)
I work with individuals and families suffering from trauma, eating disorders, mood disorders, and relationship/family conflict.
I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified eating disorder specialist and clinical supervisor working with adolescents, adults, couples and families since 2010. I have held clinical and management positions, working in the inpatient, residential and outpatient levels of care treating a wide variety of clients.
I work with individuals and families suffering from trauma, eating disorders, mood disorders, and relationship/family conflict.
I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified eating disorder specialist and clinical supervisor working with adolescents, adults, couples and families since 2010. I have held clinical and management positions, working in the inpatient, residential and outpatient levels of care treating a wide variety of clients.
(323) 616-1709 View (323) 616-1709
Photo of P. Michael Mastrofrancesco, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
P. Michael Mastrofrancesco
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, MFA
Verified Verified
Los Angeles, CA 90025
I also have significant experience working in all levels of care for clients with eating disorders and substance use.
I have found that most people possess the necessary tools to improve their quality of life and simply need someone else to highlight them. I have a warm, direct style and utilize humor, when appropriate, to explore challenges and collaborate on ways to live one’s most fulfilled life. I use an experiential and intuitive approach to help clients develop the best possible relationships with themselves and others.
I also have significant experience working in all levels of care for clients with eating disorders and substance use.
I have found that most people possess the necessary tools to improve their quality of life and simply need someone else to highlight them. I have a warm, direct style and utilize humor, when appropriate, to explore challenges and collaborate on ways to live one’s most fulfilled life. I use an experiential and intuitive approach to help clients develop the best possible relationships with themselves and others.
(310) 773-0260 View (310) 773-0260
Photo of True Self Therapy Group Practice, Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
True Self Therapy Group Practice
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT, MA
Verified Verified
Los Angeles, CA 90046  (Online Only)
Our group practice specializes in trauma, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, PTSD, relational issues, and more.
Hi there, and welcome! Are you looking for a personalized touch to therapy? A therapist with experience, expertise, but doesn't feel "stuffy" or unrelatable? Then we're the perfect fit! True Self Therapy was founded to help California residents easily access quality virtual therapy. We pride our team on being professional, relatable, warm, knowledgable, down to earth, educated, and applying research based change for our clients. Therapy doesn't have to be a chore - it can be an enjoyable part of your day. The True Self Therapy group practice was founded by Annie Kuni (Melman).
Our group practice specializes in trauma, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, PTSD, relational issues, and more.
Hi there, and welcome! Are you looking for a personalized touch to therapy? A therapist with experience, expertise, but doesn't feel "stuffy" or unrelatable? Then we're the perfect fit! True Self Therapy was founded to help California residents easily access quality virtual therapy. We pride our team on being professional, relatable, warm, knowledgable, down to earth, educated, and applying research based change for our clients. Therapy doesn't have to be a chore - it can be an enjoyable part of your day. The True Self Therapy group practice was founded by Annie Kuni (Melman).
(424) 359-1562 View (424) 359-1562
Photo of Karen Booth, Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
Karen Booth
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Karen is passionate about working with individuals struggling with body image, eating disorders & addictions & strives to help clients understand the purpose their behaviors have served.
I believe everyone deserves to love themselves, believe in themselves and feel confident in their abilities. This might not be easy to imagine but it is possible with support, compassion and understanding. Together we will work towards these goals and help you achieve the inner peace and happiness you are looking for. I feel honored to work with each client who comes through my door and I look forward to meeting you.
Karen is passionate about working with individuals struggling with body image, eating disorders & addictions & strives to help clients understand the purpose their behaviors have served.
I believe everyone deserves to love themselves, believe in themselves and feel confident in their abilities. This might not be easy to imagine but it is possible with support, compassion and understanding. Together we will work towards these goals and help you achieve the inner peace and happiness you are looking for. I feel honored to work with each client who comes through my door and I look forward to meeting you.
(805) 386-6035 View (805) 386-6035
Photo of Diane Jung Gallo, Psychologist in Los Angeles, CA
Diane Jung Gallo
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
9 Endorsed
Los Angeles, CA 90034  (Online Only)
Hello, I’m an Asian American psychologist who is passionate about serving the BIPOC community and all historically marginalized folx. My specialties include trauma, racial identity exploration, eating disorders/body image concerns, anxiety, and relationship concerns. With 10+ years working at university counseling centers, my expertise also includes common early adulthood concerns such as life transitions and adjustment to a new stage of life. I've also had the privilege of working with first-generation college students, international students, and those who are immigration-impacted.
Hello, I’m an Asian American psychologist who is passionate about serving the BIPOC community and all historically marginalized folx. My specialties include trauma, racial identity exploration, eating disorders/body image concerns, anxiety, and relationship concerns. With 10+ years working at university counseling centers, my expertise also includes common early adulthood concerns such as life transitions and adjustment to a new stage of life. I've also had the privilege of working with first-generation college students, international students, and those who are immigration-impacted.
(424) 955-4864 View (424) 955-4864


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.