Eating Disorders Therapists in San Diego, CA

Photo of Claire Spencer, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA
Claire Spencer
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92115  (Online Only)
I have expertise treating depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance use, PTSD and relationship issues.
Life is an emotional journey. During challenging times, we often struggle to maintain hope and optimism. Feelings of depression and anxiety are common throughout many tough transitions and can leave us overwhelmed and stuck. My passion lies right here, helping clients weather life's setbacks on the path toward happiness and success. Seeking therapy is a vulnerable first step toward living the life you envision. I strive to bring light and clarity to clients, inspiring them to find the hope and meaning essential to creating lasting change and personal growth.
I have expertise treating depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance use, PTSD and relationship issues.
Life is an emotional journey. During challenging times, we often struggle to maintain hope and optimism. Feelings of depression and anxiety are common throughout many tough transitions and can leave us overwhelmed and stuck. My passion lies right here, helping clients weather life's setbacks on the path toward happiness and success. Seeking therapy is a vulnerable first step toward living the life you envision. I strive to bring light and clarity to clients, inspiring them to find the hope and meaning essential to creating lasting change and personal growth.
(619) 658-6397 View (619) 658-6397
Jordyn Skaggs
Registered Psychological Associate, PsyD
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92109
I have extensive training in evidence based techniques with mood disorders, eating disorders, and trauma.
I treat children, adolescents, and young adults with depression, anxiety, behavioral issues, eating disorders and trauma by changing their mood, thought patterns, acceptance, and the way they approach their struggles. I believe in managing issues from a holistic perspective and that the right support and tools can help impact a positive change. I am also qualified to complete psychological assessments and evaluations.
I have extensive training in evidence based techniques with mood disorders, eating disorders, and trauma.
I treat children, adolescents, and young adults with depression, anxiety, behavioral issues, eating disorders and trauma by changing their mood, thought patterns, acceptance, and the way they approach their struggles. I believe in managing issues from a holistic perspective and that the right support and tools can help impact a positive change. I am also qualified to complete psychological assessments and evaluations.
(858) 289-0898 View (858) 289-0898
Photo of Patty Schroeder, Psychologist in San Diego, CA
Patty Schroeder
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
San Diego, CA 92121  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
I'm experienced in treating eating disorders and body image issues from a Health at Every Size® perspective, and I'm passionate about helping my clients build healthy relationships with food and their bodies.
I'm constantly amazed at the human capacity for resilience. Using a strengths-based approach, I would be honored to help you tap into your power to achieve the health and wellness to live your best life! I approach my therapeutic relationships with warmth, respect, empathy, and a little bit of humor at times. I know it takes a great deal of courage to begin therapy -- my goal is to create a safe, comfortable space for honest exploration so we can tackle your concerns together. I look forward to meeting you :)
I'm experienced in treating eating disorders and body image issues from a Health at Every Size® perspective, and I'm passionate about helping my clients build healthy relationships with food and their bodies.
I'm constantly amazed at the human capacity for resilience. Using a strengths-based approach, I would be honored to help you tap into your power to achieve the health and wellness to live your best life! I approach my therapeutic relationships with warmth, respect, empathy, and a little bit of humor at times. I know it takes a great deal of courage to begin therapy -- my goal is to create a safe, comfortable space for honest exploration so we can tackle your concerns together. I look forward to meeting you :)
(858) 987-4457 View (858) 987-4457
Photo of Carolyn Coker Ross in San Diego, CA
Carolyn Coker Ross
MD, MPH
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92123  (Online Only)
Carolyn Coker Ross, MD, MPH, CEDS (www.carolynrossmd.com) is an African American author, speaker, expert the treatment of eating disorders, trauma and addictions and is board certified in Preventive Medicine and in Addiction Medicine. Dr. Ross presented a TEDxPleasantGrove talk on “Historical and Intergenerational Trauma in January 2020. She is the author of 3 books on eating disorders, the most recent is “The Food Addiction Recovery Workbook.” She is a contributing author to : “Treating Black Women with Eating Disorders: A Clinician’s Guide.” She is co-founder of the Institute for Antiracism and Equity (antiracismandequity.com).
Carolyn Coker Ross, MD, MPH, CEDS (www.carolynrossmd.com) is an African American author, speaker, expert the treatment of eating disorders, trauma and addictions and is board certified in Preventive Medicine and in Addiction Medicine. Dr. Ross presented a TEDxPleasantGrove talk on “Historical and Intergenerational Trauma in January 2020. She is the author of 3 books on eating disorders, the most recent is “The Food Addiction Recovery Workbook.” She is a contributing author to : “Treating Black Women with Eating Disorders: A Clinician’s Guide.” She is co-founder of the Institute for Antiracism and Equity (antiracismandequity.com).
(833) 686-9533 View (833) 686-9533
Photo of Maria Wilson, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA
Maria Wilson
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92109  (Online Only)
My two specialities include providing highly specialized and individualized care for clients struggling with eating disorders at an outpatient level of care, as well working with couples and individuals feeling dissatisfied with intimacy, communication barriers, and negative conflict cycles.
Hi there! I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in both Couples Therapy, and Eating Disorder treatment at an outpatient level of care. Through a client-centered approach, my passion lies in restoring disruptions in early childhood attachment, and helping those identify negative thought patterns, core beliefs, and emotions that have led to maladaptive coping behaviors. If you are either feeling exhausted from the shame towards your body and want freedom from disordered eating, or are longing to strengthen your relationship and communication with a loved one, I would love to create that space for you!
My two specialities include providing highly specialized and individualized care for clients struggling with eating disorders at an outpatient level of care, as well working with couples and individuals feeling dissatisfied with intimacy, communication barriers, and negative conflict cycles.
Hi there! I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in both Couples Therapy, and Eating Disorder treatment at an outpatient level of care. Through a client-centered approach, my passion lies in restoring disruptions in early childhood attachment, and helping those identify negative thought patterns, core beliefs, and emotions that have led to maladaptive coping behaviors. If you are either feeling exhausted from the shame towards your body and want freedom from disordered eating, or are longing to strengthen your relationship and communication with a loved one, I would love to create that space for you!
(760) 452-3635 View (760) 452-3635
Photo of Natalia Cameroni-Adams, Marriage & Family Therapist Associate in San Diego, CA
Natalia Cameroni-Adams
Marriage & Family Therapist Associate, AMFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Diego, CA 92117
My extensive experience encompasses working with adolescents, families, adults, individuals, and couples struggling with various challenges such as anxiety, depression, grief, shame, trauma, body image, eating disorders, and relationship conflicts.
Hello, I'm Natalia. I bring a compassionate and client-centered approach to therapy. With a commitment to tailoring treatment to each individual's unique needs, I provide comprehensive therapy services including individual, group, and family therapy. Drawing from a diverse range of therapeutic modalities, I integrate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT) into my practice.
My extensive experience encompasses working with adolescents, families, adults, individuals, and couples struggling with various challenges such as anxiety, depression, grief, shame, trauma, body image, eating disorders, and relationship conflicts.
Hello, I'm Natalia. I bring a compassionate and client-centered approach to therapy. With a commitment to tailoring treatment to each individual's unique needs, I provide comprehensive therapy services including individual, group, and family therapy. Drawing from a diverse range of therapeutic modalities, I integrate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT) into my practice.
(858) 648-6378 View (858) 648-6378
Photo of Alyson L Lischer, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA
Alyson L Lischer
Marriage & Family Therapist, MS, LMFT, CEDS-S
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92127
My practice focuses on providing therapy for eating disorders, mood concerns, trauma, women’s health, and relationships. I practice from a client-centered treatment approach, rooted in compassion. In sessions, we will focus on processing current stressors, identifying support systems and building awareness and safety in feelings. Coping strategies and skills are incorporated in practical ways to help improve daily life. My goal is to help people redefine wellness as wholeness and enable people to live in their authenticity. I want to help people be able to be more connected to themselves, more of the time.
My practice focuses on providing therapy for eating disorders, mood concerns, trauma, women’s health, and relationships. I practice from a client-centered treatment approach, rooted in compassion. In sessions, we will focus on processing current stressors, identifying support systems and building awareness and safety in feelings. Coping strategies and skills are incorporated in practical ways to help improve daily life. My goal is to help people redefine wellness as wholeness and enable people to live in their authenticity. I want to help people be able to be more connected to themselves, more of the time.
(858) 746-5367 View (858) 746-5367
Photo of Emily Kron, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA
Emily Kron
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92102  (Online Only)
My main areas of focus include relationship and attachment issues, eating disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, family conflict, gender identity, and trauma.
Welcome to a safe space where you can tell your story, be seen and heard, and embark on a journey towards healing and becoming whole again. I know that starting therapy can be a difficult decision, so congratulations on taking this first step! I am a warm, compassionate, authentic therapist who is open and collaborative with clients and dedicated to helping others. I provide a welcoming and non-judgmental environment and will work with you, wherever you are at, to create a unique treatment plan based on your specific needs. I will work with you to cultivate hope and resilience through a client-centered, strengths-based approach.
My main areas of focus include relationship and attachment issues, eating disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, family conflict, gender identity, and trauma.
Welcome to a safe space where you can tell your story, be seen and heard, and embark on a journey towards healing and becoming whole again. I know that starting therapy can be a difficult decision, so congratulations on taking this first step! I am a warm, compassionate, authentic therapist who is open and collaborative with clients and dedicated to helping others. I provide a welcoming and non-judgmental environment and will work with you, wherever you are at, to create a unique treatment plan based on your specific needs. I will work with you to cultivate hope and resilience through a client-centered, strengths-based approach.
(619) 848-3719 View (619) 848-3719
Photo of Trishala Bijoy Khandheria, Marriage & Family Therapist Associate in San Diego, CA
Trishala Bijoy Khandheria
Marriage & Family Therapist Associate, AMFT , MA, MS
Not Verified Not Verified
San Diego, CA 92109
I have specialized experience working with patients and families living with anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, and eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa (AN).
“Treat the patient, not just the disease.” This mantra has always been an inspiration for my practice, as I truly believe that successful therapy is rooted in the positive, working relationships I form with my patients. If you are living with an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, or have family and/or marital issues, life might feel complicated and overwhelming. You may need a safe space to heal, explore yourself, and feel heard. My education & experience as an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist has given me the tools to help empower people like you to create positive change and work towards achieving a state of well-being.
I have specialized experience working with patients and families living with anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, and eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa (AN).
“Treat the patient, not just the disease.” This mantra has always been an inspiration for my practice, as I truly believe that successful therapy is rooted in the positive, working relationships I form with my patients. If you are living with an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, or have family and/or marital issues, life might feel complicated and overwhelming. You may need a safe space to heal, explore yourself, and feel heard. My education & experience as an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist has given me the tools to help empower people like you to create positive change and work towards achieving a state of well-being.
(858) 251-6862 View (858) 251-6862
Photo of Monica Rixon, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in San Diego, CA
Monica Rixon
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, LPCC
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92101
I am an empathetic trauma-informed Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in California. I specialize in Grief, Trauma, and Eating Disorders, having worked with these populations in multiple settings. As you are reading this you may be minimizing various experiences you have had in life. Often, we tend to minimize our experiences as a way of coping with them and the world around us.  While this may have been necessary at some point in life, I am here to support you through the process of looking at those experiences once again and learning how to hold them in a way that you may have not felt was possible.
I am an empathetic trauma-informed Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in California. I specialize in Grief, Trauma, and Eating Disorders, having worked with these populations in multiple settings. As you are reading this you may be minimizing various experiences you have had in life. Often, we tend to minimize our experiences as a way of coping with them and the world around us.  While this may have been necessary at some point in life, I am here to support you through the process of looking at those experiences once again and learning how to hold them in a way that you may have not felt was possible.
(858) 251-8207 View (858) 251-8207
Photo of Melissa McCormick, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA
Melissa McCormick
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Diego, CA 92108  (Online Only)
I provide trauma informed therapy, with training in EMDR and eating disorders.
I am passionate about helping people who feel overwhelmed by their lives. We live at such a fast pace that we often do not have the space required to slow down to feel our emotions. When we are unable to connect with ourselves, symptoms like anxiety and depression increase. We need help connecting to our bodies, and regulating our nervous systems to slow down enough to move out of fight or flight and into the present moment. Doing so will make it possible to heal from our challenges like anxiety, depression, disordered eating, and chronic illness.
I provide trauma informed therapy, with training in EMDR and eating disorders.
I am passionate about helping people who feel overwhelmed by their lives. We live at such a fast pace that we often do not have the space required to slow down to feel our emotions. When we are unable to connect with ourselves, symptoms like anxiety and depression increase. We need help connecting to our bodies, and regulating our nervous systems to slow down enough to move out of fight or flight and into the present moment. Doing so will make it possible to heal from our challenges like anxiety, depression, disordered eating, and chronic illness.
(619) 649-8023 View (619) 649-8023
Photo of Tiffany Costa Cearley, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA
Tiffany Costa Cearley
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92117  (Online Only)
I specialize in adults and adolescents with eating disorders, trauma, women's issues and family conflict.
I believe that the therapeutic alliance between client and therapist is an integral part of the healing process. I also believe that emotions begin to heal when they are witnessed and validated, and that therapy is most effective when both client and therapist are committed to clients own healing and journey. For me it is of the utmost importance that therapy address the person as a whole- mind, body, and spirit, and I believe that, even when it seems as though all hope is lost, that healing is still possible. It is never too late to start.
I specialize in adults and adolescents with eating disorders, trauma, women's issues and family conflict.
I believe that the therapeutic alliance between client and therapist is an integral part of the healing process. I also believe that emotions begin to heal when they are witnessed and validated, and that therapy is most effective when both client and therapist are committed to clients own healing and journey. For me it is of the utmost importance that therapy address the person as a whole- mind, body, and spirit, and I believe that, even when it seems as though all hope is lost, that healing is still possible. It is never too late to start.
(858) 723-0511 View (858) 723-0511
Photo of Helki Zeigler-Bruzzone, Pre-Licensed Professional in San Diego, CA
Helki Zeigler-Bruzzone
Pre-Licensed Professional
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Diego, CA 92108  (Online Only)
As a therapist trainee at CFMHE, I combine empathetic listening with evidence-based strategies to help clients navigate challenges effectively. Drawing from my diverse background in business, culinary arts, and personal experiences, I specialize in eating disorders, stress management, life transitions, addiction, and personal well-being. I focus on building supportive relationships where clients feel valued and understood, exploring practical solutions and coping mechanisms that foster resilience and meaningful change. My goal is to empower each client to achieve better mental health and improved well-being.
As a therapist trainee at CFMHE, I combine empathetic listening with evidence-based strategies to help clients navigate challenges effectively. Drawing from my diverse background in business, culinary arts, and personal experiences, I specialize in eating disorders, stress management, life transitions, addiction, and personal well-being. I focus on building supportive relationships where clients feel valued and understood, exploring practical solutions and coping mechanisms that foster resilience and meaningful change. My goal is to empower each client to achieve better mental health and improved well-being.
(619) 329-9549 View (619) 329-9549
Photo of Mellissa Giegerich, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in San Diego, CA
Mellissa Giegerich
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92121
Are you someone who would like to have a better relationship with food and exercise? Or someone who is ready to heal from trauma? Using a HAES-informed approach, I specialize in helping clients utilize the skills needed to succeed in recovery. As a former collegiate athlete, I have great interest in how to incorporate athletic experiences, and one’s identity as an athlete, into therapeutic treatment for eating disorders. Additionally, I use a trauma-informed approach with all clients to promote healing by focusing on significant events/experiences in their lives that are contributing to the current challenges they face.
Are you someone who would like to have a better relationship with food and exercise? Or someone who is ready to heal from trauma? Using a HAES-informed approach, I specialize in helping clients utilize the skills needed to succeed in recovery. As a former collegiate athlete, I have great interest in how to incorporate athletic experiences, and one’s identity as an athlete, into therapeutic treatment for eating disorders. Additionally, I use a trauma-informed approach with all clients to promote healing by focusing on significant events/experiences in their lives that are contributing to the current challenges they face.
(619) 630-4670 View (619) 630-4670
Photo of Katee Zullo (Dual Licensed Ca-Tx), Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA
Katee Zullo (Dual Licensed Ca-Tx)
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92121  (Online Only)
I work with individuals, couples, teens and families who are looking to heal relationship issues, eating disorders, process through trauma, cope with grief, explore depression and anxiety, family disturbances, among many other difficulties life creates.
Do your emotions ever seem out of control? Maybe you’re in a daze, just going through the motions? Do you feel like no one understands you? Sometimes life comes at us fast and we have difficulty catching up. The good news is you no longer have to go through this alone. I’m here to help. I work to create a safe, compassionate environment to explore your thoughts and emotions, while emphasizing the healing nature of our therapist-client relationship.
I work with individuals, couples, teens and families who are looking to heal relationship issues, eating disorders, process through trauma, cope with grief, explore depression and anxiety, family disturbances, among many other difficulties life creates.
Do your emotions ever seem out of control? Maybe you’re in a daze, just going through the motions? Do you feel like no one understands you? Sometimes life comes at us fast and we have difficulty catching up. The good news is you no longer have to go through this alone. I’m here to help. I work to create a safe, compassionate environment to explore your thoughts and emotions, while emphasizing the healing nature of our therapist-client relationship.
(442) 276-3580 View (442) 276-3580
Photo of Halima S ., Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in San Diego, CA
Halima S .
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, MS, LPCC
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92111  (Online Only)
Our clinicians have experience working with various issues including relationship/marriage conflicts, eating disorders, transgenerational trauma, racial trauma, adults with severe mental illness, substance use, homelessness, familial conflicts, being a first generation college student, religious and cultural barriers, etc.
We are currently accepting clients! AMALY is a virtual mental health organization that serves individuals and couples across California. We specialize in providing services to BIPOC clients.
Our clinicians have experience working with various issues including relationship/marriage conflicts, eating disorders, transgenerational trauma, racial trauma, adults with severe mental illness, substance use, homelessness, familial conflicts, being a first generation college student, religious and cultural barriers, etc.
We are currently accepting clients! AMALY is a virtual mental health organization that serves individuals and couples across California. We specialize in providing services to BIPOC clients.
(619) 505-3750 View (619) 505-3750
Photo of Ashley Cooley, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA
Ashley Cooley
Marriage & Family Therapist, MS, LMFT
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92109  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
Ashley’s specialities are in sex therapy and eating disorders.
As a therapist, it is my goal to make sure you get the most out of our sessions together. I encourage all my clients to make the treatment plan with me. You are the expert in you and respecting that is essential to meeting your needs. We will identify your own unique strengths in combination with therapeutic skill building to achieve your goals.
Ashley’s specialities are in sex therapy and eating disorders.
As a therapist, it is my goal to make sure you get the most out of our sessions together. I encourage all my clients to make the treatment plan with me. You are the expert in you and respecting that is essential to meeting your needs. We will identify your own unique strengths in combination with therapeutic skill building to achieve your goals.
(858) 533-2627 View (858) 533-2627
Photo of Victoria R. Leon, Associate Clinical Social Worker in San Diego, CA
Victoria R. Leon
Associate Clinical Social Worker, ASW
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92117  (Online Only)
As a therapist with a lived experience, I specialize in addressing the complex intersection of eating disorders and religious trauma, as well as co-occurring challenges including depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, self-harm, and grief. I offer a brave, non-judgmental space where individuals can reclaim agency and implement strategies aligned with their strengths and goals
As a therapist with a lived experience, I specialize in addressing the complex intersection of eating disorders and religious trauma, as well as co-occurring challenges including depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, self-harm, and grief. I offer a brave, non-judgmental space where individuals can reclaim agency and implement strategies aligned with their strengths and goals
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Photo of Victoria Kapper, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in San Diego, CA
Victoria Kapper
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Diego, CA 92122
Victoria specializes in working with those who are experiencing anxiety, depression, eating disorders, stress and life transitions.
Victoria Kapper is a licensed psychotherapist treating children, adolescents, adults and families across California. In addition, she is affiliated with the La Jolla Therapy Center. Victoria whole-heartedly believes that the most significant indicator of successful therapy is the therapeutic relationship. Her approach is engaged, compassionate, strength-based and solution-focused. Victoria strives to create an open, respectful and safe environment where clients can address sensitive matters and experience growth, insight and change.
Victoria specializes in working with those who are experiencing anxiety, depression, eating disorders, stress and life transitions.
Victoria Kapper is a licensed psychotherapist treating children, adolescents, adults and families across California. In addition, she is affiliated with the La Jolla Therapy Center. Victoria whole-heartedly believes that the most significant indicator of successful therapy is the therapeutic relationship. Her approach is engaged, compassionate, strength-based and solution-focused. Victoria strives to create an open, respectful and safe environment where clients can address sensitive matters and experience growth, insight and change.
(858) 225-5409 View (858) 225-5409
Photo of Danny A Meadows, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA
Danny A Meadows
Marriage & Family Therapist, PhD, LMFT
Verified Verified
San Diego, CA 92123
If you are struggling to find your authentic voice to speak with clarity and you are struggling with finding your path in life due to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, sex addiction and you are ready to take responsibility for your life, therapy can help.
I believe that each person has a unique purpose. Life presents with situations where depression, addiction, anxiety, eating too much, eating too little, low self-esteem, and no self-identity can distract a person from finding this unique purpose. I like to explore a variety of issues that keep you from experiencing your purpose in life and help you find your meaning and make sense of that meaning.
If you are struggling to find your authentic voice to speak with clarity and you are struggling with finding your path in life due to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, sex addiction and you are ready to take responsibility for your life, therapy can help.
I believe that each person has a unique purpose. Life presents with situations where depression, addiction, anxiety, eating too much, eating too little, low self-esteem, and no self-identity can distract a person from finding this unique purpose. I like to explore a variety of issues that keep you from experiencing your purpose in life and help you find your meaning and make sense of that meaning.
(858) 212-0289 View (858) 212-0289
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.