Eating Disorders Therapists in San Francisco, CA

Photo of Holly N Kirth, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Holly N Kirth
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT, MA, ME
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94115  (Online Only)
I specialize in working with persons suffering from trauma, eating disorders, addictions, relationship issues, ADHD, and chronic illness.
Are you struggling to cope with life’s difficulties? Are you feeling out of control? Hopeless? Whether this is a recent experience or a life long issue, I am here to help. I believe every person has the innate ability and power within themselves to manage life’s challenges and improve yourselves—you just don’t always know how to access it. I will assist you and challenge you into accessing your tools, utilizing your innate strengths, and finding new insights into yourself.
I specialize in working with persons suffering from trauma, eating disorders, addictions, relationship issues, ADHD, and chronic illness.
Are you struggling to cope with life’s difficulties? Are you feeling out of control? Hopeless? Whether this is a recent experience or a life long issue, I am here to help. I believe every person has the innate ability and power within themselves to manage life’s challenges and improve yourselves—you just don’t always know how to access it. I will assist you and challenge you into accessing your tools, utilizing your innate strengths, and finding new insights into yourself.
(949) 468-5731 View (949) 468-5731
Photo of Amanda (Frederick) Wang, Marriage & Family Therapist Associate in San Francisco, CA
Amanda (Frederick) Wang
Marriage & Family Therapist Associate, MA, AMFT, APCC
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94109  (Online Only)
Hello, I'm Amanda! I specialize in working with children, teens, young adults, and parents or caregivers. Drawing from my experience as a former school therapist, I possess a deep understanding of the unique challenges and support systems necessary for the growth and development of children and teens. My approach includes nurturing coping skills, emotional awareness, and social skills to empower adolescents and foster resilience. I work with individuals seeking support for a range of needs and challenges, including ADHD, autism, anxiety, and eating disorders, including Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID).
Hello, I'm Amanda! I specialize in working with children, teens, young adults, and parents or caregivers. Drawing from my experience as a former school therapist, I possess a deep understanding of the unique challenges and support systems necessary for the growth and development of children and teens. My approach includes nurturing coping skills, emotional awareness, and social skills to empower adolescents and foster resilience. I work with individuals seeking support for a range of needs and challenges, including ADHD, autism, anxiety, and eating disorders, including Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID).
(415) 842-1573 View (415) 842-1573
Photo of Rachel Goldstein, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA
Rachel Goldstein
Psychologist, PsyD, CEDS
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94118  (Online Only)
Hello and welcome to my practice! I believe very strongly in each person's capacity for growth and change. Therapy can be a place to gain practical skills and confidence needed to face life's challenges and to harness the resources that you already have. As a licensed clinical psychologist, I specialize in the treatment of eating disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, relationship issues, emotional disturbances, and life transitions.
Hello and welcome to my practice! I believe very strongly in each person's capacity for growth and change. Therapy can be a place to gain practical skills and confidence needed to face life's challenges and to harness the resources that you already have. As a licensed clinical psychologist, I specialize in the treatment of eating disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, relationship issues, emotional disturbances, and life transitions.
(415) 578-9793 View (415) 578-9793
Photo of Jessica Claire Lief, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Jessica Claire Lief
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, MSW
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94115
Eating disorders, addictions, trauma, body image, maternal grief, motherless daughters, OCD, DBT, Seeking Safety, Mindfulness, Mindful Self-Compassion, The Body Positive, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Identity Work, Prenatal and Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, and Psychosis, Miscarriage, Endometriosis, PCOS.
My name is Jessica Lief. I have been practicing social work and working as a psychotherapist since 2014. I support individuals who are recovering from eating disorders, body image issues, substance use issues, trauma, self harm, prenatal and postpartum issues, miscarriage and fertility issues. I work with adults of all ages. My style has been described as nurturing, empathic, and empowering. I am direct and authentic; I will never blame you for your suffering. My approach is primarily psychodynamic but combines aspects of self-psychology, mindful self-compassion, dialectical behavior therapy, Seeking Safety, and mindfulness.
Eating disorders, addictions, trauma, body image, maternal grief, motherless daughters, OCD, DBT, Seeking Safety, Mindfulness, Mindful Self-Compassion, The Body Positive, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Identity Work, Prenatal and Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, and Psychosis, Miscarriage, Endometriosis, PCOS.
My name is Jessica Lief. I have been practicing social work and working as a psychotherapist since 2014. I support individuals who are recovering from eating disorders, body image issues, substance use issues, trauma, self harm, prenatal and postpartum issues, miscarriage and fertility issues. I work with adults of all ages. My style has been described as nurturing, empathic, and empowering. I am direct and authentic; I will never blame you for your suffering. My approach is primarily psychodynamic but combines aspects of self-psychology, mindful self-compassion, dialectical behavior therapy, Seeking Safety, and mindfulness.
(628) 265-8809 View (628) 265-8809
Photo of Monica Nunez, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Monica Nunez
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94104  (Online Only)
Telehealth appts available now anywhere in CA! I'm a psychoanalyst certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and Eating Disorders. My niche is couples, control issues, communication issues, intimacy issues, guilt, anger, codependency, and trying to please others. My mission is to help you achieve self actualization!
Telehealth appts available now anywhere in CA! I'm a psychoanalyst certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and Eating Disorders. My niche is couples, control issues, communication issues, intimacy issues, guilt, anger, codependency, and trying to please others. My mission is to help you achieve self actualization!
(951) 355-2694 View (951) 355-2694
Photo of Helen Elizabeth Shamis, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Helen Elizabeth Shamis
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT, LPCC
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94123
My treatment specialties include individuals with eating disorders and those experiencing grief and loss.
My treatment approach is best described as strength-based. I believe that we come to even our most challenging moments, with the best of intentions. When a client chooses me as their therapist, they provide themselves with a dedicated, judgment-free professional who believes in their ability to guide their own journey. If you are at your most vulnerable or in the darkest of places, there is always hope. Both short-term and long-term therapy is available.
My treatment specialties include individuals with eating disorders and those experiencing grief and loss.
My treatment approach is best described as strength-based. I believe that we come to even our most challenging moments, with the best of intentions. When a client chooses me as their therapist, they provide themselves with a dedicated, judgment-free professional who believes in their ability to guide their own journey. If you are at your most vulnerable or in the darkest of places, there is always hope. Both short-term and long-term therapy is available.
(415) 877-6328 View (415) 877-6328
Photo of Chelsea Owens, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Chelsea Owens
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT, ATR-BC, MA
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94118  (Online Only)
Hello! I'm a level 2-trained IFS therapist, I know how important relationships are, and how little we are taught about how to do them! I work with women who are feeling disconnected from themselves. Women who are struggling with body image issues, eating disorders, trauma, boundaries and relationship issues. I'm here to help facilitate a relationship between you and all parts of you. I believe there is creativity, reflection and expression inside of everyone and it can be easier to communicate without words. I bring warmth and energy to the room and levity to situations that can sometimes feel overwhelming and heavy.
Hello! I'm a level 2-trained IFS therapist, I know how important relationships are, and how little we are taught about how to do them! I work with women who are feeling disconnected from themselves. Women who are struggling with body image issues, eating disorders, trauma, boundaries and relationship issues. I'm here to help facilitate a relationship between you and all parts of you. I believe there is creativity, reflection and expression inside of everyone and it can be easier to communicate without words. I bring warmth and energy to the room and levity to situations that can sometimes feel overwhelming and heavy.
(650) 651-5952 View (650) 651-5952
Photo of Kari Floberg, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Kari Floberg
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT, MA
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94123
I am particularly experienced in working with people to overcome relationship challenges, low self-worth, anxiety, depression, addiction, eating disorders, and career transitions.
Therapy can help you locate your internal compass in order to navigate the challenges that life brings. If you are seeking therapy, perhaps some area of your life is out of balance. You may feel conflicted, that you are not finding the connection you want in relationships or not living up to your fullest potential. I can help you make sense of these feelings, cultivate your innate gifts and respectfully let go of old habits so you can live more freely.
I am particularly experienced in working with people to overcome relationship challenges, low self-worth, anxiety, depression, addiction, eating disorders, and career transitions.
Therapy can help you locate your internal compass in order to navigate the challenges that life brings. If you are seeking therapy, perhaps some area of your life is out of balance. You may feel conflicted, that you are not finding the connection you want in relationships or not living up to your fullest potential. I can help you make sense of these feelings, cultivate your innate gifts and respectfully let go of old habits so you can live more freely.
(415) 634-4098 View (415) 634-4098
Photo of Tessa Gordon - Eating Disorder Specialist, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Tessa Gordon - Eating Disorder Specialist
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT, RYT
Verified Verified
6 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94123  (Online Only)
Eating disorders can feel hopeless, but they aren’t. Whether this is your first time seeking help or your umpteenth time, I believe everyone can recover.  Just as there are many reasons why an eating disorder manifests in your life, the way you recover will be just as unique. If there was a one-size-fits-all solution, that would perhaps be as deceptive as the problem itself. Whether it’s perfectionism, judgment, loneliness, self-improvement, health, fear, family issues… Together we will discover what invites these problems into your life and begin to find what recovery means for you.
Eating disorders can feel hopeless, but they aren’t. Whether this is your first time seeking help or your umpteenth time, I believe everyone can recover.  Just as there are many reasons why an eating disorder manifests in your life, the way you recover will be just as unique. If there was a one-size-fits-all solution, that would perhaps be as deceptive as the problem itself. Whether it’s perfectionism, judgment, loneliness, self-improvement, health, fear, family issues… Together we will discover what invites these problems into your life and begin to find what recovery means for you.
(415) 300-4582 View (415) 300-4582
Photo of Alicia Perez, Licensed Professional Counselor in San Francisco, CA
Alicia Perez
Licensed Professional Counselor, LCMHC, LPCC, CEDS
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94118  (Online Only)
I strive to create a collaborative, nonjudgmental, and honest space where we can explore your needs and goals in therapy. I am passionate about therapy and believe it to be a powerful mechanism for self exploration, growth and healing. I have worked with a wide variety of people and have received specialized training and extensive experience in the treatment of Eating Disorders, anxiety, mood disorders and Trauma/PTSD.
I strive to create a collaborative, nonjudgmental, and honest space where we can explore your needs and goals in therapy. I am passionate about therapy and believe it to be a powerful mechanism for self exploration, growth and healing. I have worked with a wide variety of people and have received specialized training and extensive experience in the treatment of Eating Disorders, anxiety, mood disorders and Trauma/PTSD.
(919) 873-4822 View (919) 873-4822
Photo of Marcella Cox- Certified Eating Disorder Specialist, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Marcella Cox- Certified Eating Disorder Specialist
Marriage & Family Therapist, MS, LMFT, CEDS-S, CDWF
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94115  (Online Only)
At Kindful Body we specialize in working with disordered eating, eating disorders, body image dissatisfaction, and self-image issues, and underlying anxiety, shame and unresolved trauma.
Tired of struggling with your body, food, exercise or with yourself? You may be growing weary of feeling like you don't measure up and your constant mental chatter about your short-comings is taking a toll on you, your family, friendships, health and well-being. You may be feeling hopeless about breaking self-destructive pattens. Don't despair - you don't have to do this alone. Working together with a Kindful Body clinician we will begin a process that can heal your relationship with food, your body and yourself so you can live your life with greater ease and joy.
At Kindful Body we specialize in working with disordered eating, eating disorders, body image dissatisfaction, and self-image issues, and underlying anxiety, shame and unresolved trauma.
Tired of struggling with your body, food, exercise or with yourself? You may be growing weary of feeling like you don't measure up and your constant mental chatter about your short-comings is taking a toll on you, your family, friendships, health and well-being. You may be feeling hopeless about breaking self-destructive pattens. Don't despair - you don't have to do this alone. Working together with a Kindful Body clinician we will begin a process that can heal your relationship with food, your body and yourself so you can live your life with greater ease and joy.
(650) 727-5401 View (650) 727-5401
Photo of Trudy McMahon, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Trudy McMahon
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, AMFT
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94123
Eating disorders, drug and alcohol issues, and challenges of early recovery, depression, anxiety, chronic issues such as migraine, skin conditions, MS, highly sensitive people.
I Work with individuals/ couples. My background is in substance misuse counseling. I work with trauma, anxiety, depression, body image/ disordered eating. I work in a relational way, that invites the client into the therapeutic process, setting goals, assigning homework if appropriate, coming up with ways to better resource in times of stress/ emotional overwhelm. I enjoy working with people who view themselves as sensitive beings, intuitive /empaths. I am somatically trained, which means I invite the body into the therapy, offering interventions such as mindfulness. I offer EMDR and somatic touch work: Relational Somatic Healing.
Eating disorders, drug and alcohol issues, and challenges of early recovery, depression, anxiety, chronic issues such as migraine, skin conditions, MS, highly sensitive people.
I Work with individuals/ couples. My background is in substance misuse counseling. I work with trauma, anxiety, depression, body image/ disordered eating. I work in a relational way, that invites the client into the therapeutic process, setting goals, assigning homework if appropriate, coming up with ways to better resource in times of stress/ emotional overwhelm. I enjoy working with people who view themselves as sensitive beings, intuitive /empaths. I am somatically trained, which means I invite the body into the therapy, offering interventions such as mindfulness. I offer EMDR and somatic touch work: Relational Somatic Healing.
(415) 594-4409 View (415) 594-4409
Photo of Kathleen Louise Someah, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA
Kathleen Louise Someah
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94108
I am especially passionate about treating eating disorders. I see clients of varying age groups with a particular focus on adolescents, transitional age youth and young adults. Changing one's behaviors and psychological states is a process and I aim to meet clients where they are at in terms of their readiness for change. In addition to specific graduate training and many years working at Stanford Health's inpatient eating disorder unit, I also have lived experience dealing with disordered eating, and find that my own recovery journey benefits clients and serves as a reminder that recovery is attainable.
I am especially passionate about treating eating disorders. I see clients of varying age groups with a particular focus on adolescents, transitional age youth and young adults. Changing one's behaviors and psychological states is a process and I aim to meet clients where they are at in terms of their readiness for change. In addition to specific graduate training and many years working at Stanford Health's inpatient eating disorder unit, I also have lived experience dealing with disordered eating, and find that my own recovery journey benefits clients and serves as a reminder that recovery is attainable.
(628) 200-4079 View (628) 200-4079
Photo of Olga Rocklin Psychotherapy, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Olga Rocklin Psychotherapy
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94122  (Online Only)
This includes: eating disorders, disordered eating.
Choosing to see a therapist is a courageous act; I applaud you for taking this step. Therapy works best when we collaborate. I believe that in working together in an authentic and curious way, we can figure out effective ways to meet your current challenges in a supportive environment. Learning to use wholesome coping skills is a central part of the work we'll do together.
This includes: eating disorders, disordered eating.
Choosing to see a therapist is a courageous act; I applaud you for taking this step. Therapy works best when we collaborate. I believe that in working together in an authentic and curious way, we can figure out effective ways to meet your current challenges in a supportive environment. Learning to use wholesome coping skills is a central part of the work we'll do together.
(628) 265-4935 View (628) 265-4935
Photo of Jojo Hill, Marriage & Family Therapist Associate in San Francisco, CA
Jojo Hill
Marriage & Family Therapist Associate
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94121  (Online Only)
My therapeutic focus is working with adolescents and adults suffering from eating disorders and disordered eating, anxiety, perfectionism, and pressures of over-achievement.
Pain is part of what makes us human; the way we move through pain is how we grow. Our work together can strengthen resilience and equanimity when confronting the challenges that life inevitably brings. I work collaboratively and compassionately with my clients to help them develop a nurturing and dynamic sense of self, community, and the world, fostering stronger connection to the people and resources that can support them outside of therapy.
My therapeutic focus is working with adolescents and adults suffering from eating disorders and disordered eating, anxiety, perfectionism, and pressures of over-achievement.
Pain is part of what makes us human; the way we move through pain is how we grow. Our work together can strengthen resilience and equanimity when confronting the challenges that life inevitably brings. I work collaboratively and compassionately with my clients to help them develop a nurturing and dynamic sense of self, community, and the world, fostering stronger connection to the people and resources that can support them outside of therapy.
(628) 345-5211 View (628) 345-5211
Photo of Tandra Froehlich Childress, Art Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Tandra Froehlich Childress
Art Therapist, MA, ATR, LMFT
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94131
I create a safe holding space where people can deeply explore what is blocking them from enjoying their lives to the fullest. I focus on authentic connection and empathy to build trusting therapeudic relationships. I enjoy working with teens, young adults, and adults. If you are struggling to recover from DID, complex trauma, single traumas, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or bipolar disorder, I am here to help.
I create a safe holding space where people can deeply explore what is blocking them from enjoying their lives to the fullest. I focus on authentic connection and empathy to build trusting therapeudic relationships. I enjoy working with teens, young adults, and adults. If you are struggling to recover from DID, complex trauma, single traumas, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or bipolar disorder, I am here to help.
(415) 562-0416 View (415) 562-0416
Photo of Leora Fulvio, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Leora Fulvio
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, MFT, CCHT
Verified Verified
5 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94123
I have been helping women heal from binge eating and bulimia since 2005.
If you are suffering with food & body image issues, issues of self-esteem & self-worth, relationship issues or dealing with trauma, I can help you. There are so many women who feel as though they are not enough. They believe that they somehow have to be better, look different, lose weight, be a whole different person to have a good relationship and a happy life. They beat themselves up constantly and are always trying to change. Do you understand this feeling? If so, I can help you have a loving relationship with yourself and settle into who you really are.
I have been helping women heal from binge eating and bulimia since 2005.
If you are suffering with food & body image issues, issues of self-esteem & self-worth, relationship issues or dealing with trauma, I can help you. There are so many women who feel as though they are not enough. They believe that they somehow have to be better, look different, lose weight, be a whole different person to have a good relationship and a happy life. They beat themselves up constantly and are always trying to change. Do you understand this feeling? If so, I can help you have a loving relationship with yourself and settle into who you really are.
(415) 649-8964 View (415) 649-8964
Photo of Erica Antoinette Nocera, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Erica Antoinette Nocera
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94108  (Online Only)
Hi! I'm Erica, a warm, empathetic, and open Marriage and Family Therapist that helps clients find their purpose, heal, and thrive! I'd love to be your guide to holistic healing and transformation. With expertise in trauma- rooted anxiety and depression, recovery counseling with addictions, and women’s issues including body image, low self esteem, and eating disorders, I'll help teach you evidence-based tools to reframe thoughts and regulate emotions, as well as explore root causes for symptom management. Let's empower you to achieve resilience and personal growth, leading to a healthier and happier future:)
Hi! I'm Erica, a warm, empathetic, and open Marriage and Family Therapist that helps clients find their purpose, heal, and thrive! I'd love to be your guide to holistic healing and transformation. With expertise in trauma- rooted anxiety and depression, recovery counseling with addictions, and women’s issues including body image, low self esteem, and eating disorders, I'll help teach you evidence-based tools to reframe thoughts and regulate emotions, as well as explore root causes for symptom management. Let's empower you to achieve resilience and personal growth, leading to a healthier and happier future:)
(949) 704-6606 View (949) 704-6606
Photo of Mariana Prutton, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
Mariana Prutton
Marriage & Family Therapist, MS, LMFT
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
San Francisco, CA 94109  (Online Only)
I specialize in treating adults with eating disorders, including binge eating, bulimia, and anorexia, as well as disordered eating such as orthorexia, overeating, and emotional eating.
Do you struggle with binge eating or obsessive thoughts about food? Do you hate the way your body looks? Does it affect your ability to focus, eat out, spend time with friends, or be home alone? If you're feeling more confused than ever about what to eat and how to eat and want to finally make peace with food and your body, change is possible. You can heal your relationship with food and your body so food and negative body image don't dominate your life anymore.
I specialize in treating adults with eating disorders, including binge eating, bulimia, and anorexia, as well as disordered eating such as orthorexia, overeating, and emotional eating.
Do you struggle with binge eating or obsessive thoughts about food? Do you hate the way your body looks? Does it affect your ability to focus, eat out, spend time with friends, or be home alone? If you're feeling more confused than ever about what to eat and how to eat and want to finally make peace with food and your body, change is possible. You can heal your relationship with food and your body so food and negative body image don't dominate your life anymore.
(415) 843-8595 View (415) 843-8595
Photo of Laura Hauben, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA
Laura Hauben
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
San Francisco, CA 94114
Eating disorders occur when the path towards healthy development goes awry.
Major life events, both positive and negative, can require emotional adjustments that take us by surprise. Even desired life changes like parenthood, marriage, and graduation can lead to unexpected feelings. Current research on attachment confirms that humans are more resilient in the face of major life change and trauma when they feel understood and supported by another. I use psychotherapy and EMDR in my practice. In therapy I am direct, but I provide the empathy and compassion that we all need. My patients feel seen by me and in turn, seek out other fortifying relationships.
Eating disorders occur when the path towards healthy development goes awry.
Major life events, both positive and negative, can require emotional adjustments that take us by surprise. Even desired life changes like parenthood, marriage, and graduation can lead to unexpected feelings. Current research on attachment confirms that humans are more resilient in the face of major life change and trauma when they feel understood and supported by another. I use psychotherapy and EMDR in my practice. In therapy I am direct, but I provide the empathy and compassion that we all need. My patients feel seen by me and in turn, seek out other fortifying relationships.
(415) 323-3931 View (415) 323-3931

See more therapy options for San Francisco

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.