Eating Disorders Therapists in San Jose, CA

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Photo of Mary E. McCloy, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Jose, CA
Mary E. McCloy
Marriage & Family Therapist, RN, MFT
Verified
San Jose, CA 95125
I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Nurse and have been working to help clients help themselves for over twenty years. I have a specialty in treating Eating Disorders and other food/weight issues and have an additional Eating Disorders Certification through the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals. I also work with clients with a variety of symptoms such as fears, anxiety, depression and substance abuse, ages 14 and older. I have an elclectic approach with emphasis on cognitive behavioral and dialectical behavioral thrapies. I believe that clients can live a happy and fulfilling life.
I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Nurse and have been working to help clients help themselves for over twenty years. I have a specialty in treating Eating Disorders and other food/weight issues and have an additional Eating Disorders Certification through the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals. I also work with clients with a variety of symptoms such as fears, anxiety, depression and substance abuse, ages 14 and older. I have an elclectic approach with emphasis on cognitive behavioral and dialectical behavioral thrapies. I believe that clients can live a happy and fulfilling life.
(408) 759-4317 View (408) 759-4317
Photo of Carrie Grabaskas, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in San Jose, CA
Carrie Grabaskas
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, CEDS
Verified
San Jose, CA 95136
Often clients I work with struggle with eating disorders, mood disorders like anxiety or depression, trauma & more.
I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor (VA) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (CA), but you might also call me a confidant or a wellness coach. With 12+ years of counseling experience, I’ve had the privilege to work in various levels of care such as inpatient, residential, crisis counseling, community-based services, outpatient counseling & more. I am a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist with the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals and trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Often clients I work with struggle with eating disorders, mood disorders like anxiety or depression, trauma & more.
I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor (VA) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (CA), but you might also call me a confidant or a wellness coach. With 12+ years of counseling experience, I’ve had the privilege to work in various levels of care such as inpatient, residential, crisis counseling, community-based services, outpatient counseling & more. I am a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist with the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals and trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
(831) 387-7965 View (831) 387-7965
Photo of Terry Fowler, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Jose, CA
Terry Fowler
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified
San Jose, CA 95136
My name is Terry Fowler and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) based in California. I work with adolescents and adults and specialize in eating disorders, addiction medicine, anxiety, stress, and depression. The approaches I use are Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Client Centered Therapy to help clients gain the skills to help themselves. My approach to goal setting is driven by you client and what you want and need. In order to establish clear goals, I will work with you to establish your needs and build on your existing strengths. You are the expert in you! I want to help you find that within.
My name is Terry Fowler and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) based in California. I work with adolescents and adults and specialize in eating disorders, addiction medicine, anxiety, stress, and depression. The approaches I use are Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Client Centered Therapy to help clients gain the skills to help themselves. My approach to goal setting is driven by you client and what you want and need. In order to establish clear goals, I will work with you to establish your needs and build on your existing strengths. You are the expert in you! I want to help you find that within.
(408) 533-1529 View (408) 533-1529
Photo of Diane Patton Gaither, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Jose, CA
Diane Patton Gaither
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT, CEDS
Verified
2 Endorsed
San Jose, CA 95124
I have a broad practice with extensive experience working with people struggling with Eating Disorders, Anxiety, and Domestic Violence.
Relationship issues? Do you suffer from anxiety? Does low self-esteem get in the way for you of having the life you really want? Maybe you are seeking insight into why you can't let go of past events that have impacted you. I can help. I believe strongly in the idea that everyone has the ability to heal themselves and at times may need additional support or guidance along the way. At the core of my therapeutic style, is the belief that a foundation of mindfulness and cultivating a healthy relationship to self is where healing and wholeness begin.
I have a broad practice with extensive experience working with people struggling with Eating Disorders, Anxiety, and Domestic Violence.
Relationship issues? Do you suffer from anxiety? Does low self-esteem get in the way for you of having the life you really want? Maybe you are seeking insight into why you can't let go of past events that have impacted you. I can help. I believe strongly in the idea that everyone has the ability to heal themselves and at times may need additional support or guidance along the way. At the core of my therapeutic style, is the belief that a foundation of mindfulness and cultivating a healthy relationship to self is where healing and wholeness begin.
(408) 260-5008 View (408) 260-5008
Photo of Melissa E Miller, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Jose, CA
Melissa E Miller
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified
San Jose, CA 95117  (Online Only)
Are you a worried parent of a teenager who's headed for trouble, or is already there? I'll help you get your kid back on track. Are you suffering the aftereffects of trauma (nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, feeling disconnected from yourself and loved ones)? We'll find a way to heal your pain and make you whole again. Had enough of the bipolar roller-coaster? Want to break free of alcohol, substances, and other addictions, including eating disorders? Let's develop a plan for your recovery, so you have your life back.
Are you a worried parent of a teenager who's headed for trouble, or is already there? I'll help you get your kid back on track. Are you suffering the aftereffects of trauma (nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, feeling disconnected from yourself and loved ones)? We'll find a way to heal your pain and make you whole again. Had enough of the bipolar roller-coaster? Want to break free of alcohol, substances, and other addictions, including eating disorders? Let's develop a plan for your recovery, so you have your life back.
(408) 676-9909 View (408) 676-9909
Photo of Diane C Petroni, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Jose, CA
Diane C Petroni
Marriage & Family Therapist, PhD, LMFT
Verified
San Jose, CA 95118
While I have had a general practice for over 25 years, eating disorders are of special interest to me, particularly the "binge-purge" cycle that plagues so many women obsessed with being thin.
Do you feel controlled by food, rather than in control of it ? Are you obsessed with eating, dieting or bingeing? Does your scale determine your mood? Is your life strongly impacted by your weight? Life doesn't have to be a weight struggle. Learn the difference between head and body hunger. Decipher what your obsessive behavior is really saying. Acquire physical, mental and emotional balance. Whether it is eating, drinking, anger, spending, controlling, an addiction is a mal-adaptive attempt at managing feelings and escaping discomfort.
While I have had a general practice for over 25 years, eating disorders are of special interest to me, particularly the "binge-purge" cycle that plagues so many women obsessed with being thin.
Do you feel controlled by food, rather than in control of it ? Are you obsessed with eating, dieting or bingeing? Does your scale determine your mood? Is your life strongly impacted by your weight? Life doesn't have to be a weight struggle. Learn the difference between head and body hunger. Decipher what your obsessive behavior is really saying. Acquire physical, mental and emotional balance. Whether it is eating, drinking, anger, spending, controlling, an addiction is a mal-adaptive attempt at managing feelings and escaping discomfort.
(408) 266-7826 x104 View (408) 266-7826 x104
Photo of Carrie M Talesfore, Psychologist in San Jose, CA
Carrie M Talesfore
Psychologist, PhD
Verified
San Jose, CA 95136  (Online Only)
Dr. Carrie Talesfore works with children to young adults with a variety of concerns including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and other social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties.
Dr. Carrie Talesfore works with children to young adults with a variety of concerns including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and other social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties.
(408) 351-3237 View (408) 351-3237
Photo of Irit Broner, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Jose, CA
Irit Broner
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified
San Jose, CA 95129
I have experience treating anxiety, depression, eating disorders, family system and relationship issues.
Welcome, I am offering you a safe place to explore your thoughts and feelings and learn new ways to cope with life challenges. I am a bilingual therapist providing therapy in both English and Hebrew. I provide psychotherapy to individuals, families, couples, and children. My approach to therapy is humanistic based on empathy, acceptance, and collaboration.
I have experience treating anxiety, depression, eating disorders, family system and relationship issues.
Welcome, I am offering you a safe place to explore your thoughts and feelings and learn new ways to cope with life challenges. I am a bilingual therapist providing therapy in both English and Hebrew. I provide psychotherapy to individuals, families, couples, and children. My approach to therapy is humanistic based on empathy, acceptance, and collaboration.
(209) 340-9538 View (209) 340-9538
Photo of Nadia Akhtar Sim, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in San Jose, CA
Nadia Akhtar Sim
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW
Verified
3 Endorsed
San Jose, CA 95113  (Online Only)
Areas of my interest and expertise include: exploring identity, concerns of immigrants/children of immigrants, issues related to intergenerational trauma, intersectional identities, divorce, relationship issues, trauma, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
I believe the foundation of living a truly fulfilling life comes from genuine and nurturing connection to others. As a therapist, my work consists of helping you find this type of connection through embracing vulnerability and increasing acceptance. Through our collaboration, we can gently and compassionately explore your needs, hopes, and fears while empowering you to utilize your strengths. Ultimately, you will arrive at a place of greater integration of all parts of yourself, while developing greater curiosity and understanding of the painful emotions and challenges that arise throughout life.
Areas of my interest and expertise include: exploring identity, concerns of immigrants/children of immigrants, issues related to intergenerational trauma, intersectional identities, divorce, relationship issues, trauma, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
I believe the foundation of living a truly fulfilling life comes from genuine and nurturing connection to others. As a therapist, my work consists of helping you find this type of connection through embracing vulnerability and increasing acceptance. Through our collaboration, we can gently and compassionately explore your needs, hopes, and fears while empowering you to utilize your strengths. Ultimately, you will arrive at a place of greater integration of all parts of yourself, while developing greater curiosity and understanding of the painful emotions and challenges that arise throughout life.
(323) 629-4886 View (323) 629-4886
Photo of Dana Helman, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Jose, CA
Dana Helman
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified
San Jose, CA 95101
I offer evidence and research based therapy as Family Based Therapy (FBT) for Eating Disorders and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Anxiety, Anxiety related disorders and depression.
I want to congratulate you on taking the first step towards making a meaningful and important change in your life. Asking for help and wanting to make a change in your life is not easy and takes a lot of courage. Often we do not have the right coping skills to manage our emotions and relationships, causing life to get complicated. Whether it's a new or recurrent problem, if you feel anxious, overwhelmed, depressed or experiencing relationship problems, I am here for you. I offer psychotherapy for individuals, couples and adolescents.
I offer evidence and research based therapy as Family Based Therapy (FBT) for Eating Disorders and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Anxiety, Anxiety related disorders and depression.
I want to congratulate you on taking the first step towards making a meaningful and important change in your life. Asking for help and wanting to make a change in your life is not easy and takes a lot of courage. Often we do not have the right coping skills to manage our emotions and relationships, causing life to get complicated. Whether it's a new or recurrent problem, if you feel anxious, overwhelmed, depressed or experiencing relationship problems, I am here for you. I offer psychotherapy for individuals, couples and adolescents.
(669) 271-7208 View (669) 271-7208
Photo of Wendy Mosqueda, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Jose, CA
Wendy Mosqueda
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, MFT
Verified
San Jose, CA 95123  (Online Only)
My areas of specialty & training are in trauma, birth-5, parenting, and extensive work in the area of eating disorders, specifically AN.
As I complete this profile, I’m struggling with labeling myself in some categories: the human experience & connectedness can be much deeper than some similarities. It is usually at a vulnerable time in our lives that we seek therapy. Though life can be beautiful, we can also encounter different challenges that hinder our ability to enjoy life, our relationships, growth, and our optimal potential. My goal to provide a supportive and safe environment that allows you to explore your thoughts, feelings, behaviors (patterns), experiences, and their connections to one another, as you seek resolution for the issues that bring to therapy.
My areas of specialty & training are in trauma, birth-5, parenting, and extensive work in the area of eating disorders, specifically AN.
As I complete this profile, I’m struggling with labeling myself in some categories: the human experience & connectedness can be much deeper than some similarities. It is usually at a vulnerable time in our lives that we seek therapy. Though life can be beautiful, we can also encounter different challenges that hinder our ability to enjoy life, our relationships, growth, and our optimal potential. My goal to provide a supportive and safe environment that allows you to explore your thoughts, feelings, behaviors (patterns), experiences, and their connections to one another, as you seek resolution for the issues that bring to therapy.
(408) 709-7944 View (408) 709-7944
Photo of Christina Johnston, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Jose, CA
Christina Johnston
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified
San Jose, CA 95101
I specialize in trauma, eating disorders and substance abuse.
I am truly grateful that you have chosen to embark on this inspiring journey of self-discovery and personal growth. As a therapist, my purpose and passion lie in supporting individuals like you to become the person they aspire to become. I firmly believe that each individual possesses the innate ability to grow and evolve. I am here to guide, empower, and facilitate your journey as you navigate the path towards self-actualization.
I specialize in trauma, eating disorders and substance abuse.
I am truly grateful that you have chosen to embark on this inspiring journey of self-discovery and personal growth. As a therapist, my purpose and passion lie in supporting individuals like you to become the person they aspire to become. I firmly believe that each individual possesses the innate ability to grow and evolve. I am here to guide, empower, and facilitate your journey as you navigate the path towards self-actualization.
(831) 604-1465 View (831) 604-1465
Photo of Lola Martin, Psychologist in San Jose, CA
Lola Martin
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified
2 Endorsed
San Jose, CA 95101  (Online Only)
I specialize in working with eating disorders and trauma.
Healing is possible. No matter who you are, or what happened to you, you deserve to feel safe and at home in your body. You can create a life that is worth living.
I specialize in working with eating disorders and trauma.
Healing is possible. No matter who you are, or what happened to you, you deserve to feel safe and at home in your body. You can create a life that is worth living.
(626) 240-5492 View (626) 240-5492
Photo of Silver Lake Psychology--San Jose location, Psychologist in San Jose, CA
Silver Lake Psychology--San Jose location
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified
San Jose, CA 95125
Relationship and sexual concerns, couples therapy, anxiety, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, stress management, insomnia, women's issues, creativity, LGBTQ- welcome.
Learn how to feel more connected to yourself, others and the world around you. Therapy provides all the elements of intimacy: honest communication, vulnerability and trust. Good therapy is challenging yet warm, providing both structure and empathy for your unique experience. We are a collective of therapists with a wide range of specialties. Our intake professionals will help connect you with the right therapist for your needs. We make appointments easy, offering evenings and weekends and flexibility for creative professionals who can't make the same time each week.
Relationship and sexual concerns, couples therapy, anxiety, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, stress management, insomnia, women's issues, creativity, LGBTQ- welcome.
Learn how to feel more connected to yourself, others and the world around you. Therapy provides all the elements of intimacy: honest communication, vulnerability and trust. Good therapy is challenging yet warm, providing both structure and empathy for your unique experience. We are a collective of therapists with a wide range of specialties. Our intake professionals will help connect you with the right therapist for your needs. We make appointments easy, offering evenings and weekends and flexibility for creative professionals who can't make the same time each week.
(408) 664-9153 View (408) 664-9153
Photo of Silver Lake Psychology--San Jose location, Psychologist in San Jose, CA
Silver Lake Psychology--San Jose location
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified
San Jose, CA 95125
Relationship and sexual concerns, couples therapy, anxiety, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, stress management, insomnia, women's issues, creativity, LGBTQ- welcome.
Learn how to feel more connected to yourself, others and the world around you. Therapy provides all the elements of intimacy: honest communication, vulnerability and trust. Good therapy is challenging yet warm, providing both structure and empathy for your unique experience. We are a collective of therapists with a wide range of specialties. Our intake professionals will help connect you with the right therapist for your needs. We make appointments easy, offering evenings and weekends and flexibility for creative professionals who can't make the same time each week.
Relationship and sexual concerns, couples therapy, anxiety, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, stress management, insomnia, women's issues, creativity, LGBTQ- welcome.
Learn how to feel more connected to yourself, others and the world around you. Therapy provides all the elements of intimacy: honest communication, vulnerability and trust. Good therapy is challenging yet warm, providing both structure and empathy for your unique experience. We are a collective of therapists with a wide range of specialties. Our intake professionals will help connect you with the right therapist for your needs. We make appointments easy, offering evenings and weekends and flexibility for creative professionals who can't make the same time each week.
(408) 677-2390 View (408) 677-2390
Photo of Carrie Ware-Kawamoto, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Jose, CA
Carrie Ware-Kawamoto
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified
San Jose, CA 95126
Hi there, I'm Carrie! I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been providing mental health treatment to adolescents and adults for over 30 years. I specialize in treating eating disorders, anxiety, and trauma via telehealth. I utilize Family Based Treatment, Internal Family Systems Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help my clients to improve how they feel and function in their lives. I also have lived experience as a person who has recovered from her own eating disorder.
Hi there, I'm Carrie! I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been providing mental health treatment to adolescents and adults for over 30 years. I specialize in treating eating disorders, anxiety, and trauma via telehealth. I utilize Family Based Treatment, Internal Family Systems Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help my clients to improve how they feel and function in their lives. I also have lived experience as a person who has recovered from her own eating disorder.
(650) 640-0658 View (650) 640-0658
Photo of Silver Lake Psychology--San Jose location, Psychologist in San Jose, CA
Silver Lake Psychology--San Jose location
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified
San Jose, CA 95125
Relationship and sexual concerns, couples therapy, anxiety, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, stress management, insomnia, women's issues, creativity, LGBTQ- welcome.
Learn how to feel more connected to yourself, others and the world around you. Therapy provides all the elements of intimacy: honest communication, vulnerability and trust. Good therapy is challenging yet warm, providing both structure and empathy for your unique experience. We are a collective of therapists with a wide range of specialties. Our intake professionals will help connect you with the right therapist for your needs. We make appointments easy, offering evenings and weekends and flexibility for creative professionals who can't make the same time each week.
Relationship and sexual concerns, couples therapy, anxiety, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, stress management, insomnia, women's issues, creativity, LGBTQ- welcome.
Learn how to feel more connected to yourself, others and the world around you. Therapy provides all the elements of intimacy: honest communication, vulnerability and trust. Good therapy is challenging yet warm, providing both structure and empathy for your unique experience. We are a collective of therapists with a wide range of specialties. Our intake professionals will help connect you with the right therapist for your needs. We make appointments easy, offering evenings and weekends and flexibility for creative professionals who can't make the same time each week.
(408) 762-4555 View (408) 762-4555
Photo of Silver Lake Psychology--San Jose location, Psychologist in San Jose, CA
Silver Lake Psychology--San Jose location
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified
San Jose, CA 95125
Relationship and sexual concerns, couples therapy, anxiety, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, stress management, insomnia, women's issues, creativity, LGBTQ- welcome.
Learn how to feel more connected to yourself, others and the world around you. Therapy provides all the elements of intimacy: honest communication, vulnerability and trust. Good therapy is challenging yet warm, providing both structure and empathy for your unique experience. We are a collective of therapists with a wide range of specialties. Our intake professionals will help connect you with the right therapist for your needs. We make appointments easy, offering evenings and weekends and flexibility for creative professionals who can't make the same time each week.
Relationship and sexual concerns, couples therapy, anxiety, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, stress management, insomnia, women's issues, creativity, LGBTQ- welcome.
Learn how to feel more connected to yourself, others and the world around you. Therapy provides all the elements of intimacy: honest communication, vulnerability and trust. Good therapy is challenging yet warm, providing both structure and empathy for your unique experience. We are a collective of therapists with a wide range of specialties. Our intake professionals will help connect you with the right therapist for your needs. We make appointments easy, offering evenings and weekends and flexibility for creative professionals who can't make the same time each week.
(408) 869-1716 View (408) 869-1716
Photo of Silver Lake Psychology--San Jose location, Psychologist in San Jose, CA
Silver Lake Psychology--San Jose location
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified
San Jose, CA 95125
Relationship and sexual concerns, couples therapy, anxiety, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, stress management, insomnia, women's issues, creativity, LGBTQ- welcome.
Learn how to feel more connected to yourself, others and the world around you. Therapy provides all the elements of intimacy: honest communication, vulnerability and trust. Good therapy is challenging yet warm, providing both structure and empathy for your unique experience. We are a collective of therapists with a wide range of specialties. Our intake professionals will help connect you with the right therapist for your needs. We make appointments easy, offering evenings and weekends and flexibility for creative professionals who can't make the same time each week.
Relationship and sexual concerns, couples therapy, anxiety, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, stress management, insomnia, women's issues, creativity, LGBTQ- welcome.
Learn how to feel more connected to yourself, others and the world around you. Therapy provides all the elements of intimacy: honest communication, vulnerability and trust. Good therapy is challenging yet warm, providing both structure and empathy for your unique experience. We are a collective of therapists with a wide range of specialties. Our intake professionals will help connect you with the right therapist for your needs. We make appointments easy, offering evenings and weekends and flexibility for creative professionals who can't make the same time each week.
(408) 755-3671 View (408) 755-3671
Photo of Silver Lake Psychology--San Jose location, Psychologist in San Jose, CA
Silver Lake Psychology--San Jose location
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified
San Jose, CA 95125
Relationship and sexual concerns, couples therapy, anxiety, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, stress management, insomnia, women's issues, creativity, LGBTQ- welcome.
Learn how to feel more connected to yourself, others and the world around you. Therapy provides all the elements of intimacy: honest communication, vulnerability and trust. Good therapy is challenging yet warm, providing both structure and empathy for your unique experience. We are a collective of therapists with a wide range of specialties. Our intake professionals will help connect you with the right therapist for your needs. We make appointments easy, offering evenings and weekends and flexibility for creative professionals who can't make the same time each week.
Relationship and sexual concerns, couples therapy, anxiety, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, stress management, insomnia, women's issues, creativity, LGBTQ- welcome.
Learn how to feel more connected to yourself, others and the world around you. Therapy provides all the elements of intimacy: honest communication, vulnerability and trust. Good therapy is challenging yet warm, providing both structure and empathy for your unique experience. We are a collective of therapists with a wide range of specialties. Our intake professionals will help connect you with the right therapist for your needs. We make appointments easy, offering evenings and weekends and flexibility for creative professionals who can't make the same time each week.
(408) 413-3098 View (408) 413-3098

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Eating Disorders Therapists

What happens in therapy for eating disorders?

In therapy for eating disorders, patients typically describe their eating and exercise behaviors, their patterns of eating in relation to stress, their beliefs about their body, the ways their eating behavior affects their relationships, and their desire (or lack of it) to change. Such information helps the therapist understand the origins of the disorder and the role it plays in the patient’s life, important for guiding treatment. Attitudes and feelings about food and eating, body weight, and physical appearance are common topics of discussion throughout treatment.

What therapy types help with eating disorders?

Once any acute medical or psychiatric emergency is resolved, psychoactive medication is often prescribed, requiring the supervision of a psychiatrist. In addition, patients receive some form of nutritional counseling along with one or more forms of psychotherapy. For adolescents, family-based treatment is empirically validated and considered the first line of treatment; parents and their children meet weekly with a clinician as the adults are coached on how to nourish and psychologically support the young patient. Adults typically receive some form of individual psychotherapy, intended to resolve the cognitive and behavioral disturbances that underlie the disorder and to relieve the mood disturbances that accompany it. In addition, patients may also be helped by group therapy.

What is the goal of therapy for eating disorders?

The most immediate goal of treatment for eating disorders is to save the life of people who are on a path of starving themselves to death or engaging in eating patterns that are doing irreparable physical harm to their body. Once the acute medical danger is past, therapy is required to understand the nature of the disordered eating and/or exercise patterns, establish healthy eating behavior, and to tackle the many erroneous beliefs and distorted self-perceptions that underlie eating disorders and continue to pose a threat to health and life. Therapy also addresses the impaired mood that not only accompanies eating disorders but intensifies the danger to health and life.

What are the limitations of therapy for eating disorders?

Therapy can be very helpful for eating disorders—but that can happen only after people recognize they have a condition that must be treated. Especially with anorexia, the distortions in self-image that accompany the disorder can keep people from acknowledging they have a problem. Individuals may in fact see their eating disorder as a badge of self-control. Those with binge-eating disorder may feel too ashamed to seek help. Therapy cannot help those who do not avail themselves of it.

How long does therapy last for eating disorders?

Because of their complexity, recovery from eating disorders is usually a long-term process—measured in months and years— often marked by setbacks and relapse. Some form of help, such as individual or group therapy, may be advisable for much of that time. It is a general rule of thumb that the longer the illness has endured and the dysregulated eating behavior has taken root, the longer treatment is likely to be needed.