Eating Disorders Therapists in Indianapolis, IN

Photo of Aly Richardson, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Indianapolis, IN
Aly Richardson
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW, LISW-CP
Verified Verified
Indianapolis, IN 46216  (Online Only)
I am a Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional, EMDR trained (virtually and in person), and an Associate Designee at IAEDP Institute on Eating Disorders.
Hi there, I’m Aly! I am passionate about helping my clients move from surviving to thriving. I work hard to create an atmosphere of balance and self-acceptance. I want you to be able to break free from the vicious cycle of trying to be perfect, “failing”, then trying it all over again. My primary focus areas include eating disorders/disordered eating, anxiety, life transitions, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Not only do I have years of professional experience and training regarding these struggles, but I also have years of personal experience and recovery!
I am a Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional, EMDR trained (virtually and in person), and an Associate Designee at IAEDP Institute on Eating Disorders.
Hi there, I’m Aly! I am passionate about helping my clients move from surviving to thriving. I work hard to create an atmosphere of balance and self-acceptance. I want you to be able to break free from the vicious cycle of trying to be perfect, “failing”, then trying it all over again. My primary focus areas include eating disorders/disordered eating, anxiety, life transitions, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Not only do I have years of professional experience and training regarding these struggles, but I also have years of personal experience and recovery!
(317) 315-2137 View (317) 315-2137
Photo of Kalyn Jorgensen, Counselor in Indianapolis, IN
Kalyn Jorgensen
Counselor, LMHC
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Indianapolis, IN 46256
I specialize in helping individuals with disordered eating/eating disorders, body image, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, life stressors, and relationships.
Welcome! I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in private practice at Indy Therapy and Counseling. I am here to help with navigating challenges that are bringing you to therapy by providing a safe, compassionate, and welcoming space.
I specialize in helping individuals with disordered eating/eating disorders, body image, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, life stressors, and relationships.
Welcome! I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in private practice at Indy Therapy and Counseling. I am here to help with navigating challenges that are bringing you to therapy by providing a safe, compassionate, and welcoming space.
(463) 220-4894 View (463) 220-4894
Photo of Kate Fisch, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Indianapolis, IN
Kate Fisch
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
8 Endorsed
Indianapolis, IN 46220
Northside is a group practice dedicated to creating a space where you can confront life's challenges head on; challenges that are holding you back from living your best life. We specialize in the treatment of eating disorders, substance abuse, mood disorders, trauma, and more. Our providers work with all ages, families, and couples.
Northside is a group practice dedicated to creating a space where you can confront life's challenges head on; challenges that are holding you back from living your best life. We specialize in the treatment of eating disorders, substance abuse, mood disorders, trauma, and more. Our providers work with all ages, families, and couples.
(317) 561-6904 View (317) 561-6904
Photo of Dr. Cari Pearson Carter, Psychologist in Indianapolis, IN
Dr. Cari Pearson Carter
Psychologist, PhD, HSPP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Indianapolis, IN 46240
I am NOT currently accepting new clients. Eating disorders (ED), anxiety, and/or stress can take hold of you so it feels like you are no longer living the life you want. Do thoughts of food or weight, or feelings of guilt consume you? Or does Worry make it difficult to enjoy time with friends or family? Or maybe you feel so stressed that you feel like you might explode? These things can make it really difficult to be who you truly are; they can pull you away from life and the things that actually matter to you, like relationships, work, and pleasant activities (e.g., reading a book, going for a hike).
I am NOT currently accepting new clients. Eating disorders (ED), anxiety, and/or stress can take hold of you so it feels like you are no longer living the life you want. Do thoughts of food or weight, or feelings of guilt consume you? Or does Worry make it difficult to enjoy time with friends or family? Or maybe you feel so stressed that you feel like you might explode? These things can make it really difficult to be who you truly are; they can pull you away from life and the things that actually matter to you, like relationships, work, and pleasant activities (e.g., reading a book, going for a hike).
(317) 483-8216 View (317) 483-8216
Farrington Specialty Centers
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW, CEDS-S
Verified Verified
Indianapolis, IN 46216
Farrington Specialty Centers are devoted to the treatment of eating disorders, compulsive exercise, and body image issues as well as co-occurring disorders including anxiety, depression, trauma, and relational concerns.
At Farrington Specialty Centers, we believe that anyone battling with an eating disorder has the potential for full recovery and true freedom! Our programs have been designed by practitioners who themselves have recovered from an eating disorder and understand personally the devastating effects of eating disorders. We specialize in all types of Eating Disorders, Compulsive Exercise, and Body Image concerns. Our services include outpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs. Our IOP, virtual IOP, and PHP programs are in network with Anthem BCBS. We work with all commercial insurances for IOP and PHP.
Farrington Specialty Centers are devoted to the treatment of eating disorders, compulsive exercise, and body image issues as well as co-occurring disorders including anxiety, depression, trauma, and relational concerns.
At Farrington Specialty Centers, we believe that anyone battling with an eating disorder has the potential for full recovery and true freedom! Our programs have been designed by practitioners who themselves have recovered from an eating disorder and understand personally the devastating effects of eating disorders. We specialize in all types of Eating Disorders, Compulsive Exercise, and Body Image concerns. Our services include outpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs. Our IOP, virtual IOP, and PHP programs are in network with Anthem BCBS. We work with all commercial insurances for IOP and PHP.
(260) 888-3230 View (260) 888-3230
Photo of Kadee Kirkpatrick, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Indianapolis, IN
Kadee Kirkpatrick
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW
Verified Verified
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Hello! I specialize in helping individuals recover from eating disorders, chronic dieting, and related struggles. I have a passion for helping those who are trying to find peace in their relationship with food and build a kinder relationship with their body. I would love to help you grow in anxiety management, assertive communication, and self-compassion. I offer warmth, empathy, insight, and practical strategies to each of my clients. I have more than 15 years of experience in the field of eating disorder treatment, including inpatient, residential, and outpatient levels of care.
Hello! I specialize in helping individuals recover from eating disorders, chronic dieting, and related struggles. I have a passion for helping those who are trying to find peace in their relationship with food and build a kinder relationship with their body. I would love to help you grow in anxiety management, assertive communication, and self-compassion. I offer warmth, empathy, insight, and practical strategies to each of my clients. I have more than 15 years of experience in the field of eating disorder treatment, including inpatient, residential, and outpatient levels of care.
(463) 220-2601 View (463) 220-2601
Photo of Mandy Leonards, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Indianapolis, IN
Mandy Leonards
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Indianapolis, IN 46250  (Online Only)
With over 15 years of experience, I am an EMDR Certified therapist licensed in two states. Specializing in complex trauma and eating disorders, my approach integrates compassion and expertise to guide clients towards resilience. As an endurance athlete, I uniquely understand the challenges athletes face, addressing the mental aspects that often accompany physical pursuits. My commitment is to cultivate a safe and empathetic space where clients can embark on a path of healing, empowering them to live their best lives.
With over 15 years of experience, I am an EMDR Certified therapist licensed in two states. Specializing in complex trauma and eating disorders, my approach integrates compassion and expertise to guide clients towards resilience. As an endurance athlete, I uniquely understand the challenges athletes face, addressing the mental aspects that often accompany physical pursuits. My commitment is to cultivate a safe and empathetic space where clients can embark on a path of healing, empowering them to live their best lives.
(619) 651-9741 View (619) 651-9741
Photo of Jan Taylor-Schultz, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Indianapolis, IN
Jan Taylor-Schultz
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW
Verified Verified
Indianapolis, IN 46260
I am a member of The Academy for Eating Disorders, National Eating Disorders Organization, National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Eating Disorders Task Force of Indiana, Indiana University Eating Disorders Task Force (COPE), and the NASW .
I have been an eating disorders specialist since 1995, treating people with Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge eating. I welcome clients into a supportive, confidential, and safe environment, as I understand how difficult it can be to to take the first step toward treatment. Having recovered from an eating disorder long ago, my treatment style is compassionate, individualized, and client focused. I know how hard it can be to get well. I see clients with varying emotional issues, because these issues also underly eating disorders. People who meet with me have concerns to address in therapy such as anxiety, depression and OCD.
I am a member of The Academy for Eating Disorders, National Eating Disorders Organization, National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Eating Disorders Task Force of Indiana, Indiana University Eating Disorders Task Force (COPE), and the NASW .
I have been an eating disorders specialist since 1995, treating people with Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge eating. I welcome clients into a supportive, confidential, and safe environment, as I understand how difficult it can be to to take the first step toward treatment. Having recovered from an eating disorder long ago, my treatment style is compassionate, individualized, and client focused. I know how hard it can be to get well. I see clients with varying emotional issues, because these issues also underly eating disorders. People who meet with me have concerns to address in therapy such as anxiety, depression and OCD.
(812) 618-1659 View (812) 618-1659
Photo of Anne Lewis, Psychologist in Indianapolis, IN
Anne Lewis
Psychologist, PhD, HSPP, LCAC, CDWF
Verified Verified
Indianapolis, IN 46240
I am a licensed Counseling Psychologist specializing in the treatment and prevention of eating disorders, addictions and co-morbid conditions with over 17 years experience. I bring a compassionate and warm energy to my clients. I offer individual, couples and family therapy for people ages 17 and above. I work with clients to improve self-worth, identify barriers to progress, reduce shame and develop powerful strategies to begin and maintain their objectives. My counseling approach is to listen nonjudgementally, providing guidance and feedback by helping clients create effective and personalized solutions to their treatment needs.
I am a licensed Counseling Psychologist specializing in the treatment and prevention of eating disorders, addictions and co-morbid conditions with over 17 years experience. I bring a compassionate and warm energy to my clients. I offer individual, couples and family therapy for people ages 17 and above. I work with clients to improve self-worth, identify barriers to progress, reduce shame and develop powerful strategies to begin and maintain their objectives. My counseling approach is to listen nonjudgementally, providing guidance and feedback by helping clients create effective and personalized solutions to their treatment needs.
(317) 542-3856 View (317) 542-3856
Photo of Nicole Grayson, Marriage & Family Therapist in Indianapolis, IN
Nicole Grayson
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
Indianapolis, IN 46220  (Online Only)
I am a marriage and family therapist licensed in Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and California. I have been practicing for 6+ years. I have worked with clients of all ages and who are struggling with a wide range of problems. I have worked with domestic violence, sexual assault, trauma, eating disorders, self harm, depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, and more. My approach is warm and inviting. I believe in treating each individual with respect. I also believe each individual I see has the ability to change and get well.
I am a marriage and family therapist licensed in Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and California. I have been practicing for 6+ years. I have worked with clients of all ages and who are struggling with a wide range of problems. I have worked with domestic violence, sexual assault, trauma, eating disorders, self harm, depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, and more. My approach is warm and inviting. I believe in treating each individual with respect. I also believe each individual I see has the ability to change and get well.
(812) 615-2378 View (812) 615-2378
Photo of Carolina Forman, Counselor in Indianapolis, IN
Carolina Forman
Counselor
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Indianapolis, IN 46205
I specialize in eating disorders including body dysmorphia, binge-eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, orthorexia, bulimia, and compulsive exercise.
In the moments, when you feel stuck, unsafe, or overwhelmed; I'm here to help. My goal is to work alongside you as you interact with your own inner strength, self-worth, and capacity for love as you grow toward the best version of yourself. Perhaps trauma, an eating disorder, or depression has made you feel disconnected, lonely, and empty. My work with individuals, families, and found families helps people to reconnect, or connect for the first time, with themselves, with others, and with the world around them as their true, authentic selves.
I specialize in eating disorders including body dysmorphia, binge-eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, orthorexia, bulimia, and compulsive exercise.
In the moments, when you feel stuck, unsafe, or overwhelmed; I'm here to help. My goal is to work alongside you as you interact with your own inner strength, self-worth, and capacity for love as you grow toward the best version of yourself. Perhaps trauma, an eating disorder, or depression has made you feel disconnected, lonely, and empty. My work with individuals, families, and found families helps people to reconnect, or connect for the first time, with themselves, with others, and with the world around them as their true, authentic selves.
(765) 358-5152 View (765) 358-5152
Photo of Emily S Paxton, Counselor in Indianapolis, IN
Emily S Paxton
Counselor, MA, LMHC, RD
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Indianapolis, IN 46280
I approach all clients with compassion, a desire to connect, and acceptance of all presenting issues. I counsel clients with eating disorders, body image concerns, and those who are desiring to move towards acceptance and care of their current bodies. In addition, I serve clients experiencing daily stressors, anxiety and depression and trauma. Assisting clients to learn new tools and build upon their strengths as well as to provide comfort and guidance in life's painful and rewarding moments is why I do what I do.
I approach all clients with compassion, a desire to connect, and acceptance of all presenting issues. I counsel clients with eating disorders, body image concerns, and those who are desiring to move towards acceptance and care of their current bodies. In addition, I serve clients experiencing daily stressors, anxiety and depression and trauma. Assisting clients to learn new tools and build upon their strengths as well as to provide comfort and guidance in life's painful and rewarding moments is why I do what I do.
(317) 661-4377 View (317) 661-4377
Photo of Rachel Smith, Mental Health Counselor in Indianapolis, IN
Rachel Smith
Mental Health Counselor, MS, LMHC
Verified Verified
Indianapolis, IN 46227
I work with various individuals, including those who struggle with low self-esteem, suicidal ideation, OCD/perfectionism, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, addiction, and complex trauma.
Are you or a loved one challenged by anxiety, depression, trauma, or relationship issues? Are you missing a sense of peace, joy, or fulfillment in your life? I am here to help you. I am passionate about accompanying those who struggle to see their unique worth and value. I like to help clients work to understand and resolve the deeper roots of their symptoms. I believe each person has the capacity to grow towards true freedom, peace, and joy. I believe that our suffering can bring about an even greater healing. I work at a Christ-centered practice in Indianapolis. I want to help you flourish in all aspects of your life.
I work with various individuals, including those who struggle with low self-esteem, suicidal ideation, OCD/perfectionism, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, addiction, and complex trauma.
Are you or a loved one challenged by anxiety, depression, trauma, or relationship issues? Are you missing a sense of peace, joy, or fulfillment in your life? I am here to help you. I am passionate about accompanying those who struggle to see their unique worth and value. I like to help clients work to understand and resolve the deeper roots of their symptoms. I believe each person has the capacity to grow towards true freedom, peace, and joy. I believe that our suffering can bring about an even greater healing. I work at a Christ-centered practice in Indianapolis. I want to help you flourish in all aspects of your life.
(317) 830-3106 x111 View (317) 830-3106 x111
Photo of Jackie Hunter, Counselor in Indianapolis, IN
Jackie Hunter
Counselor, LPCC
Verified Verified
Indianapolis, IN 46268  (Online Only)
Hi there. I'm so happy you found my counseling profile. I have experience with a wide array of issues including depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug issues, PTSD, personality disorders, bipolar and other mood disorders, eating disorders, trauma, and relationship issues. I have an eclectic approach to therapy using different techniques such as motivational interviewing, solution-focused therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology, psychoeducation, dialectical behavioral therapy, and person-centered therapy.
Hi there. I'm so happy you found my counseling profile. I have experience with a wide array of issues including depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug issues, PTSD, personality disorders, bipolar and other mood disorders, eating disorders, trauma, and relationship issues. I have an eclectic approach to therapy using different techniques such as motivational interviewing, solution-focused therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology, psychoeducation, dialectical behavioral therapy, and person-centered therapy.
(317) 961-2792 View (317) 961-2792
Photo of Christina Behrendt, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Indianapolis, IN
Christina Behrendt
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LMSW
Verified Verified
Indianapolis, IN 46260  (Online Only)
Asking for help is the hardest part. I commend you for taking that step! You are not alone. I am here to support you in your journey to understand and learn how to manage your struggles, whatever they may be. My specialty areas include PTSD, stress management, eating disorders, substance abuse, behavioral problems, and family conflict just to name a few. Overall, whatever you are struggling with, together, we can identify the core problems and come up with the best ways to work through those. I offer online and in person sessions, 7 days a week, both day and evening sessions. Email or call me to get started today!
Asking for help is the hardest part. I commend you for taking that step! You are not alone. I am here to support you in your journey to understand and learn how to manage your struggles, whatever they may be. My specialty areas include PTSD, stress management, eating disorders, substance abuse, behavioral problems, and family conflict just to name a few. Overall, whatever you are struggling with, together, we can identify the core problems and come up with the best ways to work through those. I offer online and in person sessions, 7 days a week, both day and evening sessions. Email or call me to get started today!
(463) 223-9299 View (463) 223-9299
Photo of Wesley Dillon Scott, Pre-Licensed Professional in Indianapolis, IN
Wesley Dillon Scott
Pre-Licensed Professional, LMHCA
Verified Verified
Indianapolis, IN 46256
I have experience with regards to treating trauma, anxiety, eating disorders, and OCD.
I love working with individuals that wish to take action to improve themselves. Regardless of their mental health concerns or the catalyst that led to change. If you are feeling lost or unsure where to go, having a guide can help with that. If you are feeling anxious, worried, or feel as though you need to do some general processing, you don’t have to do it alone. Once we work through whatever is holding you down, you may be surprised with how free you will feel.
I have experience with regards to treating trauma, anxiety, eating disorders, and OCD.
I love working with individuals that wish to take action to improve themselves. Regardless of their mental health concerns or the catalyst that led to change. If you are feeling lost or unsure where to go, having a guide can help with that. If you are feeling anxious, worried, or feel as though you need to do some general processing, you don’t have to do it alone. Once we work through whatever is holding you down, you may be surprised with how free you will feel.
(463) 724-2290 View (463) 724-2290
Photo of Jennifer DeVoe, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Indianapolis, IN
Jennifer DeVoe
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LISW-CP, LCSW
Verified Verified
Indianapolis, IN 46204
I have been effective with clients with eating disorders and disordered eating.
Come on in. Sit on my sofa and we'll figure out, together, what's going on with you and how to make it better. We may focus on causes - or we may instead focus solely on fixing it! Whatever seems to make more sense with your particular situation. We will be partners putting together a plan so that you can leave my sofa with a sense of direction and hope. I offer a confident, objective and compassionate ear and a proven arsenal of tools including CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). (In Indiana I am seeing clients virtually only)
I have been effective with clients with eating disorders and disordered eating.
Come on in. Sit on my sofa and we'll figure out, together, what's going on with you and how to make it better. We may focus on causes - or we may instead focus solely on fixing it! Whatever seems to make more sense with your particular situation. We will be partners putting together a plan so that you can leave my sofa with a sense of direction and hope. I offer a confident, objective and compassionate ear and a proven arsenal of tools including CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). (In Indiana I am seeing clients virtually only)
(864) 528-3566 View (864) 528-3566
Photo of Campbell Counseling, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Indianapolis, IN
Campbell Counseling
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, LCAC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Indianapolis, IN 46229
Specialty areas consist of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, gay & lesbian, behavioral problems, relationship conflicts/problems, trauma and addictions.
Our approach is to view the work of counseling as a dynamic process in which counselor and client work together towards helping the client better understand and cope with the problems of day-to-day living, and to connect with those inner resources and strengths that will lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
Specialty areas consist of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, gay & lesbian, behavioral problems, relationship conflicts/problems, trauma and addictions.
Our approach is to view the work of counseling as a dynamic process in which counselor and client work together towards helping the client better understand and cope with the problems of day-to-day living, and to connect with those inner resources and strengths that will lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
(317) 739-4302 View (317) 739-4302
Photo of Julie LaCreta, Counselor in Indianapolis, IN
Julie LaCreta
Counselor, MAAT, LMHC, LACA, ATR-P
Verified Verified
Indianapolis, IN 46237
My areas of focus include helping those with alcoholism, codependency, and eating disorders.
The goal of therapy is to help you heal and attain the connection and wholeness you want. I believe change is possible. You can become healthier, and find fulfillment no matter where you find yourself. You are not defined by a diagnosis or your past. Healing and thriving in life and relationships is possible for everyone. This effective life change takes place in a safe and positive environment with a foundation of a trusting and supporting relationship. There is hope and I offer to walk with you on your journey to wholeness.
My areas of focus include helping those with alcoholism, codependency, and eating disorders.
The goal of therapy is to help you heal and attain the connection and wholeness you want. I believe change is possible. You can become healthier, and find fulfillment no matter where you find yourself. You are not defined by a diagnosis or your past. Healing and thriving in life and relationships is possible for everyone. This effective life change takes place in a safe and positive environment with a foundation of a trusting and supporting relationship. There is hope and I offer to walk with you on your journey to wholeness.
(317) 793-3213 View (317) 793-3213
Photo of Beverly Swann, Marriage & Family Therapist in Indianapolis, IN
Beverly Swann
Marriage & Family Therapist, PhD, LMFT, MA
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Indianapolis, IN 46201
I work with many issues which have at their core anxiety, shame, depression, post-traumatic stress (PTSD), eating disorders, anger management, gambling and other addictions, & domestic violence.
Trauma...COVID fatigue...current political climate...feeling stuck...anxiety...wanting more from life...clients come to me for many reasons. My holistic, body-oriented psychotherapy & health services are based on principles of wholeness, positive psychology, & empowerment. It's about more than venting stress. It's about identifying & transcending challenges/roadblocks/speedbumps. It's about cultivating happiness/peace/well-being, learning & expanding tools, discovering & nurturing your authentic self & the resources you already have, & seeing yourself as the complex & unique being you are. Cultivate a life of thriving!
I work with many issues which have at their core anxiety, shame, depression, post-traumatic stress (PTSD), eating disorders, anger management, gambling and other addictions, & domestic violence.
Trauma...COVID fatigue...current political climate...feeling stuck...anxiety...wanting more from life...clients come to me for many reasons. My holistic, body-oriented psychotherapy & health services are based on principles of wholeness, positive psychology, & empowerment. It's about more than venting stress. It's about identifying & transcending challenges/roadblocks/speedbumps. It's about cultivating happiness/peace/well-being, learning & expanding tools, discovering & nurturing your authentic self & the resources you already have, & seeing yourself as the complex & unique being you are. Cultivate a life of thriving!
(925) 705-7036 View (925) 705-7036

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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.