Eating Disorders Therapists in Baltimore, MD

Photo of Arthur Chen, Psychologist in Baltimore, MD
Arthur Chen
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Baltimore, MD 21210
Dr. Chen has extensive experience working w/ substance use, eating disorders, PTSD, and mood disorders. Dr. Chen completed his clinical training at mutiple clinics and also specializes in self-esteem and confidence development. The first goal is to understand why a person is struggling. Then, work with the patient to build resiliency and strength to adapt and overcome life's challenges. Dr. Chen incorporates real-world experiences/exposures with CBT/DBT and social skills training into his therapies to maximize the therapy gains. A focus of therapy is also on the development of happiness and finding the purpose/meaning for life.
Dr. Chen has extensive experience working w/ substance use, eating disorders, PTSD, and mood disorders. Dr. Chen completed his clinical training at mutiple clinics and also specializes in self-esteem and confidence development. The first goal is to understand why a person is struggling. Then, work with the patient to build resiliency and strength to adapt and overcome life's challenges. Dr. Chen incorporates real-world experiences/exposures with CBT/DBT and social skills training into his therapies to maximize the therapy gains. A focus of therapy is also on the development of happiness and finding the purpose/meaning for life.
(443) 234-0583 View (443) 234-0583
Photo of Danice Young, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Baltimore, MD
Danice Young
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW-C
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Baltimore, MD 21215  (Online Only)
Are you feeling worried all of the time?Do you feel sad, stuck, and unmotivated? Tired of repeating the cycle of unhealthy relationships? My areas of interest and experience includes mood disorders, anxiety disorders, domestic violence, low self esteem, body image issues, and eating disorders. I've been certified in mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy. I’m a only offering virtual therapy sessions at this time.
Are you feeling worried all of the time?Do you feel sad, stuck, and unmotivated? Tired of repeating the cycle of unhealthy relationships? My areas of interest and experience includes mood disorders, anxiety disorders, domestic violence, low self esteem, body image issues, and eating disorders. I've been certified in mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy. I’m a only offering virtual therapy sessions at this time.
(240) 623-5566 View (240) 623-5566
Photo of Julia Sanders, Counselor in Baltimore, MD
Julia Sanders
Counselor, LCPC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Baltimore, MD 21230  (Online Only)
Julia is specialized in working with clients that struggle body image and eating disorders, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, And chronic stress.
Julia has worked with cases of acute psychosis, trauma, SUD, adults struggling with homelessness, and mental illness. Julia now a has focus on helping clients foster self-confidence, healthy coping skills, social-emotional skills, and problem-solving abilities. Julia enjoys looking for creative solutions to problems and brings that aspect of creativity to therapy. She focuses her practice on a Person-Centered, Strength Based approach. Julia strives to focus therapy on each individual’s abilities, strengths, and needs and collaborates with clients on their goals and approaches to treatment.
Julia is specialized in working with clients that struggle body image and eating disorders, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, And chronic stress.
Julia has worked with cases of acute psychosis, trauma, SUD, adults struggling with homelessness, and mental illness. Julia now a has focus on helping clients foster self-confidence, healthy coping skills, social-emotional skills, and problem-solving abilities. Julia enjoys looking for creative solutions to problems and brings that aspect of creativity to therapy. She focuses her practice on a Person-Centered, Strength Based approach. Julia strives to focus therapy on each individual’s abilities, strengths, and needs and collaborates with clients on their goals and approaches to treatment.
(443) 665-8385 View (443) 665-8385
Photo of Carolyn M. Karoll, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Baltimore, MD
Carolyn M. Karoll
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW-C, CEDS-S
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Baltimore, MD 21224  (Online Only)
I am an International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (iaedp) Certified Eating Disorder Specialist & an iaedp Approved Supervisor; one of a limited number of professionals nationwide to achieve these distinctions after completing a rigorous set of criteria for the evaluation of education, training, knowledge and experience.
This may be your first time seeking therapy for yourself, your loved one or your family or you may be looking for a "good fit" and not sure what to expect. My goal is to demystify this process, provide you hope, and empower you to make the changes as we walk through the process together. I utilize an integrative approach, using a variety of treatment modalities to best meet the needs of my clients, guided by both research and evidence based/evidenced informed interventions.
I am an International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (iaedp) Certified Eating Disorder Specialist & an iaedp Approved Supervisor; one of a limited number of professionals nationwide to achieve these distinctions after completing a rigorous set of criteria for the evaluation of education, training, knowledge and experience.
This may be your first time seeking therapy for yourself, your loved one or your family or you may be looking for a "good fit" and not sure what to expect. My goal is to demystify this process, provide you hope, and empower you to make the changes as we walk through the process together. I utilize an integrative approach, using a variety of treatment modalities to best meet the needs of my clients, guided by both research and evidence based/evidenced informed interventions.
(443) 550-8678 View (443) 550-8678
Debbi g Jacobs
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW-C
Verified Verified
Baltimore, MD 21208
I received my Master's in Social Work, from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, in 1999. I then trained at Jewish Family Services where I practiced for 11 years, seeing children, adults and families. In 2009, I began work at the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt where I received extensive training in the Maudsley Method/ Family Based Therapy Approach to treating Anorexia in adolescent patients and working with their families. Additionally, I have training in Sand Tray Therapy, a nonverbal modality that is helpful with the treatment of trauma as well as other concerns.
I received my Master's in Social Work, from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, in 1999. I then trained at Jewish Family Services where I practiced for 11 years, seeing children, adults and families. In 2009, I began work at the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt where I received extensive training in the Maudsley Method/ Family Based Therapy Approach to treating Anorexia in adolescent patients and working with their families. Additionally, I have training in Sand Tray Therapy, a nonverbal modality that is helpful with the treatment of trauma as well as other concerns.
(410) 807-3844 View (410) 807-3844
Photo of Mindy Lais, Psychologist in Baltimore, MD
Mindy Lais
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Baltimore, MD 21210
For over 10 years I ran an Intensive Outpatient Program for individuals struggling with eating disorders.
I feel that therapy can be a wonderful resource to help you cope with and heal from life's challenges. Understanding how your life experiences have led to relationship and behavior patterns can help you make lasting changes and lead a more fulfilling life. I work hard to create a safe environment and partnership with clients to facilitate personal growth. I utilize an integrative therapy model to create a personalized approach for each individual I work with. I also provide consultation.
For over 10 years I ran an Intensive Outpatient Program for individuals struggling with eating disorders.
I feel that therapy can be a wonderful resource to help you cope with and heal from life's challenges. Understanding how your life experiences have led to relationship and behavior patterns can help you make lasting changes and lead a more fulfilling life. I work hard to create a safe environment and partnership with clients to facilitate personal growth. I utilize an integrative therapy model to create a personalized approach for each individual I work with. I also provide consultation.
(410) 498-6523 View (410) 498-6523
Photo of Stacey Uebersax, Psychologist in Baltimore, MD
Stacey Uebersax
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
Baltimore, MD 21210
In my practice, I work with adults and older adolescents facing challenges such as eating disorders, depression and anxiety, as well as a variety of other mental health concerns. Research shows that an authentic and caring therapeutic relationship, coupled with evidence based treatments, provides a strong foundation for success. My approach to therapy is integrative, collaborative and individualized. My goal is to help you determine what is causing and maintaining current problems and how to make necessary changes in thoughts, feelings and behaviors, leading to enduring change and resulting in greater health and happiness.
In my practice, I work with adults and older adolescents facing challenges such as eating disorders, depression and anxiety, as well as a variety of other mental health concerns. Research shows that an authentic and caring therapeutic relationship, coupled with evidence based treatments, provides a strong foundation for success. My approach to therapy is integrative, collaborative and individualized. My goal is to help you determine what is causing and maintaining current problems and how to make necessary changes in thoughts, feelings and behaviors, leading to enduring change and resulting in greater health and happiness.
(443) 622-6876 View (443) 622-6876
Photo of Eliza Pelton, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Baltimore, MD
Eliza Pelton
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW-C
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Baltimore, MD 21210
My goal is to help you identify your needs, plan and act for positive change, and create balance in your life. During our sessions, I strive to empower and support you while helping you build the tools to manage stressful life events and reach your goals. Most importantly, I will meet you where you are (mentally and emotionally) and personalize therapy to your needs. I have experience across a broad spectrum of topics and specialize in treating eating disorders, substance use, anxiety, depression, and mood disorders.
My goal is to help you identify your needs, plan and act for positive change, and create balance in your life. During our sessions, I strive to empower and support you while helping you build the tools to manage stressful life events and reach your goals. Most importantly, I will meet you where you are (mentally and emotionally) and personalize therapy to your needs. I have experience across a broad spectrum of topics and specialize in treating eating disorders, substance use, anxiety, depression, and mood disorders.
(443) 596-6895 View (443) 596-6895
Photo of Lauren Ilene Mirkin, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Baltimore, MD
Lauren Ilene Mirkin
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, LPCP, NCC, LDN, NBC-HWC
Verified Verified
Baltimore, MD 21209
I specialize in treating the whole spectrum of eating disorders from anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder to emotional eating, yo-yo dieting and disordered eating.
Are you feeling stuck, down, depressed, unmotivated, unfocused? Are you trapped in overwhelming emotions or unhelpful thinking? Are your relationships causing you distress? I am here to help you on your journey to greater inner harmony, balance, joy, and aliveness. I am an experienced psychotherapist who finds great fulfillment in helping my clients overcome their emotional hurdles and enabling them to live more productive and fulfilling lives. I work with adults, adolescents, couples, and families. I am here to help you discover your strengths and see the sunny side of life more often.
I specialize in treating the whole spectrum of eating disorders from anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder to emotional eating, yo-yo dieting and disordered eating.
Are you feeling stuck, down, depressed, unmotivated, unfocused? Are you trapped in overwhelming emotions or unhelpful thinking? Are your relationships causing you distress? I am here to help you on your journey to greater inner harmony, balance, joy, and aliveness. I am an experienced psychotherapist who finds great fulfillment in helping my clients overcome their emotional hurdles and enabling them to live more productive and fulfilling lives. I work with adults, adolescents, couples, and families. I am here to help you discover your strengths and see the sunny side of life more often.
(410) 472-5625 View (410) 472-5625
Photo of Jaime M Fenton Ph.D., Psychologist in Baltimore, MD
Jaime M Fenton Ph.D.
Psychologist, PhD, LLC
Verified Verified
5 Endorsed
Baltimore, MD 21212
I have expertise with a wide variety of presenting problems including depression, anxiety, self esteem, relationship concerns, LGBT concerns, and body image/eating disorders.
This practice is only accepting MBCT group clients. Life can be difficult. We frequently face challenges that push us to our limits, making it difficult to cope and see options. During hard times it is helpful to have increased support and guidance. I am a Licensed Psychologist and have been in practice since 2005. In my work, I strive to be empathic, encouraging and challenging, assisting clients in making significant life changes. I pride myself in being a strong listener who will work to understand you and respond without judgment.
I have expertise with a wide variety of presenting problems including depression, anxiety, self esteem, relationship concerns, LGBT concerns, and body image/eating disorders.
This practice is only accepting MBCT group clients. Life can be difficult. We frequently face challenges that push us to our limits, making it difficult to cope and see options. During hard times it is helpful to have increased support and guidance. I am a Licensed Psychologist and have been in practice since 2005. In my work, I strive to be empathic, encouraging and challenging, assisting clients in making significant life changes. I pride myself in being a strong listener who will work to understand you and respond without judgment.
(443) 732-0918 View (443) 732-0918
Photo of Erin R Birely, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Baltimore, MD
Erin R Birely
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, LCPC
Verified Verified
6 Endorsed
Baltimore, MD 21210
I specialize in the treatment of eating disorders and developing higher self-esteem.
I believe therapy is a tool that can be used by everyone to help make life more manageable. When we feel our life is out of control or we're unable to manage it, we may go to extremes to try and regain control. Most of the methods we turn to in these situations may seem to help in the beginning, but more often than not they end up hurting us in the long run. I believe this is where therapy can help to find healthy and productive ways to gain a sense of confidence and capability to handle struggles.
I specialize in the treatment of eating disorders and developing higher self-esteem.
I believe therapy is a tool that can be used by everyone to help make life more manageable. When we feel our life is out of control or we're unable to manage it, we may go to extremes to try and regain control. Most of the methods we turn to in these situations may seem to help in the beginning, but more often than not they end up hurting us in the long run. I believe this is where therapy can help to find healthy and productive ways to gain a sense of confidence and capability to handle struggles.
(410) 753-2532 View (410) 753-2532
Photo of Sophie Sterling Counseling, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Baltimore, MD
Sophie Sterling Counseling
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW-C
Verified Verified
Baltimore, MD 21287
I have extensive experience in mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse recovery, and life transitions.
Hi there. I'm a Johns Hopkins trained, board certified therapist and I would be honored to work with you. Therapy is a collaborative endeavor. I bring to the table my years of clinical experience, as well as my caring and commitment to you, I ask only that you bring an openness to begin looking at your challenges. Together we will identify your goals and come up with a plan to achieve them. In a safe and compassionate environment, I'll provide you with a personalized therapeutic approach tailored to your unique circumstances.
I have extensive experience in mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse recovery, and life transitions.
Hi there. I'm a Johns Hopkins trained, board certified therapist and I would be honored to work with you. Therapy is a collaborative endeavor. I bring to the table my years of clinical experience, as well as my caring and commitment to you, I ask only that you bring an openness to begin looking at your challenges. Together we will identify your goals and come up with a plan to achieve them. In a safe and compassionate environment, I'll provide you with a personalized therapeutic approach tailored to your unique circumstances.
(508) 422-0537 View (508) 422-0537
Photo of Kathy Haerian, LCSW-C, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Baltimore, MD
Kathy Haerian, LCSW-C
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW-C, CEDS
Verified Verified
Baltimore, MD 21210
Treating mental health issues-from depression to eating disorders and more-requires training, experience, and continued commitment in clinical practice.
After working over 24 years in the field of social work, I recognize my energy and desire lies in clinical practice. My particular interests in the last 15 years have also addressed other areas beyond general mental health. This includes clients who struggle with food and eating issues, body image disturbance, and negative self image. In addition, the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a new appreciation to the importance of therapy, and the recognized need for others to say that they need help.
Treating mental health issues-from depression to eating disorders and more-requires training, experience, and continued commitment in clinical practice.
After working over 24 years in the field of social work, I recognize my energy and desire lies in clinical practice. My particular interests in the last 15 years have also addressed other areas beyond general mental health. This includes clients who struggle with food and eating issues, body image disturbance, and negative self image. In addition, the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a new appreciation to the importance of therapy, and the recognized need for others to say that they need help.
(443) 233-1924 View (443) 233-1924
Photo of Natalie O'Neil, Counselor in Baltimore, MD
Natalie O'Neil
Counselor, LCPC, MA
Verified Verified
Baltimore, MD 21210
As a counselor, my primary clinical focus is upon eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, & binge-eating) & body image; trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), & dissociative disorders; anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety, social anxiety, & panic attacks) and healthy aging and life transitions. I utilize the evidence based treatments of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) as well as psychodynamic therapy. Schedule now online through my secure portal at https://natalie-oneil.clientsecure.me/client_portal
As a counselor, my primary clinical focus is upon eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, & binge-eating) & body image; trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), & dissociative disorders; anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety, social anxiety, & panic attacks) and healthy aging and life transitions. I utilize the evidence based treatments of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) as well as psychodynamic therapy. Schedule now online through my secure portal at https://natalie-oneil.clientsecure.me/client_portal
(410) 593-3356 View (410) 593-3356
Photo of Francis Iacobucci, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Baltimore, MD
Francis Iacobucci
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, LICSW, LCSW-C
Verified Verified
Baltimore, MD 21201  (Online Only)
If you are someone who desires change and a deeper understanding of the aspects of your life to help ease emotional patterns and relieve symptoms, psychotherapy can help facilitate these goals. Developing understanding during treatment can lead to changes in behaviors, relationships, and sense of self. Through a compassionate and gentle approach, and with a HAES and body neutral lens, I aim to create an environment where individuals of all identities, abilities, and body size feel heard, safe, and connected. I work with individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, emotional distress, eating disorders, and body image concerns.
If you are someone who desires change and a deeper understanding of the aspects of your life to help ease emotional patterns and relieve symptoms, psychotherapy can help facilitate these goals. Developing understanding during treatment can lead to changes in behaviors, relationships, and sense of self. Through a compassionate and gentle approach, and with a HAES and body neutral lens, I aim to create an environment where individuals of all identities, abilities, and body size feel heard, safe, and connected. I work with individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, emotional distress, eating disorders, and body image concerns.
(564) 225-2483 View (564) 225-2483
Photo of Beth Frederick, Psychologist in Baltimore, MD
Beth Frederick
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Baltimore, MD 21202
Waitlist for new clients
I have practiced psychology for over 15 years and have worked in a variety of settings, including Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt, Johns Hopkins University, and Eating Recovery Center. I have a diverse range of skills and work to personalize treatment to meet people’s needs. I practice cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). These treatments are “evidenced-based,” meaning they have been studied and demonstrated to effectively treat a variety of concerns, including depression, anxiety and eating disorders.
I have practiced psychology for over 15 years and have worked in a variety of settings, including Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt, Johns Hopkins University, and Eating Recovery Center. I have a diverse range of skills and work to personalize treatment to meet people’s needs. I practice cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). These treatments are “evidenced-based,” meaning they have been studied and demonstrated to effectively treat a variety of concerns, including depression, anxiety and eating disorders.
(443) 383-4035 View (443) 383-4035
Photo of Tina Maczis, Counselor in Baltimore, MD
Tina Maczis
Counselor, LCPC, LCPAT, ATR-BC
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Baltimore, MD 21211
I have significant experience and specialization in treating eating disorders and disordered eating, and have worked at various levels of care in doing so for multiple years.
Hello! I am so glad you are here. Anything new can evoke an array of feelings, and therapy is no different. Therapy is a space for individuals to understand themselves, their needs, and any current distress in their life, while exploring avenues for change, hope, and healing. In our work, I would value you to feel informed, empowered, seen, and supported. My approach is collaborative, curious, direct but gentle, compassionate, and trauma-informed. I provide a space where we can explore what is important to you through traditional talk therapy, art therapy, or any combination thereof, as I am independently licensed in both.
I have significant experience and specialization in treating eating disorders and disordered eating, and have worked at various levels of care in doing so for multiple years.
Hello! I am so glad you are here. Anything new can evoke an array of feelings, and therapy is no different. Therapy is a space for individuals to understand themselves, their needs, and any current distress in their life, while exploring avenues for change, hope, and healing. In our work, I would value you to feel informed, empowered, seen, and supported. My approach is collaborative, curious, direct but gentle, compassionate, and trauma-informed. I provide a space where we can explore what is important to you through traditional talk therapy, art therapy, or any combination thereof, as I am independently licensed in both.
(443) 214-3507 View (443) 214-3507
Photo of SeunCares Therapy Center, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Baltimore, MD
SeunCares Therapy Center
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, MA, LCPC, LPC
Verified Verified
Baltimore, MD 21201  (Online Only)
This is why we offer a range of services to diverse individuals with various needs, including eating disorders, body image concerns, anxiety, stress, depression, trauma, as well as family, couples, and individual counseling in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
At SeunCares Therapy Center Inc., our goal is to provide compassionate and quality mental health therapy using a person-centered approach to help you achieve your therapy goals in a nonjudgmental and safe therapeutic environment. We believe that you have the inner strength to overcome your challenges and to define your own life.
This is why we offer a range of services to diverse individuals with various needs, including eating disorders, body image concerns, anxiety, stress, depression, trauma, as well as family, couples, and individual counseling in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
At SeunCares Therapy Center Inc., our goal is to provide compassionate and quality mental health therapy using a person-centered approach to help you achieve your therapy goals in a nonjudgmental and safe therapeutic environment. We believe that you have the inner strength to overcome your challenges and to define your own life.
(443) 493-7609 View (443) 493-7609
Photo of Elizabeth Foote, Counselor in Baltimore, MD
Elizabeth Foote
Counselor, LCPC
Verified Verified
5 Endorsed
Baltimore, MD 21224  (Online Only)
I have specialized training in the treatment of individuals struggling with eating disorders.
I believe that therapy is an incredible tool to learn to navigate struggles in more adaptive ways. You deserve a kind and compassionate therapist who will work with you to develop goals and implement strategies to help you create and maintain positive change.
I have specialized training in the treatment of individuals struggling with eating disorders.
I believe that therapy is an incredible tool to learn to navigate struggles in more adaptive ways. You deserve a kind and compassionate therapist who will work with you to develop goals and implement strategies to help you create and maintain positive change.
(410) 632-6825 View (410) 632-6825
Photo of Molly Letsch, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Baltimore, MD
Molly Letsch
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW-C
Verified Verified
Baltimore, MD 21224  (Online Only)
I have a wide range of clinical experience including: anxiety and mood disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders, interpersonal relationship issues, trauma, grief/loss, LGBTQIA+ concerns, and life transitions.
Therapy is a unique relationship that allows you to discover who you really are and the patterns that shape your life. It can foster emotional growth, affirm your identity and curiosity, and gently challenge you to create change. As a therapist who values a deep and meaningful connection with my clients, I offer a safe, authentic space that invites the process of healing to begin. Whether you face difficulty coping with anxiety, life transitions or negative body image, have a tendency to experience the same problems repeatedly, feel stuck, or just want to increase self-awareness and gain insight, I will meet you where you are.
I have a wide range of clinical experience including: anxiety and mood disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders, interpersonal relationship issues, trauma, grief/loss, LGBTQIA+ concerns, and life transitions.
Therapy is a unique relationship that allows you to discover who you really are and the patterns that shape your life. It can foster emotional growth, affirm your identity and curiosity, and gently challenge you to create change. As a therapist who values a deep and meaningful connection with my clients, I offer a safe, authentic space that invites the process of healing to begin. Whether you face difficulty coping with anxiety, life transitions or negative body image, have a tendency to experience the same problems repeatedly, feel stuck, or just want to increase self-awareness and gain insight, I will meet you where you are.
(410) 775-5689 View (410) 775-5689

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.