Eating Disorders Therapists in Brooklyn, NY

Photo of Alex Zipkis, LMHC, Counselor
Alex Zipkis
Counselor, LMHC
Verified Verified
Brooklyn, NY 11211
My comprehensive experience includes working with survivors of trauma, the LGBTQIA+ community, individuals struggling with eating disorders, OCD, anxiety, depression and recent life changes.
My aim is to create a warm and compassionate space to meet you where you are and ultimately lead you to the path of healing and self exploration. In our work together, not only will we challenge the obstacles in your life, but also will work to highlight and expand on your already existing strengths. Whether you are looking to challenge behaviors that no longer serve you, poor self image, or begin working through past traumas, we will work together collaboratively to help you grow. I firmly believe that you are the author in your story and want to honor and explore your values, needs and wants in the therapeutic environment.
My comprehensive experience includes working with survivors of trauma, the LGBTQIA+ community, individuals struggling with eating disorders, OCD, anxiety, depression and recent life changes.
My aim is to create a warm and compassionate space to meet you where you are and ultimately lead you to the path of healing and self exploration. In our work together, not only will we challenge the obstacles in your life, but also will work to highlight and expand on your already existing strengths. Whether you are looking to challenge behaviors that no longer serve you, poor self image, or begin working through past traumas, we will work together collaboratively to help you grow. I firmly believe that you are the author in your story and want to honor and explore your values, needs and wants in the therapeutic environment.
(347) 658-5293 View (347) 658-5293
Photo of Dr. Lana Grinev, LCSW-R, M-CASAC, SAP/SAE, CPHQ, CCM/DSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Dr. Lana Grinev
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW-R, M-CASAC, SAP/SAE, CPHQ, CCM/DSW
Verified Verified
Brooklyn, NY 11234  (Online Only)
I have to agree that finding the precise therapist can be quite challenging! Hopefully I can make your search less hectic if given the opportunity. I provide an unbiased, trusting environment necessary to explore vulnerabilities which foster healing. I have success working with clients of various ages from diverse backgrounds. I have received advanced training in Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse, and I am also well-versed in cognitive, behavioral, mindfulness, and psychodynamic approaches. I combine techniques from different therapeutic modalities to help my clients reach their goals to success and overall self-fulfillment.
I have to agree that finding the precise therapist can be quite challenging! Hopefully I can make your search less hectic if given the opportunity. I provide an unbiased, trusting environment necessary to explore vulnerabilities which foster healing. I have success working with clients of various ages from diverse backgrounds. I have received advanced training in Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse, and I am also well-versed in cognitive, behavioral, mindfulness, and psychodynamic approaches. I combine techniques from different therapeutic modalities to help my clients reach their goals to success and overall self-fulfillment.
(929) 298-3870 View (929) 298-3870
Photo of Kara Korengold Putnam, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Kara Korengold Putnam
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Brooklyn, NY 11249
I am deeply passionate about supporting people through life’s challenges and empowering them to live authentic and fulfilling lives. I specialize in working with teens and adults struggling with maladaptive behavior patterns such as eating disorders and substance abuse, and common co-occurring issues including low self-esteem, anxiety, mood disorders, and trauma. I provide a warm, comfortable, and judgment-free space to explore thoughts, feelings, experiences, and vulnerabilities. My goal is to engage clients in a process of self-reflection, self-discovery, and positive change in order to achieve a greater sense of wellbeing.
I am deeply passionate about supporting people through life’s challenges and empowering them to live authentic and fulfilling lives. I specialize in working with teens and adults struggling with maladaptive behavior patterns such as eating disorders and substance abuse, and common co-occurring issues including low self-esteem, anxiety, mood disorders, and trauma. I provide a warm, comfortable, and judgment-free space to explore thoughts, feelings, experiences, and vulnerabilities. My goal is to engage clients in a process of self-reflection, self-discovery, and positive change in order to achieve a greater sense of wellbeing.
(347) 836-5452 View (347) 836-5452
Photo of Alicia Perez, LMHC, Counselor
Alicia Perez
Counselor, LMHC
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Brooklyn, NY 11211
I specialize in the treatment of eating disorders and am supervised by certified eating disorder specialist Dr.
I am a collaborative, direct, and affirming therapist. In my work with clients, I utilize an integrated approach that is tailored to meet the individual needs of clients. My approach to therapy includes but is not limited to, exploring different parts of oneself with IFS therapy, modifying maladaptive thoughts and beliefs using CBT, Emotion regulation and behavioral change using DBT, mindfulness/relaxation and Trauma work using CPT and IFS.
I specialize in the treatment of eating disorders and am supervised by certified eating disorder specialist Dr.
I am a collaborative, direct, and affirming therapist. In my work with clients, I utilize an integrated approach that is tailored to meet the individual needs of clients. My approach to therapy includes but is not limited to, exploring different parts of oneself with IFS therapy, modifying maladaptive thoughts and beliefs using CBT, Emotion regulation and behavioral change using DBT, mindfulness/relaxation and Trauma work using CPT and IFS.
(332) 244-3930 View (332) 244-3930
Photo of Stacey Morvitz, LCSW, CASAC-T, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Stacey Morvitz
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, CASAC-T
Verified Verified
Brooklyn, NY 11217  (Online Only)
In addition, I have specialized training and experience in eating disorders and addiction.
It's completely understandable that seeking help from a therapist can feel daunting and overwhelming. However, it's important to remember that you are here for a reason - you are looking for support in overcoming challenges in your life, and that is a courageous step. You deserve to receive help, support, and guidance in overcoming these difficulties, and as a therapist, I am here to provide that for you. I believe in creating a safe and accepting space where we can explore the root of your issues, including your past experiences, to help work through them together.
In addition, I have specialized training and experience in eating disorders and addiction.
It's completely understandable that seeking help from a therapist can feel daunting and overwhelming. However, it's important to remember that you are here for a reason - you are looking for support in overcoming challenges in your life, and that is a courageous step. You deserve to receive help, support, and guidance in overcoming these difficulties, and as a therapist, I am here to provide that for you. I believe in creating a safe and accepting space where we can explore the root of your issues, including your past experiences, to help work through them together.
(332) 264-1706 View (332) 264-1706
Photo of Nikki King, LMSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Nikki King
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LMSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Brooklyn, NY 11222  (Online Only)
I believe therapy can help people overcome obstacles, achieve their full potential, and work towards meaningful change. Therapy is a collaborative process, and I work closely with my clients to develop customized treatment plans that meet their unique needs. I have experience working with clients with a wide range of presenting concerns, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, trauma, substance use, relationship issues, and life transitions.
I believe therapy can help people overcome obstacles, achieve their full potential, and work towards meaningful change. Therapy is a collaborative process, and I work closely with my clients to develop customized treatment plans that meet their unique needs. I have experience working with clients with a wide range of presenting concerns, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, trauma, substance use, relationship issues, and life transitions.
(718) 957-2316 View (718) 957-2316
Photo of Elena Covo, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Elena Covo
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Brooklyn, NY 11249  (Online Only)
I work with individuals dealing with body image issues, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, and trauma.
Seeking therapy, or asking for help is not an easy step. And yet, if you are here, it is probably because you are looking for some answers, guidance, and a trustful environment where you can talk about whatever difficult situation you are going through. By taking the first step, you are showing courage and together we can help you learn to embrace your individual strengths to better cope with life hardships. In a warm, safe, and empathetic environment, I help people gain confidence, identify negative patterns, feel more in control of their own lives, and get a better understanding of what they want for themselves.
I work with individuals dealing with body image issues, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, and trauma.
Seeking therapy, or asking for help is not an easy step. And yet, if you are here, it is probably because you are looking for some answers, guidance, and a trustful environment where you can talk about whatever difficult situation you are going through. By taking the first step, you are showing courage and together we can help you learn to embrace your individual strengths to better cope with life hardships. In a warm, safe, and empathetic environment, I help people gain confidence, identify negative patterns, feel more in control of their own lives, and get a better understanding of what they want for themselves.
(646) 859-1192 View (646) 859-1192
Photo of Rachel Van Beaver, LMHC, Counselor
Rachel Van Beaver
Counselor, LMHC
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Brooklyn, NY 11222  (Online Only)
Do you often criticize yourself for making a mistake or worry that you are a bad person? Do you tend to blame yourself when something goes wrong? If so, you are not alone. I work with folks on learning how to ground in the present moment when these feelings are overwhelming and how to create new ways of seeing themselves. I also work with my clients on discovering how they came to develop these tendencies based on cultural, familial, and societal messaging. I have specialized training in eating disorders/disordered eating, trauma, anxiety, depression, and perfectionism. I often work with women exploring queerness for the first time.
Do you often criticize yourself for making a mistake or worry that you are a bad person? Do you tend to blame yourself when something goes wrong? If so, you are not alone. I work with folks on learning how to ground in the present moment when these feelings are overwhelming and how to create new ways of seeing themselves. I also work with my clients on discovering how they came to develop these tendencies based on cultural, familial, and societal messaging. I have specialized training in eating disorders/disordered eating, trauma, anxiety, depression, and perfectionism. I often work with women exploring queerness for the first time.
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Photo of Carly Nelson, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Carly Nelson
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Brooklyn, NY 11242
I hold a 2 year certificate in Intensive Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program (IPPP) and completed a 2 year certificate program in Eating Disorders, Compulsions, and Addictions (EDCAS), both from the William Alanson White Institute.
Whether you are struggling to adjust to changing circumstances, feeling stuck in your current life stage, or feeling alone and overwhelmed by your thoughts, I am here for you. I create a warm and trusting environment to help you better understand your emotions. Our sessions will be collaborative and non-judgmental, and will open up new avenues of self-exploration to enable you to examine your choices.
I hold a 2 year certificate in Intensive Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program (IPPP) and completed a 2 year certificate program in Eating Disorders, Compulsions, and Addictions (EDCAS), both from the William Alanson White Institute.
Whether you are struggling to adjust to changing circumstances, feeling stuck in your current life stage, or feeling alone and overwhelmed by your thoughts, I am here for you. I create a warm and trusting environment to help you better understand your emotions. Our sessions will be collaborative and non-judgmental, and will open up new avenues of self-exploration to enable you to examine your choices.
(929) 374-2417 View (929) 374-2417
Photo of Dr. Tara Deliberto, PhD, Psychologist
Dr. Tara Deliberto
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
Brooklyn, NY 11231  (Online Only)
Although I treat a wide variety of mental health issues, my speciality is in eating disorders and body image concerns.
Therapy is a secure and private place for you to actively learn new ways of coping. I believe the most compassionate approach to therapy is to non-judgmentally teach concrete skills that have been shown by research to work. Whether you're under a lot of stress, feeling anxious / depressed, or are struggling with accepting your body, we can work together to develop and execute a plan. Your treatment will be results-oriented. Together, we will monitor your wellbeing over time and make adjustments as necessary to ensure that we are making progress.
Although I treat a wide variety of mental health issues, my speciality is in eating disorders and body image concerns.
Therapy is a secure and private place for you to actively learn new ways of coping. I believe the most compassionate approach to therapy is to non-judgmentally teach concrete skills that have been shown by research to work. Whether you're under a lot of stress, feeling anxious / depressed, or are struggling with accepting your body, we can work together to develop and execute a plan. Your treatment will be results-oriented. Together, we will monitor your wellbeing over time and make adjustments as necessary to ensure that we are making progress.
(929) 552-3452 View (929) 552-3452
Photo of Sarah Chipps, PsyD, Psychologist
Sarah Chipps
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, substance abuse, and trauma, I am also a regular presenter at conferences on topics such as diversity issues in the treatment of eating disorders, the client/therapist relationship, and the treatment of co-occurring eating disorder and substance abuse diagnoses.
Using authentic connection and skillful therapeutic strategy, I work with my clients to establish a safe environment for exploring the path that led to therapy. With direct and honest feedback I can help you build the awareness necessary to move toward a more fulfilling life, and learn the skills you'll need to take on, and find meaning in, inevitable challenges. Because each person carries a unique history and specific challenges, I am trained in a number of psychological theories including psychodynamic therapy, EMDR, DBT, ACT, Somatic Experiencing ®, and CPT.
Specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, substance abuse, and trauma, I am also a regular presenter at conferences on topics such as diversity issues in the treatment of eating disorders, the client/therapist relationship, and the treatment of co-occurring eating disorder and substance abuse diagnoses.
Using authentic connection and skillful therapeutic strategy, I work with my clients to establish a safe environment for exploring the path that led to therapy. With direct and honest feedback I can help you build the awareness necessary to move toward a more fulfilling life, and learn the skills you'll need to take on, and find meaning in, inevitable challenges. Because each person carries a unique history and specific challenges, I am trained in a number of psychological theories including psychodynamic therapy, EMDR, DBT, ACT, Somatic Experiencing ®, and CPT.
(347) 218-9656 View (347) 218-9656
Photo of Angela A. Karras | Eating Disorders Therapist, PsyD, Psychologist
Angela A. Karras | Eating Disorders Therapist
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Brooklyn, NY 11215  (Online Only)
Licensed in both Massachusetts and New York, I work with adolescents and young adults struggling with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and self-esteem.
⁣I know how easy it is to want to give up pursuing food freedom. To want to go back to the diet.⁣ But here is what I want to remind you: ⁣You are worth it and recovery is worth fighting for. This is a journey of growth and change that will give you the life you deserve. This is you becoming strong. My goal as your therapist is to help you build upon your strengths, gain insight into patterns of behavior you would like to change, and enhance your self-understanding. I don't want you to just survive, I want you to thrive.
Licensed in both Massachusetts and New York, I work with adolescents and young adults struggling with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and self-esteem.
⁣I know how easy it is to want to give up pursuing food freedom. To want to go back to the diet.⁣ But here is what I want to remind you: ⁣You are worth it and recovery is worth fighting for. This is a journey of growth and change that will give you the life you deserve. This is you becoming strong. My goal as your therapist is to help you build upon your strengths, gain insight into patterns of behavior you would like to change, and enhance your self-understanding. I don't want you to just survive, I want you to thrive.
(516) 218-5396 View (516) 218-5396
Photo of Christine Piatek, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Christine Piatek
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Brooklyn, NY 11217
I have experience working with adolescents and adults addressing a broad range of issues including eating disorders, anxiety, depression and relationship struggles.
Therapy is a powerful tool to aid in healing emotional pain and creating satisfaction in our lives. We often find ourselves repeating patterns that get in the way of achieving goals. These patterns can cause difficulty in relationships, feelings about ourselves and fulfillment in our work. I practice from a relational perspective which focuses on expanding the capacity to relate and connect freely with others while maintaining a good sense of yourself. This work aims to enhance your relationship with yourself, eliminate painful patterns and allow for increased quality and enjoyment of life.
I have experience working with adolescents and adults addressing a broad range of issues including eating disorders, anxiety, depression and relationship struggles.
Therapy is a powerful tool to aid in healing emotional pain and creating satisfaction in our lives. We often find ourselves repeating patterns that get in the way of achieving goals. These patterns can cause difficulty in relationships, feelings about ourselves and fulfillment in our work. I practice from a relational perspective which focuses on expanding the capacity to relate and connect freely with others while maintaining a good sense of yourself. This work aims to enhance your relationship with yourself, eliminate painful patterns and allow for increased quality and enjoyment of life.
(347) 329-5701 View (347) 329-5701
Photo of Danielle Strolia, LMHC, Counselor
Danielle Strolia
Counselor, LMHC
Verified Verified
Brooklyn, NY 11249
I’ve worked with clients struggling with mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, past traumas, and interpersonal difficulties, and have witnessed how these struggles can make life feel a lot harder than it needs to be.
Have you had a rough year? Is “rough” an enormous understatement? Loneliness, money worries, fretting over what the future holds... You’re not alone in feeling a bit lost, down, and anxious, considering everything that’s happened in just this past year. But just by reading this, you’ve taken an incredibly important step. You’ve taken a step towards personal growth and increased well-being, and you deserve all of the support you can get along the way. I would love to meet you, and together, we can come up with a plan to make our time as beneficial as it can be for you.
I’ve worked with clients struggling with mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, past traumas, and interpersonal difficulties, and have witnessed how these struggles can make life feel a lot harder than it needs to be.
Have you had a rough year? Is “rough” an enormous understatement? Loneliness, money worries, fretting over what the future holds... You’re not alone in feeling a bit lost, down, and anxious, considering everything that’s happened in just this past year. But just by reading this, you’ve taken an incredibly important step. You’ve taken a step towards personal growth and increased well-being, and you deserve all of the support you can get along the way. I would love to meet you, and together, we can come up with a plan to make our time as beneficial as it can be for you.
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Photo of Alicia Perez, LMHC, CEDS, Counselor
Alicia Perez
Counselor, LMHC, CEDS
Verified Verified
Brooklyn, NY 11211  (Online Only)
I strive to create a collaborative, nonjudgmental, and honest space where we can explore your needs and goals in therapy. I am passionate about therapy and believe it to be a powerful mechanism for self exploration, growth and healing. I have worked with a wide variety of people and have received specialized training and extensive experience in the treatment of Eating Disorders and Trauma/PTSD.
I strive to create a collaborative, nonjudgmental, and honest space where we can explore your needs and goals in therapy. I am passionate about therapy and believe it to be a powerful mechanism for self exploration, growth and healing. I have worked with a wide variety of people and have received specialized training and extensive experience in the treatment of Eating Disorders and Trauma/PTSD.
(646) 982-1214 View (646) 982-1214
Photo of Suzette Cook, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Suzette Cook
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Brooklyn, NY 11201
I specialize in the treatment of eating disorders, trauma, and struggles in relationships.
Are you living the way you were intended to? Or are there seen and unseen barriers blocking your full engagement in life?  Vulnerability to pain and struggle is inherent when we live authentically. It’s our entryway into full human citizenship. And in the acceptance of this struggle lies the birthplace of compassion, connection, authenticity, and joy.  In the space we share together, I want to join you in the quiet conversation you have at your core. A step at a time, we can leave behind the stories you inherited, and perhaps became complicit in, and claim more freedom for your truest self.
I specialize in the treatment of eating disorders, trauma, and struggles in relationships.
Are you living the way you were intended to? Or are there seen and unseen barriers blocking your full engagement in life?  Vulnerability to pain and struggle is inherent when we live authentically. It’s our entryway into full human citizenship. And in the acceptance of this struggle lies the birthplace of compassion, connection, authenticity, and joy.  In the space we share together, I want to join you in the quiet conversation you have at your core. A step at a time, we can leave behind the stories you inherited, and perhaps became complicit in, and claim more freedom for your truest self.
(347) 580-5980 View (347) 580-5980
Photo of Rachel Steinhardt, LMHC, MS Ed, BA, Licensed Professional Counselor
Rachel Steinhardt
Licensed Professional Counselor, LMHC, MS Ed, BA
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Brooklyn, NY 11210  (Online Only)
Whether you have been feeling down, overwhelmed, lost, spiritually broken, hurt, confused, stressed, going through a major life transition or maybe you're just looking for something more, you have come to the right place. When you are suffering from depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, relationship issues or a lack of self-esteem, it can feel like your whole world is crumbling down and you just have nothing left to give. In a safe, caring, and judgement-free environment, we will uncover your greatest strengths and learn to manage your hardest struggles. You don't have to suffer alone.
Whether you have been feeling down, overwhelmed, lost, spiritually broken, hurt, confused, stressed, going through a major life transition or maybe you're just looking for something more, you have come to the right place. When you are suffering from depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, relationship issues or a lack of self-esteem, it can feel like your whole world is crumbling down and you just have nothing left to give. In a safe, caring, and judgement-free environment, we will uncover your greatest strengths and learn to manage your hardest struggles. You don't have to suffer alone.
(718) 550-7165 View (718) 550-7165
Photo of Shani Cohen, MA, LMHC, CASAC-2, Counselor
Shani Cohen
Counselor, MA, LMHC, CASAC-2
Verified Verified
Brooklyn, NY 11230
I have extensive experience working with addiction, eating disorders, attachment, dissociative disorders, CPTSD, and relational trauma and is CASAC certified.
Looking for a warm and empathetic psychotherapist who takes a humanistic approach. My goal is to provide curious inquiry through a non-pathologizing lens filled with compassion and care. I view therapy as a heart-centered, shared journey focused on healing and wellness.
I have extensive experience working with addiction, eating disorders, attachment, dissociative disorders, CPTSD, and relational trauma and is CASAC certified.
Looking for a warm and empathetic psychotherapist who takes a humanistic approach. My goal is to provide curious inquiry through a non-pathologizing lens filled with compassion and care. I view therapy as a heart-centered, shared journey focused on healing and wellness.
(516) 550-5485 View (516) 550-5485
Photo of Leslie Bloch, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Leslie Bloch
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Brooklyn, NY 11242  (Online Only)
I specialize in working with individuals, families, and groups in the treatment of eating disorders. I treat adult eating disorders with "enhanced" cognitive behavior therapy (CBT-E). I am a certified Family Based Treatment (FBT) provider and treat adolescents with eating disorders using this approach (also known as Maudsley). I also run body image groups for women and teens.
I specialize in working with individuals, families, and groups in the treatment of eating disorders. I treat adult eating disorders with "enhanced" cognitive behavior therapy (CBT-E). I am a certified Family Based Treatment (FBT) provider and treat adolescents with eating disorders using this approach (also known as Maudsley). I also run body image groups for women and teens.
(917) 746-3702 View (917) 746-3702
Photo of Lauren Strack, LMSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Lauren Strack
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LMSW
Verified Verified
Brooklyn, NY 11242
I use evidence-based therapies (CBT, ERP, DBT, and ACT) to support those struggling with OCD, anxiety-related disorders, eating disorders, and more.
I believe that when we are given a compassionate space to explore our emotions, behaviors, and experiences, the opportunities for growth are endless. As a therapist, I honor the vulnerability and courage it takes to engage in this process. While working on our suffering can feel overwhelming, I pay careful attention to go at the appropriate pace that will be most beneficial to your healing process. You are the expert on your life and I prioritize connecting you with the depth of your own strengths, intuition, and wisdom.
I use evidence-based therapies (CBT, ERP, DBT, and ACT) to support those struggling with OCD, anxiety-related disorders, eating disorders, and more.
I believe that when we are given a compassionate space to explore our emotions, behaviors, and experiences, the opportunities for growth are endless. As a therapist, I honor the vulnerability and courage it takes to engage in this process. While working on our suffering can feel overwhelming, I pay careful attention to go at the appropriate pace that will be most beneficial to your healing process. You are the expert on your life and I prioritize connecting you with the depth of your own strengths, intuition, and wisdom.
(347) 956-4826 View (347) 956-4826
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.