Eating Disorders Therapists in Nashville, TN

Photo of Leslie Ann Binch, Licensed Professional Counselor in Nashville, TN
Leslie Ann Binch
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, MHSP
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Nashville, TN 37206
My specialties include: PTSD and Trauma, substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety and adjustment disorders and co-occurring disorders.
Talk therapy is not enough. My approach to therapy focuses on combining cognitive and somatic therapies to strengthen connection to self, and reduce the blocks to healing. The goal is to connect to your authenticity, and have the freedom to find positive and affirming ways to enjoy relationships with self and others. The goal is to experience life without shutting down or disconnecting, and/or using destructive behaviors to reduce pain and distress. Attaining the freedom to choose what you want for yourself, begins with taking the first step.
My specialties include: PTSD and Trauma, substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety and adjustment disorders and co-occurring disorders.
Talk therapy is not enough. My approach to therapy focuses on combining cognitive and somatic therapies to strengthen connection to self, and reduce the blocks to healing. The goal is to connect to your authenticity, and have the freedom to find positive and affirming ways to enjoy relationships with self and others. The goal is to experience life without shutting down or disconnecting, and/or using destructive behaviors to reduce pain and distress. Attaining the freedom to choose what you want for yourself, begins with taking the first step.
(615) 274-4233 View (615) 274-4233
Photo of Dr. Anna Wallace, Psychologist in Nashville, TN
Dr. Anna Wallace
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
Nashville, TN 37212
Dr. Anna Wallace provides individual therapy, couples/marital therapy, group therapy, assessment, and consultation. She specializes in treating a variety of concerns including, but not limited to: depression, anxiety, eating disorders, infertility, relationship/marital concerns, personality disorders, trauma/abuse, substance use issues, sexual issues, anger/irritability, stress management, career concerns, and treating those who desire personal growth. She is a certified Forensic Evaluator, conducts diagnostic and forensic assessments, and provides expert testimony in forensic cases.
Dr. Anna Wallace provides individual therapy, couples/marital therapy, group therapy, assessment, and consultation. She specializes in treating a variety of concerns including, but not limited to: depression, anxiety, eating disorders, infertility, relationship/marital concerns, personality disorders, trauma/abuse, substance use issues, sexual issues, anger/irritability, stress management, career concerns, and treating those who desire personal growth. She is a certified Forensic Evaluator, conducts diagnostic and forensic assessments, and provides expert testimony in forensic cases.
(615) 412-1123 View (615) 412-1123
Photo of Ariel Stokes, Licensed Professional Counselor in Nashville, TN
Ariel Stokes
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPCMHSP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Nashville, TN 37207
I have experience in treating mood disorders, eating disorders, life transitions, relationship issues, and trauma.
People choose to come to therapy for a variety of reasons. Do you find yourself feeling depressed or overwhelmed? Do you want to worry less and enjoy life more? Do you want to have better control of your emotions? Maybe you’re struggling to have meaningful, lasting relationships. Whatever your reason, I’m here to provide a safe and affirming space for you to explore, learn, and create a new way of approaching the world and relationships.
I have experience in treating mood disorders, eating disorders, life transitions, relationship issues, and trauma.
People choose to come to therapy for a variety of reasons. Do you find yourself feeling depressed or overwhelmed? Do you want to worry less and enjoy life more? Do you want to have better control of your emotions? Maybe you’re struggling to have meaningful, lasting relationships. Whatever your reason, I’m here to provide a safe and affirming space for you to explore, learn, and create a new way of approaching the world and relationships.
(615) 434-8237 View (615) 434-8237
Photo of Carolyn Kutsko, Marriage & Family Therapist in Nashville, TN
Carolyn Kutsko
Marriage & Family Therapist, PhD, LMFT
Verified Verified
Nashville, TN 37204
I am a Holistic Therapist meaning I treat mental health through the lens of the whole person: emotional, relational, physical, and spiritual. I offer experiences treating depression, trauma, anxiety, eating disorders and other mental health issues aiming to bring clients into their bodies and out of the mode of traditional talk therapy. These include psychodrama, sand tray, art, and yoga therapy. Wounding happens through living, relational, body-felt experiences and require similar experiences to heal. I create a safe container and relationship for the natural process of healing to occur. Expect to move, breath, and feel... we will not just sit and talk.
I am a Holistic Therapist meaning I treat mental health through the lens of the whole person: emotional, relational, physical, and spiritual. I offer experiences treating depression, trauma, anxiety, eating disorders and other mental health issues aiming to bring clients into their bodies and out of the mode of traditional talk therapy. These include psychodrama, sand tray, art, and yoga therapy. Wounding happens through living, relational, body-felt experiences and require similar experiences to heal. I create a safe container and relationship for the natural process of healing to occur. Expect to move, breath, and feel... we will not just sit and talk.
(615) 800-7078 View (615) 800-7078
Photo of Mary Bryant-Likens, Licensed Professional Counselor in Nashville, TN
Mary Bryant-Likens
Licensed Professional Counselor, MS, LPCMHSP
Verified Verified
Nashville, TN 37203
I have extensive experience with those struggling with eating disorders stemming from traumatic events and attachment wounds.
Are you experiencing distressing thoughts that won't go away? Is it difficult for you to calm down when you become upset? Do you feel like you're on edge all the time? You may have a negative relationship with food, exercise or your body image. You may feel scared to start new relationships with others out of fear of getting hurt. This makes it difficult for you to socialize or go outside of your comfort zone. You have likely tried very hard to feel better with no success. I commonly see people who feel overwhelmed by their emotions, have troubling relationships with food, who feel hopeless and unsure of how to feel better.
I have extensive experience with those struggling with eating disorders stemming from traumatic events and attachment wounds.
Are you experiencing distressing thoughts that won't go away? Is it difficult for you to calm down when you become upset? Do you feel like you're on edge all the time? You may have a negative relationship with food, exercise or your body image. You may feel scared to start new relationships with others out of fear of getting hurt. This makes it difficult for you to socialize or go outside of your comfort zone. You have likely tried very hard to feel better with no success. I commonly see people who feel overwhelmed by their emotions, have troubling relationships with food, who feel hopeless and unsure of how to feel better.
(901) 519-2141 View (901) 519-2141
Photo of Marissa Smarto, Pre-Licensed Professional in Nashville, TN
Marissa Smarto
Pre-Licensed Professional, LPC, MHSP, (temp), NCC, MEd
Verified Verified
Nashville, TN 37214
I especially enjoy working with clients who experience issues related to eating disorders, disordered eating, developmental trauma/family of origin, emotional neglect, anxiety, and depression.
Instead of being taught how to cope skillfully with painful experiences and feelings, many of us are taught to numb, hide, or ignore them. This often intensifies the suffering, and also is often the only thing we know. I provide a safe space where clients can express, process, and learn about their thoughts, feelings, and emotions without judgment. I help clients to develop more workable coping skills and habits so that they can move toward their goals. If "being positive" hasn't worked for you, you may be in the right place.
I especially enjoy working with clients who experience issues related to eating disorders, disordered eating, developmental trauma/family of origin, emotional neglect, anxiety, and depression.
Instead of being taught how to cope skillfully with painful experiences and feelings, many of us are taught to numb, hide, or ignore them. This often intensifies the suffering, and also is often the only thing we know. I provide a safe space where clients can express, process, and learn about their thoughts, feelings, and emotions without judgment. I help clients to develop more workable coping skills and habits so that they can move toward their goals. If "being positive" hasn't worked for you, you may be in the right place.
(615) 471-7011 View (615) 471-7011
Photo of Lauren Kelly, Counselor in Nashville, TN
Lauren Kelly
Counselor, LPC, MHSP, NCC
Verified Verified
Nashville, TN 37214
By creating a safe, inclusive and judgment free environment, I strive to provide a space that fosters connection and understanding. I am passionate about working with individuals who struggle with complex trauma, eating disorders/disordered eating, weight and body image concerns, and anxiety
By creating a safe, inclusive and judgment free environment, I strive to provide a space that fosters connection and understanding. I am passionate about working with individuals who struggle with complex trauma, eating disorders/disordered eating, weight and body image concerns, and anxiety
(615) 905-1442 View (615) 905-1442
Photo of Caverly Warren, Licensed Professional Counselor in Nashville, TN
Caverly Warren
Licensed Professional Counselor, MEd, LPC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Nashville, TN 37212
I enjoy working with teens, adults, couples, and families from various backgrounds using attachment focused, experiential, somatic, mindfulness based, and other therapies to promote personal growth, healing, and rediscovery. My professional areas of interest include: trauma, eating disorders, anxiety, depression and mood disorders, substance abuse, process addictions, ADHD, codependency, relationship and intimacy issues, attachment and family of origin issues, and personality disorders. In my work with clients, I utilize a range of interventions and therapeutic techniques based on the clients' own needs and presenting problems.
I enjoy working with teens, adults, couples, and families from various backgrounds using attachment focused, experiential, somatic, mindfulness based, and other therapies to promote personal growth, healing, and rediscovery. My professional areas of interest include: trauma, eating disorders, anxiety, depression and mood disorders, substance abuse, process addictions, ADHD, codependency, relationship and intimacy issues, attachment and family of origin issues, and personality disorders. In my work with clients, I utilize a range of interventions and therapeutic techniques based on the clients' own needs and presenting problems.
(629) 218-4031 View (629) 218-4031
Photo of Mary Ann Green, Licensed Professional Counselor in Nashville, TN
Mary Ann Green
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPCMHSP, RDN, LDN
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Nashville, TN 37221
I specialize in treating eating disorders, trauma and anxiety, and am dually licensed as a therapist and dietitian.
Life is a gift that brings many joyful opportunities AND it also brings times of pain, suffering and added pressure. Perhaps you've found it harder to enjoy the blessings of life lately because of a hard transition, a difficult relationship or a traumatic event. Perhaps you've found yourself using destructive habits to cope with the stress such as dysfunctional eating, excessive alcohol use, perfectionism or isolation. Perhaps you're very hard on yourself and have a very loud inner critic in your head, and part of the struggle is negative body image. And perhaps you also want support from a spiritual perspective.
I specialize in treating eating disorders, trauma and anxiety, and am dually licensed as a therapist and dietitian.
Life is a gift that brings many joyful opportunities AND it also brings times of pain, suffering and added pressure. Perhaps you've found it harder to enjoy the blessings of life lately because of a hard transition, a difficult relationship or a traumatic event. Perhaps you've found yourself using destructive habits to cope with the stress such as dysfunctional eating, excessive alcohol use, perfectionism or isolation. Perhaps you're very hard on yourself and have a very loud inner critic in your head, and part of the struggle is negative body image. And perhaps you also want support from a spiritual perspective.
(615) 471-7280 View (615) 471-7280
Photo of Mackenzie Fox, Licensed Professional Counselor in Nashville, TN
Mackenzie Fox
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, MHSP, NCC, MA
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Nashville, TN 37212  (Online Only)
I have a strong foundation in working with folks struggling with disordered eating, eating disorders and body image issues.
Currently offering telehealth therapy only! We spend a lot of time identifying things that are 'wrong' with us, but what about the things that you are really kicking ass at? I want to help clients identify strengths and cultivate them so that when life is feeling really hard, you can easily call up your superpowers. I aim to bring authentic, trusting and supportive energy to everyone I encounter and foster that within others. I believe healing happens when we find balance and step outside of black and white thinking.
I have a strong foundation in working with folks struggling with disordered eating, eating disorders and body image issues.
Currently offering telehealth therapy only! We spend a lot of time identifying things that are 'wrong' with us, but what about the things that you are really kicking ass at? I want to help clients identify strengths and cultivate them so that when life is feeling really hard, you can easily call up your superpowers. I aim to bring authentic, trusting and supportive energy to everyone I encounter and foster that within others. I believe healing happens when we find balance and step outside of black and white thinking.
(615) 422-4702 View (615) 422-4702
Photo of Lee Owen, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Nashville, TN
Lee Owen
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LMSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Nashville, TN 37207
My specialties include mood disorders, relationship issues, and eating disorders.
Being a person is hard. Whether for a lifelong struggle or a short-term issue, we all need space to breathe and talk it through sometimes. Whatever your reason, whatever your goals, I'm here as a companion on your journey. My goal is to help you connect to your values and live authentically.
My specialties include mood disorders, relationship issues, and eating disorders.
Being a person is hard. Whether for a lifelong struggle or a short-term issue, we all need space to breathe and talk it through sometimes. Whatever your reason, whatever your goals, I'm here as a companion on your journey. My goal is to help you connect to your values and live authentically.
(615) 861-1933 View (615) 861-1933
Photo of Elena G Hearn, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Nashville, TN
Elena G Hearn
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Nashville, TN 37205  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
I have worked with people struggling with eating disorders and addictions.
If you are looking for a very experienced therapist, I have had more than 40 years in the Mental Health field. I worked at the VA Women's Clinic for over 7 years. I started the Eating Disorders program at the Ranch in 2004. I worked at the Student Counseling Center at Vanderbilt for 14 years. I have also worked at several Addictions Treatment Centers. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, recovering from an addiction or having problems balancing work, family and self care, I can help you to get back on track. I have availability and would be happy to be a part of your healing process!
I have worked with people struggling with eating disorders and addictions.
If you are looking for a very experienced therapist, I have had more than 40 years in the Mental Health field. I worked at the VA Women's Clinic for over 7 years. I started the Eating Disorders program at the Ranch in 2004. I worked at the Student Counseling Center at Vanderbilt for 14 years. I have also worked at several Addictions Treatment Centers. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, recovering from an addiction or having problems balancing work, family and self care, I can help you to get back on track. I have availability and would be happy to be a part of your healing process!
(615) 551-1069 View (615) 551-1069
Photo of Martha Rawl, Licensed Professional Counselor in Nashville, TN
Martha Rawl
Licensed Professional Counselor, MAE, NCC
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Nashville, TN 37207
I specialize in treating eating disorders/disordered eating, anxiety, body image concerns, self-worth/self-criticism, relationship issues, and life transitions.
People choose to come to therapy for so many reasons. They feel overwhelmed, tired, stuck, or numb. As a therapist, I aim to provide a nonjudgmental space for people to feel and be understood. Oftentimes, the things keeping us stuck are the strategies we've developed over time to cope with hardship. Therapy is about addressing what is no longer working for you and connecting with your inner wisdom to develop new ways of relating to yourself & the world. I work with my clients to cultivate emotional awareness, learn skills to respond adaptively to difficult emotions, and increase connection within themselves and their relationships.
I specialize in treating eating disorders/disordered eating, anxiety, body image concerns, self-worth/self-criticism, relationship issues, and life transitions.
People choose to come to therapy for so many reasons. They feel overwhelmed, tired, stuck, or numb. As a therapist, I aim to provide a nonjudgmental space for people to feel and be understood. Oftentimes, the things keeping us stuck are the strategies we've developed over time to cope with hardship. Therapy is about addressing what is no longer working for you and connecting with your inner wisdom to develop new ways of relating to yourself & the world. I work with my clients to cultivate emotional awareness, learn skills to respond adaptively to difficult emotions, and increase connection within themselves and their relationships.
(615) 229-8284 View (615) 229-8284
Photo of Michelle Coyne, Licensed Professional Counselor in Nashville, TN
Michelle Coyne
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, MHSP, SEP
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Nashville, TN 37212
Waitlist for new clients
As a somatic psychotherapist, I use a combination of body-based and traditional talk therapies to help clients live more fully. My passion is working with clients who are struggling with the effects of trauma including anxiety, addictions, eating disorders, and relationship difficulties. Somatic Experiencing (SE) is my foundational lens while utilizing other evidenced based treatments including Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Experiential, Dream Analysis and Adjunct to 12-Step. I view therapy as a collaborative process and see myself as a guide in helping my clients find their unique ability to address their struggles.
As a somatic psychotherapist, I use a combination of body-based and traditional talk therapies to help clients live more fully. My passion is working with clients who are struggling with the effects of trauma including anxiety, addictions, eating disorders, and relationship difficulties. Somatic Experiencing (SE) is my foundational lens while utilizing other evidenced based treatments including Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Experiential, Dream Analysis and Adjunct to 12-Step. I view therapy as a collaborative process and see myself as a guide in helping my clients find their unique ability to address their struggles.
(615) 987-0970 View (615) 987-0970
Photo of Tiffany Chitpanya, Pre-Licensed Professional in Nashville, TN
Tiffany Chitpanya
Pre-Licensed Professional
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Nashville, TN 37205
I work with teens and adults navigating eating disorders, anxiety, OCD, and depression, and I love encouraging and empowering folks who are eager to embrace their true selves.
Living with a mental health challenge like anxiety, depression, OCD, or an eating disorder can feel like carrying a boulder on your back 24/7. Of course, none of us would choose that— so it can be strange to think that it’s possible to choose something different through engaging in therapy. But the magic of neuroplasticity and therapeutic change can absolutely support you in finally setting that boulder down (or… maybe we can smash it into a million pieces together. )
I work with teens and adults navigating eating disorders, anxiety, OCD, and depression, and I love encouraging and empowering folks who are eager to embrace their true selves.
Living with a mental health challenge like anxiety, depression, OCD, or an eating disorder can feel like carrying a boulder on your back 24/7. Of course, none of us would choose that— so it can be strange to think that it’s possible to choose something different through engaging in therapy. But the magic of neuroplasticity and therapeutic change can absolutely support you in finally setting that boulder down (or… maybe we can smash it into a million pieces together. )
(629) 300-5379 View (629) 300-5379
Photo of Jessie Gladden, Pre-Licensed Professional in Nashville, TN
Jessie Gladden
Pre-Licensed Professional, LPC-t
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Nashville, TN 37203
After experiencing my own life-changing therapeutic journey, it is my greatest honor to hold space for others during theirs. I enjoy working with adults, teens, couples and families to facilitate healing from trauma, codependency, eating disorders, addiction, anxiety, intimacy issues, maladaptive coping skills, partner betrayal, low self-worth and life transitions.
After experiencing my own life-changing therapeutic journey, it is my greatest honor to hold space for others during theirs. I enjoy working with adults, teens, couples and families to facilitate healing from trauma, codependency, eating disorders, addiction, anxiety, intimacy issues, maladaptive coping skills, partner betrayal, low self-worth and life transitions.
(615) 551-3659 View (615) 551-3659
Photo of Chloe Orrvar, Counselor in Nashville, TN
Chloe Orrvar
Counselor, MS, LPC, MHSP
Verified Verified
8 Endorsed
Nashville, TN 37203
I specialize in helping those struggling with the complexity of eating disorders, anxiety, life transitions, relationship issues, trauma, and self-esteem.
Experiencing a sense of being unheard and dismissed is unfortunately all too familiar. Whether that sense of invalidation comes from within yourself or the individuals in your life, navigating the confusion of conflicting voices can be challenging. In our sessions, we will address the aspects within you that block your authentic voice. My goal is to help you build the life you want to live by building awareness, breaking unwanted cycles, learning about mental health, and implementing coping skills. We are all capable of change, and my job is to help guide you through this process of healing.
I specialize in helping those struggling with the complexity of eating disorders, anxiety, life transitions, relationship issues, trauma, and self-esteem.
Experiencing a sense of being unheard and dismissed is unfortunately all too familiar. Whether that sense of invalidation comes from within yourself or the individuals in your life, navigating the confusion of conflicting voices can be challenging. In our sessions, we will address the aspects within you that block your authentic voice. My goal is to help you build the life you want to live by building awareness, breaking unwanted cycles, learning about mental health, and implementing coping skills. We are all capable of change, and my job is to help guide you through this process of healing.
(615) 724-9802 View (615) 724-9802
Photo of Brooke Morgan, Licensed Professional Counselor in Nashville, TN
Brooke Morgan
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, MHSP, NCC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Nashville, TN 37215
I specialize in providing evidence-based treatment for clients struggling with eating disorders/disordered eating.
Do you wish that food and eating didn't take up so much time and energy? Do you feel bound by stress every time you look in the mirror? If eating issues and body image distress is paramount in your life, I am here to help! I see clients that struggle with eating behaviors, including binging, restricting, purging, or simply feeling that food is a stressor that hinders them from enjoying meals on a day-to-day basis. Food isn't a problem, but you feel a lack of confidence in your appearance? I can help with that, too! Body image work is one of my specialities, as well.
I specialize in providing evidence-based treatment for clients struggling with eating disorders/disordered eating.
Do you wish that food and eating didn't take up so much time and energy? Do you feel bound by stress every time you look in the mirror? If eating issues and body image distress is paramount in your life, I am here to help! I see clients that struggle with eating behaviors, including binging, restricting, purging, or simply feeling that food is a stressor that hinders them from enjoying meals on a day-to-day basis. Food isn't a problem, but you feel a lack of confidence in your appearance? I can help with that, too! Body image work is one of my specialities, as well.
(629) 206-2279 View (629) 206-2279
Photo of Heather Schow, Pre-Licensed Professional in Nashville, TN
Heather Schow
Pre-Licensed Professional, LMSW
Verified Verified
Nashville, TN 37215
Waitlist for new clients
Also, prior to becoming a therapist, I worked as a Dietitian so I am uniquely qualified to work with clients with eating disorders.
I am so glad you have decided to take the brave step to start therapy! My goal is to give you a safe and accepting environment where we can work together to help you create the life you want to live. I believe many of our childhood experiences significantly affect how we think and what we do as we become adults and as your therapist, I will be a source of empathy and understanding as you work to process your thoughts and emotions. Ultimately, my hope is that our work together will promote you living an authentic life where you can embrace who you are, find healing, and experience personal growth.
Also, prior to becoming a therapist, I worked as a Dietitian so I am uniquely qualified to work with clients with eating disorders.
I am so glad you have decided to take the brave step to start therapy! My goal is to give you a safe and accepting environment where we can work together to help you create the life you want to live. I believe many of our childhood experiences significantly affect how we think and what we do as we become adults and as your therapist, I will be a source of empathy and understanding as you work to process your thoughts and emotions. Ultimately, my hope is that our work together will promote you living an authentic life where you can embrace who you are, find healing, and experience personal growth.
(615) 623-8887 View (615) 623-8887
Photo of Chelsea Gray Smith, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Nashville, TN
Chelsea Gray Smith
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Nashville, TN 37206
My specialities include working with eating disorders/disordered eating, mood disorders, substance use, interpersonal and relational concerns, self-worth and identity concerns and trauma.
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I believe we all deserve to feel connected, whole, and fulfilled in this life. For some, that means delving into the past to understand who they are today. For some, it is focusing on the present to cultivate a life worth living. And for some, it is a little bit of both. I am passionate about coming alongside my clients to navigate the stressors and challenges of life, as well as celebrating the wins. I believe that we are all doing the best we can in any given moment and aim to empower my clients in their next steps on their journey. Life is hard enough and we don't have to go it alone!
My specialities include working with eating disorders/disordered eating, mood disorders, substance use, interpersonal and relational concerns, self-worth and identity concerns and trauma.
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I believe we all deserve to feel connected, whole, and fulfilled in this life. For some, that means delving into the past to understand who they are today. For some, it is focusing on the present to cultivate a life worth living. And for some, it is a little bit of both. I am passionate about coming alongside my clients to navigate the stressors and challenges of life, as well as celebrating the wins. I believe that we are all doing the best we can in any given moment and aim to empower my clients in their next steps on their journey. Life is hard enough and we don't have to go it alone!
(629) 234-2497 View (629) 234-2497

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.