Eating Disorders Therapists in Austin, TX

Photo of Dr. Diana Lynn Monsour, Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX
Dr. Diana Lynn Monsour
Licensed Professional Counselor, PhD, LPC, LCDC
Verified Verified
Austin, TX 78731  (Online Only)
Substance use disorders, eating disorders, & other destructive behaviors are often used as a way to cope with emotional distress and/or avoid pain. I help individuals heal by being curious & compassionate about the destructive behaviors to discover what purpose they serve. This often looks like assessing biological & social factors, healing unresolved trauma, grief, attachment issues, and learning new coping skills. I utilize a collaborative & holistic approach to treatment. Together, we can heal the pain, and find new ways to cope with emotional distress.
Substance use disorders, eating disorders, & other destructive behaviors are often used as a way to cope with emotional distress and/or avoid pain. I help individuals heal by being curious & compassionate about the destructive behaviors to discover what purpose they serve. This often looks like assessing biological & social factors, healing unresolved trauma, grief, attachment issues, and learning new coping skills. I utilize a collaborative & holistic approach to treatment. Together, we can heal the pain, and find new ways to cope with emotional distress.
(737) 530-4018 View (737) 530-4018
Photo of Erin K MacDonald, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Austin, TX
Erin K MacDonald
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSSW, LCSW-S
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Austin, TX 78746  (Online Only)
On the outside, it may appear you have it all together. Internally, you're exhausted. You might have vowed to do things differently a hundred times, and it feels like nothing works. Maybe you feel like you can't be anything less than perfect--or whom others expect you to be. It may feel like you barely recognize yourself, or you wonder how you've ended up "here". That inner voice might say "this is as good as it gets", or "why keep trying?", but change is possible and you are worth it. I specialize in working with folks who live with eating disorders, are experiencing body image concerns, and those in the LGBTQ+ community.
On the outside, it may appear you have it all together. Internally, you're exhausted. You might have vowed to do things differently a hundred times, and it feels like nothing works. Maybe you feel like you can't be anything less than perfect--or whom others expect you to be. It may feel like you barely recognize yourself, or you wonder how you've ended up "here". That inner voice might say "this is as good as it gets", or "why keep trying?", but change is possible and you are worth it. I specialize in working with folks who live with eating disorders, are experiencing body image concerns, and those in the LGBTQ+ community.
(737) 204-4017 View (737) 204-4017
Photo of Nina Gilbert, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Austin, TX
Nina Gilbert
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Austin, TX 78746
My therapeutic approach is direct and compassionate. My clients often tell me that I "keep it real". I see couples and individuals in person from my office in Austin, TX, and virtually for clients in Connecticut and New York. My specialities include eating disorders, addictions, trauma, couples therapy and LGBTQ+ issues.
My therapeutic approach is direct and compassionate. My clients often tell me that I "keep it real". I see couples and individuals in person from my office in Austin, TX, and virtually for clients in Connecticut and New York. My specialities include eating disorders, addictions, trauma, couples therapy and LGBTQ+ issues.
(980) 246-2385 View (980) 246-2385
Photo of Untangled Counseling & Therapy, Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX
Untangled Counseling & Therapy
Marriage & Family Therapist, MFT, MDiv, LMFT
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Austin, TX 78733  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
Waitlist until September - I have over 15 years of very diverse clinical experience in: special siblings, eating disorders (HAES), substance abuse, codependency, pre-marital + couples therapy, infidelity, grief/loss, anxiety, depression, and self/person of the therapist. I have extensive training in areas of faith/spirituality and in issues of transference/countertransference for healthcare professionals, particularly other therapists. My lived experience is as an Asian-American with immigrant parents; with special needs and LGBTQI families; issue with pregnancy and postpartum, as well adjustments to motherhood/parenthood.
Waitlist until September - I have over 15 years of very diverse clinical experience in: special siblings, eating disorders (HAES), substance abuse, codependency, pre-marital + couples therapy, infidelity, grief/loss, anxiety, depression, and self/person of the therapist. I have extensive training in areas of faith/spirituality and in issues of transference/countertransference for healthcare professionals, particularly other therapists. My lived experience is as an Asian-American with immigrant parents; with special needs and LGBTQI families; issue with pregnancy and postpartum, as well adjustments to motherhood/parenthood.
(512) 548-7922 View (512) 548-7922
Photo of Krystal 'winter' Green, Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX
Krystal 'winter' Green
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, NCC
Verified Verified
Austin, TX 78739  (Online Only)
Congratulations on taking the first step towards healing! Counseling can provide you with a supportive, safe environment in which to explore and navigate life’s challenges. I am dedicated to going at your own pace and providing a non-judgmental, nurturing environment along the way. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) specializing in eating disorders, career counseling, severe anxiety disorders, and trauma. My approach encourages conquering fears, pointing out strengths, building self-care into your schedule, practicing mindfulness, regulating emotions, and identifying passions so that you can lead a purposeful life.
Congratulations on taking the first step towards healing! Counseling can provide you with a supportive, safe environment in which to explore and navigate life’s challenges. I am dedicated to going at your own pace and providing a non-judgmental, nurturing environment along the way. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) specializing in eating disorders, career counseling, severe anxiety disorders, and trauma. My approach encourages conquering fears, pointing out strengths, building self-care into your schedule, practicing mindfulness, regulating emotions, and identifying passions so that you can lead a purposeful life.
(512) 817-2544 View (512) 817-2544
Photo of Calm Counseling Austin, Psychologist in Austin, TX
Calm Counseling Austin
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
Austin, TX 78746
Working with eating disorders, disordered eating, and negative body image issues takes tremendous understanding into what our self-talk patterns are like.
We are a group therapy practice who works with adolescents, young adults, as well as adult populations. We provide individual, group, and family therapy. We work with clients to help them achieve a greater sense of awareness so that they may identify patterns and behaviors that interfere with living the life they want. We work with clients who tend to struggle with negative self-talk, which can manifest for some as disordered eating or a lack of self-compassion. We work with clients to understand and improve these parts of themselves. We also strive to instill a sense of hope, as we think this an important part of the process.
Working with eating disorders, disordered eating, and negative body image issues takes tremendous understanding into what our self-talk patterns are like.
We are a group therapy practice who works with adolescents, young adults, as well as adult populations. We provide individual, group, and family therapy. We work with clients to help them achieve a greater sense of awareness so that they may identify patterns and behaviors that interfere with living the life they want. We work with clients who tend to struggle with negative self-talk, which can manifest for some as disordered eating or a lack of self-compassion. We work with clients to understand and improve these parts of themselves. We also strive to instill a sense of hope, as we think this an important part of the process.
(737) 204-4204 View (737) 204-4204
Photo of Lisa Thaler, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Austin, TX
Lisa Thaler
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Austin, TX 78751
She has dedicated the majority of her career to the treatment of eating disorders and has worked collaboratively with psychiatrists, nutritionists and MDs, when clinically indicated.
Lisa Thaler, LCSW moved to Austin in October, 2019 after maintaining a private practice in New York City for the past 28 years. She received her BA from Amherst College and her MSW from New York University. She completed her psychoanalytic training at The Women’s Therapy Centre Institute, which is specifically known for its attention to feminism, gender and social justice, as well as contemporary psychoanalytic thinking.
She has dedicated the majority of her career to the treatment of eating disorders and has worked collaboratively with psychiatrists, nutritionists and MDs, when clinically indicated.
Lisa Thaler, LCSW moved to Austin in October, 2019 after maintaining a private practice in New York City for the past 28 years. She received her BA from Amherst College and her MSW from New York University. She completed her psychoanalytic training at The Women’s Therapy Centre Institute, which is specifically known for its attention to feminism, gender and social justice, as well as contemporary psychoanalytic thinking.
(737) 204-2109 View (737) 204-2109
Photo of Full Circle Connection, PLLC, Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX
Full Circle Connection, PLLC
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
Austin, TX 78731
Be it depression, anxiety, personal identity, eating disorders, communication issues, family conflict, miscarriage, grief, and addiction.
Relationships are what fulfill us most. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself, as it lays the foundation for all other relationships in your life. As a therapist, I understand that the path to a fulfilling life starts from within. Therapy is a deeply personal process that has the potential to completely transform how you view the world around you. Change is possible. My mission is to help you understand the problems you are facing and to find meaningful solutions that work best for you.
Be it depression, anxiety, personal identity, eating disorders, communication issues, family conflict, miscarriage, grief, and addiction.
Relationships are what fulfill us most. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself, as it lays the foundation for all other relationships in your life. As a therapist, I understand that the path to a fulfilling life starts from within. Therapy is a deeply personal process that has the potential to completely transform how you view the world around you. Change is possible. My mission is to help you understand the problems you are facing and to find meaningful solutions that work best for you.
(512) 969-2205 View (512) 969-2205
Photo of Stacey Morvitz, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Austin, TX
Stacey Morvitz
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Austin, TX 78753  (Online Only)
I have a special focus on eating disorders and addiction, and I use a Health at Every Size (HAES) approach in my work.
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 understand that each individual has unique experiences and concerns, and I approach therapy with a non-judgmental and warm attitude.
I have a special focus on eating disorders and addiction, and I use a Health at Every Size (HAES) approach in my work.
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 understand that each individual has unique experiences and concerns, and I approach therapy with a non-judgmental and warm attitude.
(737) 299-0760 View (737) 299-0760
Photo of Krissy Wappler, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Austin, TX
Krissy Wappler
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Austin, TX 78738
I work with clients with anxiety & depression issues including eating disorders, OCD, generalized anxiety, & transitional issues.
There are many reasons people seek therapy. You are not alone. Are you feeling confused, overwhelmed, falling back into your old thoughts and behaviors? Are you exhausted from a history of dealing with anxiety and/or depression? Or are you concerned for a loved one that may be going through something like this and you are affected but not quite sure how to address what's happening?
I work with clients with anxiety & depression issues including eating disorders, OCD, generalized anxiety, & transitional issues.
There are many reasons people seek therapy. You are not alone. Are you feeling confused, overwhelmed, falling back into your old thoughts and behaviors? Are you exhausted from a history of dealing with anxiety and/or depression? Or are you concerned for a loved one that may be going through something like this and you are affected but not quite sure how to address what's happening?
(512) 710-0075 View (512) 710-0075
Photo of Jess Rosemary Counseling , Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX
Jess Rosemary Counseling
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Austin, TX 78723  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
Hi, I'm Jess! One of the bravest things a person can do is ask for help. If you are here, you have already made a courageous decision to reach out for support. Are you struggling with anxious thoughts or find yourself fixated on body image, food, and exercise? My role is to help you get unstuck from these thoughts and support you in building a life you are passionate about. I specialize in working adults and teens who struggle with low self esteem, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, life transitions, and perfectionism. I am especially passionate about working with folks who are further along in their eating disorder recovery.
Hi, I'm Jess! One of the bravest things a person can do is ask for help. If you are here, you have already made a courageous decision to reach out for support. Are you struggling with anxious thoughts or find yourself fixated on body image, food, and exercise? My role is to help you get unstuck from these thoughts and support you in building a life you are passionate about. I specialize in working adults and teens who struggle with low self esteem, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, life transitions, and perfectionism. I am especially passionate about working with folks who are further along in their eating disorder recovery.
(512) 881-7541 View (512) 881-7541
Photo of Lisa Cashion, Psychologist in Austin, TX
Lisa Cashion
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Austin, TX 78759
Although much of my specialized training has been in the treatment of eating disorders and body image disturbance, I also work with depression, anxiety, OCD and relational issues.
I work collaboratively with my clients to help them identify, appreciate and cultivate their strengths so they can utilize them in resolving their difficulties. I use a brief therapy approach to treatment, but the length of treatment depends on the nature of the problem and the needs of the client. I work primarily with adults and older teenagers. The therapeutic relationship is an important part of treatment and it is essential that we feel comfortable working together. A brief consultation would help us to determine if the treatment approach and therapeutic relationship might be a good fit for you.
Although much of my specialized training has been in the treatment of eating disorders and body image disturbance, I also work with depression, anxiety, OCD and relational issues.
I work collaboratively with my clients to help them identify, appreciate and cultivate their strengths so they can utilize them in resolving their difficulties. I use a brief therapy approach to treatment, but the length of treatment depends on the nature of the problem and the needs of the client. I work primarily with adults and older teenagers. The therapeutic relationship is an important part of treatment and it is essential that we feel comfortable working together. A brief consultation would help us to determine if the treatment approach and therapeutic relationship might be a good fit for you.
(512) 400-2056 View (512) 400-2056
Photo of Bill Bruzy, Drug & Alcohol Counselor in Austin, TX
Bill Bruzy
Drug & Alcohol Counselor, MHS, LCDC, PLLC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Austin, TX 78701  (Online Only)
I've focused my practice on substance use issues and addictive problems in people lives. For years I worked with women in eating disorders treatment utilizing an addictions model. Later I focused on men, and substance use disorders. Problems can stem from using drugs as an unproductive coping skill to a deeper more physiologically based problem. Our first job together is to find what your specific problem looks like and then find a way forward that's suited to your needs. In addition I also offer services evaluating clients for Substance Use Disorders in Family Law and Criminal cases.
I've focused my practice on substance use issues and addictive problems in people lives. For years I worked with women in eating disorders treatment utilizing an addictions model. Later I focused on men, and substance use disorders. Problems can stem from using drugs as an unproductive coping skill to a deeper more physiologically based problem. Our first job together is to find what your specific problem looks like and then find a way forward that's suited to your needs. In addition I also offer services evaluating clients for Substance Use Disorders in Family Law and Criminal cases.
(512) 790-5970 View (512) 790-5970
Photo of Madelaine Thomas, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Austin, TX
Madelaine Thomas
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Austin, TX 78759
I have a background in treating eating disorders, body image issues, and complex trauma, as well as anxiety and depression. Many of my clients are seeking space to unlearn harmful coping skills, explore identity, and heal relationships with the body and mind. Cultivating a nonjudgmental and empathetic space for my clients to show up authentically and practice vulnerability is central to my practice rooted in anti-oppressive ideologies including Fat Liberation and Disability Justice.
I have a background in treating eating disorders, body image issues, and complex trauma, as well as anxiety and depression. Many of my clients are seeking space to unlearn harmful coping skills, explore identity, and heal relationships with the body and mind. Cultivating a nonjudgmental and empathetic space for my clients to show up authentically and practice vulnerability is central to my practice rooted in anti-oppressive ideologies including Fat Liberation and Disability Justice.
(512) 601-4880 View (512) 601-4880
Photo of Jacqueline Robbins, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Austin, TX
Jacqueline Robbins
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Austin, TX 78753
Waitlist for new clients
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is passionate about supporting individuals with disordered eating/eating disorders, body image issues, anxiety, depression, identity development, low self-esteem, and life transitions. I believe in the importance of relationships and creating a safe therapeutic environment that allows clients to be their authentic selves and utilize their unique strengths to drive the change process. I welcome people from all backgrounds, identities, and experiences with an open mind and curiosity to understand individuals as a whole person.
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is passionate about supporting individuals with disordered eating/eating disorders, body image issues, anxiety, depression, identity development, low self-esteem, and life transitions. I believe in the importance of relationships and creating a safe therapeutic environment that allows clients to be their authentic selves and utilize their unique strengths to drive the change process. I welcome people from all backgrounds, identities, and experiences with an open mind and curiosity to understand individuals as a whole person.
(512) 900-3953 x1005 View (512) 900-3953 x1005
Photo of Lauren Vaughn, Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX
Lauren Vaughn
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC-S
Verified Verified
Austin, TX 78746
Particular areas of focus include eating disorders, pregnancy/postpartum related issues, couple's counseling, child/adolescent struggles and parenting skills.
Reaching out to begin counseling takes strength, courage and vulnerability. It represents a desire for understanding and a hope for change to take place. As a counselor, I work with adolescents, adults and couples. I hope to enrich the lives of the clients that I serve by working alongside each individual while offering guidance, support and empathy. My goal is to help my clients figure out how to use their unique strengths to work through a challenging time in their lives by developing new coping skills to deal with previous roadblocks.
Particular areas of focus include eating disorders, pregnancy/postpartum related issues, couple's counseling, child/adolescent struggles and parenting skills.
Reaching out to begin counseling takes strength, courage and vulnerability. It represents a desire for understanding and a hope for change to take place. As a counselor, I work with adolescents, adults and couples. I hope to enrich the lives of the clients that I serve by working alongside each individual while offering guidance, support and empathy. My goal is to help my clients figure out how to use their unique strengths to work through a challenging time in their lives by developing new coping skills to deal with previous roadblocks.
(512) 402-6455 View (512) 402-6455
Photo of Autonomy Therapy, Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX
Autonomy Therapy
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT-S
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Austin, TX 78753
We specialize in helping clients struggling with - but not limited to - eating disorders, compulsive exercise, mood disorders, grief, trauma, neurodivergence, low self-esteem and self-confidence, poor body image, and anxiety.
Are you struggling with recent life transitions? Not sure how to break the cycle of yo-to dieting or how to manage frequent, anxious thoughts? At Autonomy Therapy, we provide high quality, evidence-based care to support our clients in learning how to strengthen their mind-body connection and become the most authentic, resilient versions of themselves. The therapy that our clinicians provide empowers our clients to develop increased trust with their own thoughts, emotions, and decisions, and supports them in identifying what an intentional, autonomous, and values-based life truly looks and feels like.
We specialize in helping clients struggling with - but not limited to - eating disorders, compulsive exercise, mood disorders, grief, trauma, neurodivergence, low self-esteem and self-confidence, poor body image, and anxiety.
Are you struggling with recent life transitions? Not sure how to break the cycle of yo-to dieting or how to manage frequent, anxious thoughts? At Autonomy Therapy, we provide high quality, evidence-based care to support our clients in learning how to strengthen their mind-body connection and become the most authentic, resilient versions of themselves. The therapy that our clinicians provide empowers our clients to develop increased trust with their own thoughts, emotions, and decisions, and supports them in identifying what an intentional, autonomous, and values-based life truly looks and feels like.
(512) 982-0228 View (512) 982-0228
Photo of Alex Caron, Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX
Alex Caron
Licensed Professional Counselor, MS, LPC, CEDS
Verified Verified
Austin, TX 78731
It takes an incredible amount of strength and vulnerability to reach out for help when you need support. I am passionate about supporting adolescents, teens and young adults in navigating life’s challenges with authenticity, connection, and hope. I have experience in residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient settings to support the treatment of eating disorders, disordered eating, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder and depression. My priority is to provide a safe and compassionate space where you can feel supported, seen and understood.
It takes an incredible amount of strength and vulnerability to reach out for help when you need support. I am passionate about supporting adolescents, teens and young adults in navigating life’s challenges with authenticity, connection, and hope. I have experience in residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient settings to support the treatment of eating disorders, disordered eating, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder and depression. My priority is to provide a safe and compassionate space where you can feel supported, seen and understood.
(737) 345-2610 View (737) 345-2610
Photo of Kylie Lahey, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Austin, TX
Kylie Lahey
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Austin, TX 78724  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
I am also well-versed in treating eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image concerns, having worked in both hospitalization and outpatient levels of care.
I am passionate about helping people by teaching them to help themselves. This looks like teaching coping skills and thought-change perspectives to expand their ability to cope with the stressors of life. I have experience working a variety of athletes from elite to recreational levels for both personal and performance-based concerns. I am also passionate about serving clients experiencing grief and loss, as grief requires being witnessed to heal, and I am willing to witness your grief. I welcome clients looking to work through anxiety, breakups, loss of identity, and life changes.
I am also well-versed in treating eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image concerns, having worked in both hospitalization and outpatient levels of care.
I am passionate about helping people by teaching them to help themselves. This looks like teaching coping skills and thought-change perspectives to expand their ability to cope with the stressors of life. I have experience working a variety of athletes from elite to recreational levels for both personal and performance-based concerns. I am also passionate about serving clients experiencing grief and loss, as grief requires being witnessed to heal, and I am willing to witness your grief. I welcome clients looking to work through anxiety, breakups, loss of identity, and life changes.
(512) 877-4504 View (512) 877-4504
Photo of Heather L Krol, Psychologist in Austin, TX
Heather L Krol
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
Austin, TX 78759
I specialize in treating teens and adults with anxiety, eating disorders, low self esteem, and depression.
You have worked hard your entire life to do everything right. In a lot of ways, you have succeeded. However, sometimes you can't stand yourself for having "issues." You worry that if others notice, they will see you as weak. So many successful, wonderful people have anxiety, fears, negative thoughts, self-doubt, depression, and feel like they are never enough. I want you to know that you do not have to feel like this forever.
I specialize in treating teens and adults with anxiety, eating disorders, low self esteem, and depression.
You have worked hard your entire life to do everything right. In a lot of ways, you have succeeded. However, sometimes you can't stand yourself for having "issues." You worry that if others notice, they will see you as weak. So many successful, wonderful people have anxiety, fears, negative thoughts, self-doubt, depression, and feel like they are never enough. I want you to know that you do not have to feel like this forever.
(737) 210-3657 View (737) 210-3657

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.