Eating Disorders Therapists in Dallas, TX

Photo of Megan Brannan, Psychologist in Dallas, TX
Megan Brannan
Psychologist, PhD, CEDS
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75230
I am a licensed psychologist practicing in the Dallas area. I am also able to provide virtual appointments across the state of Texas. I provide individual, couples, and family therapy services to older adolescents and adults. My areas of expertise include body image and eating disorders, anxiety disorders, identity issues, and issues pertaining to loss and grief. I also treat depression, stress management, trauma, relationship problems, and adjustment issues. I've worked with clients who struggle with anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder at all levels of care, ranging from outpatient to inpatient settings.
I am a licensed psychologist practicing in the Dallas area. I am also able to provide virtual appointments across the state of Texas. I provide individual, couples, and family therapy services to older adolescents and adults. My areas of expertise include body image and eating disorders, anxiety disorders, identity issues, and issues pertaining to loss and grief. I also treat depression, stress management, trauma, relationship problems, and adjustment issues. I've worked with clients who struggle with anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder at all levels of care, ranging from outpatient to inpatient settings.
(713) 766-0448 View (713) 766-0448
Photo of Amie Hamaker, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Amie Hamaker
Licensed Professional Counselor, MS, LPC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75231
Among my areas of expertise are eating disorders, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, body image, social anxiety, self-esteem, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and trauma.
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and owner of Arrow Therapy, a private practice in Dallas where I work with a broad spectrum of clients. If you're looking for extra support and guidance through a challenging situation or you're just ready to move in a new direction in your life, I hope to work with you to achieve your goals. While we can't change difficult situations of the past, we can work together to better understand and resolve challenges in your life.
Among my areas of expertise are eating disorders, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, body image, social anxiety, self-esteem, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and trauma.
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and owner of Arrow Therapy, a private practice in Dallas where I work with a broad spectrum of clients. If you're looking for extra support and guidance through a challenging situation or you're just ready to move in a new direction in your life, I hope to work with you to achieve your goals. While we can't change difficult situations of the past, we can work together to better understand and resolve challenges in your life.
(469) 437-4822 View (469) 437-4822
Photo of Molly Shute, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Molly Shute
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, LCDC-I
Verified Verified
Dallas, TX 75204
My specialties include working with clients with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, persistent overfunctioners, codependency, stress, and people impacted by addiction or growing up privileged .
I know that life can get overwhelming and we all seek different ways to feel better. Sometimes those choices are good and sometimes not so good. Trust me! I am not going to judge. Whether you are struggling in your relationship, feel overly dependent on someone/something, have a difficult relationship with food, or you feel overwhelmed and anxious with anything in your life, I'm here to help. You are not alone. I want to help encourage you along the way while helping you experience the growth needed for you to find the happiness you are searching for.
My specialties include working with clients with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, persistent overfunctioners, codependency, stress, and people impacted by addiction or growing up privileged .
I know that life can get overwhelming and we all seek different ways to feel better. Sometimes those choices are good and sometimes not so good. Trust me! I am not going to judge. Whether you are struggling in your relationship, feel overly dependent on someone/something, have a difficult relationship with food, or you feel overwhelmed and anxious with anything in your life, I'm here to help. You are not alone. I want to help encourage you along the way while helping you experience the growth needed for you to find the happiness you are searching for.
(214) 740-4864 View (214) 740-4864
Photo of Kelly Wallace, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Kelly Wallace
Licensed Professional Counselor, M Ed, LPC, NCC, LMHC
Verified Verified
Dallas, TX 75214  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
Throughout my career as a counselor, I have had the opportunity to work with specialties including eating disorders, depression, anxiety, grief/ loss, trauma, and relationship issues. I would like you to feel that we are working in partnership to make changes in your life and in finding the answers for each challenge you face. Clients need support, suggestions, positive encouragement and a safe, nonjudgmental place to share issues and concerns. La habilidad de proveer terapia a mis clientes hispanohablantes es uno de los servicios que ofrezco. En plus, mes clients francophones bénéficieront de partager dans leur propre langue.
Throughout my career as a counselor, I have had the opportunity to work with specialties including eating disorders, depression, anxiety, grief/ loss, trauma, and relationship issues. I would like you to feel that we are working in partnership to make changes in your life and in finding the answers for each challenge you face. Clients need support, suggestions, positive encouragement and a safe, nonjudgmental place to share issues and concerns. La habilidad de proveer terapia a mis clientes hispanohablantes es uno de los servicios que ofrezco. En plus, mes clients francophones bénéficieront de partager dans leur propre langue.
(469) 551-8419 View (469) 551-8419
Photo of Allison Tardif Art Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Allison Tardif Art Therapist
Licensed Professional Counselor, MAAT , LPC, ATR-BC, CLAT
Verified Verified
Dallas, TX 75225  (Online Only)
I work with pre-teens, teens, and adults navigating anxiety, depression, disordered eating and eating disorders, body image, grief and loss, veterans and their families, those searching to find fluidity within life transitions, as well as those seeking space and guidance for personal growth and empowerment.
www.allisontardif.com Licensed in TX, CT, VA. As a Licensed Professional Counselor & Board Certified Art Therapist, I believe in the power of the therapeutic relationship to facilitate self-awareness, growth, and change. Engaging in therapy requires courage. My approach is strength based, client centered, mind body focused, and holistically grounded. As an art therapist, clients have the option to engage in art therapy (but not required). No art experience is required. The creative process and artwork are explored to uncover insight into thoughts & feelings.
I work with pre-teens, teens, and adults navigating anxiety, depression, disordered eating and eating disorders, body image, grief and loss, veterans and their families, those searching to find fluidity within life transitions, as well as those seeking space and guidance for personal growth and empowerment.
www.allisontardif.com Licensed in TX, CT, VA. As a Licensed Professional Counselor & Board Certified Art Therapist, I believe in the power of the therapeutic relationship to facilitate self-awareness, growth, and change. Engaging in therapy requires courage. My approach is strength based, client centered, mind body focused, and holistically grounded. As an art therapist, clients have the option to engage in art therapy (but not required). No art experience is required. The creative process and artwork are explored to uncover insight into thoughts & feelings.
(469) 415-1326 View (469) 415-1326
Photo of Ocean Anombem, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Ocean Anombem
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, MS
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75206
My practice areas include diverse populations, eating disorders, weight management, relational and familial concerns, trauma, depression, anxiety, and stress management.
Now Accepting New Clients. Are you interested in creating change and moving forward? People seek therapy for many reasons. Some struggle with anxiety, depression, trauma, and other mental health disorders; others need a safe space to explore their thoughts and feelings. Our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are connected and sometimes become so intense that we reach a breaking point. Together, we can create a safe haven, explore patterns, build a toolbox with coping skills, and enhance your resilience. I utilize mindfulness-based exercises and cognitive behavioral techniques to identify and foster acceptance, change, and commitment.
My practice areas include diverse populations, eating disorders, weight management, relational and familial concerns, trauma, depression, anxiety, and stress management.
Now Accepting New Clients. Are you interested in creating change and moving forward? People seek therapy for many reasons. Some struggle with anxiety, depression, trauma, and other mental health disorders; others need a safe space to explore their thoughts and feelings. Our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are connected and sometimes become so intense that we reach a breaking point. Together, we can create a safe haven, explore patterns, build a toolbox with coping skills, and enhance your resilience. I utilize mindfulness-based exercises and cognitive behavioral techniques to identify and foster acceptance, change, and commitment.
(512) 866-0628 View (512) 866-0628
Photo of Dr. Tracy A Protti, Psychologist in Dallas, TX
Dr. Tracy A Protti
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
Dallas, TX 75206  (Online Only)
Life can become overwhelming at the drop of a hat. Managing mood disorders (anxiety, depression), eating disorders, chronic pain (musculoskeletal, headache disorders, fibromyalgia), cancer, and chronic illness are just a few areas of life that bring about distress, discomfort, and overall malaise. Search my Alma profile to schedule a free consultation.
Life can become overwhelming at the drop of a hat. Managing mood disorders (anxiety, depression), eating disorders, chronic pain (musculoskeletal, headache disorders, fibromyalgia), cancer, and chronic illness are just a few areas of life that bring about distress, discomfort, and overall malaise. Search my Alma profile to schedule a free consultation.
(469) 972-7139 View (469) 972-7139
Photo of Bethany Rothamel in Dallas, TX
Bethany Rothamel
PhD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75231  (Online Only)
I specialize in trauma, relationship issues, body image/eating disorders, and gender and sexual identity exploration.
Have you ever lost hope for the possibility of healing or genuine understanding from others? It’s human to want to feel seen for who we are, but often the risk or lived experience of harm and rejection can cause us to hide the most vulnerable (and connecting) parts of ourselves. Imagine for a moment what it would be like to feel authentically seen and embraced—to practice self-compassion and celebrate every part of yourself.
I specialize in trauma, relationship issues, body image/eating disorders, and gender and sexual identity exploration.
Have you ever lost hope for the possibility of healing or genuine understanding from others? It’s human to want to feel seen for who we are, but often the risk or lived experience of harm and rejection can cause us to hide the most vulnerable (and connecting) parts of ourselves. Imagine for a moment what it would be like to feel authentically seen and embraced—to practice self-compassion and celebrate every part of yourself.
(469) 654-4705 View (469) 654-4705
Photo of M. Eileen Beiler, Psychologist in Dallas, TX
M. Eileen Beiler
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
Dallas, TX 75240
Food addiction, emotional eating and eating disorders are areas of particular expertise for Dr.
Did you know depression and anxiety may be reduced through life style changes? Dr. Beiler is a Clinical Psychologist who provides a safe environment for clients to better understand themselves and improve their personal relationships. She encourages clients to identify their thoughts, feelings and patterns of behavior to help find solutions that can result in positive change.
Food addiction, emotional eating and eating disorders are areas of particular expertise for Dr.
Did you know depression and anxiety may be reduced through life style changes? Dr. Beiler is a Clinical Psychologist who provides a safe environment for clients to better understand themselves and improve their personal relationships. She encourages clients to identify their thoughts, feelings and patterns of behavior to help find solutions that can result in positive change.
(972) 905-4287 View (972) 905-4287
Photo of Charlotte Mulgrew, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Charlotte Mulgrew
Licensed Professional Counselor, MS, LPC
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75215
I specialize in treating eating disorders, recovery from abuse, family of origin trauma(s), and identity exploration.
Have you have been finding it harder to feel joy, self-acceptance, or it's becoming harder by the day to simply stay afloat? In life, we are often made to feel flawed for being human, but I want you to know that you deserve a space that is healing, supportive, and free of judgment. As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I feel honored to help others navigate painful events, emotions, and disordered eating behaviors so that they are able to live their life to its full potential and appreciate their authentic selves. Opening up about our pain can feel like a risk, but I hope in our work together, you realize you're worth this risk.
I specialize in treating eating disorders, recovery from abuse, family of origin trauma(s), and identity exploration.
Have you have been finding it harder to feel joy, self-acceptance, or it's becoming harder by the day to simply stay afloat? In life, we are often made to feel flawed for being human, but I want you to know that you deserve a space that is healing, supportive, and free of judgment. As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I feel honored to help others navigate painful events, emotions, and disordered eating behaviors so that they are able to live their life to its full potential and appreciate their authentic selves. Opening up about our pain can feel like a risk, but I hope in our work together, you realize you're worth this risk.
(972) 472-2097 View (972) 472-2097
Photo of Stephanie Hall, Psychologist in Dallas, TX
Stephanie Hall
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75206
I believe one of the most important aspects of psychotherapy is to establish a safe, collaborative, and mutually respectful relationship where profound personal growth can occur. The atmosphere in my office is warm, accepting and open. My patients are insightful, creative, intelligent people who are working to attain specific goals, make difficult life transitions, or work through the internal and external struggles of previous experiences. My primary ares of interest are sexual trauma, PTSD, eating disorders, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, relational problems and grief. I also conduct formal psychological assessments when necessary.
I believe one of the most important aspects of psychotherapy is to establish a safe, collaborative, and mutually respectful relationship where profound personal growth can occur. The atmosphere in my office is warm, accepting and open. My patients are insightful, creative, intelligent people who are working to attain specific goals, make difficult life transitions, or work through the internal and external struggles of previous experiences. My primary ares of interest are sexual trauma, PTSD, eating disorders, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, relational problems and grief. I also conduct formal psychological assessments when necessary.
(214) 843-1982 View (214) 843-1982
Photo of Angela Harris, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Dallas, TX
Angela Harris
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, CEDS, EMDR
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75254
My clinical focus is in the areas of eating disorders, PTSD, and dissociative disorders. I work with eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, orthorexia, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED), disordered eating, compulsive exercise and body image concerns. I also work with dissociative disorders (DID, OSDD), depression, anxiety, infertility issues, coping skills, trauma, and PTSD. I specialize in treating adults. My goal is to empower you to write the next chapter of your life.
My clinical focus is in the areas of eating disorders, PTSD, and dissociative disorders. I work with eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, orthorexia, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED), disordered eating, compulsive exercise and body image concerns. I also work with dissociative disorders (DID, OSDD), depression, anxiety, infertility issues, coping skills, trauma, and PTSD. I specialize in treating adults. My goal is to empower you to write the next chapter of your life.
(214) 617-0731 View (214) 617-0731
Photo of Lauren Bacak, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Lauren Bacak
Licensed Professional Counselor, MPysch, LPC
Verified Verified
Dallas, TX 75231
I have experience working in hospital settings specialized for eating disorders.
Have you found yourself engaging in similar distressing behaviors, thought patterns, or relational dynamics despite your best efforts to change? My approach aims to address your current distress as well as work with you to investigate why this suffering is taking place to begin with. I believe unwanted behaviors, emotions, and thoughts are illustrating something about your experience that has yet to be understood. Therapy provides a relationship in which you can begin to make sense of what your suffering is saying. My hope is that in working together, you can journey towards long lasting life fulfillment instead of simply coping.
I have experience working in hospital settings specialized for eating disorders.
Have you found yourself engaging in similar distressing behaviors, thought patterns, or relational dynamics despite your best efforts to change? My approach aims to address your current distress as well as work with you to investigate why this suffering is taking place to begin with. I believe unwanted behaviors, emotions, and thoughts are illustrating something about your experience that has yet to be understood. Therapy provides a relationship in which you can begin to make sense of what your suffering is saying. My hope is that in working together, you can journey towards long lasting life fulfillment instead of simply coping.
(469) 529-8560 View (469) 529-8560
Photo of Kiersten Rapstine, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Kiersten Rapstine
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC-S, CEDS-S
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75218
I specialize in treatment of eating disorders but also work well with life transition, anxiety, depression, and perfectionism.
Hello. As a therapist practicing for over 15 years I consider it an honor to walk beside my clients as they approach their struggles. Life is hard. It's sad, lonely, aggravating and completely relentless sometimes. We all need a nonjudgmental ear to aid in our own understanding of what might have us seemingly stuck.
I specialize in treatment of eating disorders but also work well with life transition, anxiety, depression, and perfectionism.
Hello. As a therapist practicing for over 15 years I consider it an honor to walk beside my clients as they approach their struggles. Life is hard. It's sad, lonely, aggravating and completely relentless sometimes. We all need a nonjudgmental ear to aid in our own understanding of what might have us seemingly stuck.
(940) 242-4928 View (940) 242-4928
Photo of Steffanie Grossman, Psychologist in Dallas, TX
Steffanie Grossman
Psychologist, PhD, CEDS
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75231
I provide therapy for a variety of issues, with specializations in eating disorders & self-esteem, as well as gender & sexual identities, & LGBTQ+ related concerns.
I enjoy helping my clients empower themselves to live the lives they wish to live, develop self-compassion, & embrace peace, frequently with the help of my therapy dog, Rockstar. I believe many stressful behaviors (e.g., isolation, eating disorders) begin as a way to cope, when we feel we have little control. Even if certain behaviors are now causing you distress, it is amazing that you empowered yourself to manage times in your life when you didn't know how else manage. Now, we can figure out new strategies that not only allow you to survive, but to thrive, in a way that allows you to feel peaceful & free.
I provide therapy for a variety of issues, with specializations in eating disorders & self-esteem, as well as gender & sexual identities, & LGBTQ+ related concerns.
I enjoy helping my clients empower themselves to live the lives they wish to live, develop self-compassion, & embrace peace, frequently with the help of my therapy dog, Rockstar. I believe many stressful behaviors (e.g., isolation, eating disorders) begin as a way to cope, when we feel we have little control. Even if certain behaviors are now causing you distress, it is amazing that you empowered yourself to manage times in your life when you didn't know how else manage. Now, we can figure out new strategies that not only allow you to survive, but to thrive, in a way that allows you to feel peaceful & free.
(817) 442-2752 View (817) 442-2752
Photo of Yassmin Eldouh, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Yassmin Eldouh
Licensed Professional Counselor, MS, LPC
Verified Verified
Dallas, TX 75204  (Online Only)
Hello and welcome! My area of focus is providing culturally competent counseling to individuals of varying mental health difficulties. I work with clients with various presenting issues, including anxiety and depression, OCD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and addictions. In addition to being a licensed therapist, I am completing my PhD in counseling. My intersectional identities as an Arab-Asian woman from a Muslim background allows me to experience understanding and empathy for those from varying backgrounds and identities.
Hello and welcome! My area of focus is providing culturally competent counseling to individuals of varying mental health difficulties. I work with clients with various presenting issues, including anxiety and depression, OCD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and addictions. In addition to being a licensed therapist, I am completing my PhD in counseling. My intersectional identities as an Arab-Asian woman from a Muslim background allows me to experience understanding and empathy for those from varying backgrounds and identities.
(940) 329-2591 View (940) 329-2591
Photo of Madeline Buckthal Bennett, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Madeline Buckthal Bennett
Licensed Professional Counselor, MS, LPC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75206
My focused approach includes working with adults and individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, eating disorders, low self-esteem, isolation and stress management and difficult life transitions.
Are you feeling 'stuck' or 'overwhelmed' in your life? I'm here to help! Whether you are looking to learn tools to help you improve your self, your relationship, your family or career, my goal is to help you lead a more balanced and productive lifestyle. I approach my clients with a warm, genuine and caring nature. I work collaboratively with you to help you reach your goals. Finding the right fit for therapy is important!
My focused approach includes working with adults and individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, eating disorders, low self-esteem, isolation and stress management and difficult life transitions.
Are you feeling 'stuck' or 'overwhelmed' in your life? I'm here to help! Whether you are looking to learn tools to help you improve your self, your relationship, your family or career, my goal is to help you lead a more balanced and productive lifestyle. I approach my clients with a warm, genuine and caring nature. I work collaboratively with you to help you reach your goals. Finding the right fit for therapy is important!
(806) 853-9178 View (806) 853-9178
Photo of Kathryn Luscri, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Kathryn Luscri
Licensed Professional Counselor, MEd, LPC-S
Verified Verified
Dallas, TX 75223
Do you want to be successful in relationships? Is depression or anxiety stealing your joy, robbing your peace? As a licensed counselor, supervisor of counseling interns, speaker and life coach, I love to see people heal and grow in ways they did not think was possible. For over 25 years, I have counseled people struggling with marriage, divorce, eating disorders, severe depression, and trauma of every kind. Miracles happen in lives where others say there is no chance. Because I counsel from a Christian perspective, I believe all things are possible. Whatever your struggle is, I want to help!
Do you want to be successful in relationships? Is depression or anxiety stealing your joy, robbing your peace? As a licensed counselor, supervisor of counseling interns, speaker and life coach, I love to see people heal and grow in ways they did not think was possible. For over 25 years, I have counseled people struggling with marriage, divorce, eating disorders, severe depression, and trauma of every kind. Miracles happen in lives where others say there is no chance. Because I counsel from a Christian perspective, I believe all things are possible. Whatever your struggle is, I want to help!
(214) 838-1263 View (214) 838-1263
Photo of Alix Rudd, Marriage & Family Therapist Associate in Dallas, TX
Alix Rudd
Marriage & Family Therapist Associate, LMFT-A
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75204
I offer a holistic approach, weaving Somatic Experiencing, mindfulness, and expert guidance in boundaries, trauma, eating disorders, self-image, and optimizing work and sports performance.
Imagine a life where authenticity, self-love, and deep connections flourish. You, a vibrant soul navigating the complexities of work and life, yearn for profound friendships and relationships but face fears that linger in the shadows. Unspoken fears of judgment, repeating negative patterns, regret of untapped potential and the dread of unfulfilled relationships weigh on your spirit. Your desire to overcome anxiety, build secure attachments, and embrace self-love clashes with uncertainties and the unknown of your unique journey.
I offer a holistic approach, weaving Somatic Experiencing, mindfulness, and expert guidance in boundaries, trauma, eating disorders, self-image, and optimizing work and sports performance.
Imagine a life where authenticity, self-love, and deep connections flourish. You, a vibrant soul navigating the complexities of work and life, yearn for profound friendships and relationships but face fears that linger in the shadows. Unspoken fears of judgment, repeating negative patterns, regret of untapped potential and the dread of unfulfilled relationships weigh on your spirit. Your desire to overcome anxiety, build secure attachments, and embrace self-love clashes with uncertainties and the unknown of your unique journey.
(817) 290-9528 View (817) 290-9528
Photo of Lauren Johnston, Marriage & Family Therapist in Dallas, TX
Lauren Johnston
Marriage & Family Therapist, MS, LMFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75248
Waitlist for new clients
I specialize in treating eating disorders in adolescent and adult populations, as well as providing couples and family therapy.
Hi, my name is Lauren and I am so glad that you have chosen to seek help. Starting therapy for yourself or your child can be daunting, but I am committed to building trusting relationships with my clients and providing a space where honesty and vulnerability can flourish. I am passionate about recognizing each individual's unique experiences that have shaped them and working collaboratively with my clients to tailor treatment to their specific needs. Additionally, I believe in involving family members whenever possible to better support clients in their recovery journey.
I specialize in treating eating disorders in adolescent and adult populations, as well as providing couples and family therapy.
Hi, my name is Lauren and I am so glad that you have chosen to seek help. Starting therapy for yourself or your child can be daunting, but I am committed to building trusting relationships with my clients and providing a space where honesty and vulnerability can flourish. I am passionate about recognizing each individual's unique experiences that have shaped them and working collaboratively with my clients to tailor treatment to their specific needs. Additionally, I believe in involving family members whenever possible to better support clients in their recovery journey.
(972) 640-8546 View (972) 640-8546
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.