Eating Disorders Therapists in Milwaukee, WI

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Photo of Michele M Mastalarz, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Milwaukee, WI
Michele M Mastalarz
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW
Verified
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Specialty in trauma informed care supporting youth/teens, persons with sensory integration issues, eating disorders, behavioral challenges and dual diagnosis presentations.
My professional goal is to provide a compassionate and supportive therapy environment for persons with mental health and behavioral challenges. My hope is to provide a safe, secure and comfortable space during your time of healing and exploration.
Specialty in trauma informed care supporting youth/teens, persons with sensory integration issues, eating disorders, behavioral challenges and dual diagnosis presentations.
My professional goal is to provide a compassionate and supportive therapy environment for persons with mental health and behavioral challenges. My hope is to provide a safe, secure and comfortable space during your time of healing and exploration.
(262) 584-4977 View (262) 584-4977
Photo of Deva Murphy, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Milwaukee, WI
Deva Murphy
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW
Verified
3 Endorsed
Milwaukee, WI 53202
I have availability within one week for scheduling. Are you feeling unhappy or overwhelmed with yourself and your life? Do you wish that you felt more in control and empowered during your day? I specialize in working with anyone who is seeking peace with food and their body, including eating disorders, poor body image, or feeling a loss of control over food or your body. I am also drawn to help those who struggle with trauma, depression, anxiety, grief, life transitions, and those who want to find joy and meaning in their life.
I have availability within one week for scheduling. Are you feeling unhappy or overwhelmed with yourself and your life? Do you wish that you felt more in control and empowered during your day? I specialize in working with anyone who is seeking peace with food and their body, including eating disorders, poor body image, or feeling a loss of control over food or your body. I am also drawn to help those who struggle with trauma, depression, anxiety, grief, life transitions, and those who want to find joy and meaning in their life.
(414) 240-8526 View (414) 240-8526
Photo of Molly Wilcox Yahr, Licensed Professional Counselor in Milwaukee, WI
Molly Wilcox Yahr
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC
Verified
Milwaukee, WI 53202
My specialty is helping individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, perfectionism, life transitions, trauma and healthy relationships.
Have you been feeling out of control, exhausted, and isolated by anxiety and depression? Do you find yourself struggling to maintain healthy relationships and boundaries? Are you tired of hating your body and obsessing about food? Do thoughts of food and weight consume you? If you can relate to any of these questions, therapy can help. I can help you overcome the challenges you are facing.
My specialty is helping individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, perfectionism, life transitions, trauma and healthy relationships.
Have you been feeling out of control, exhausted, and isolated by anxiety and depression? Do you find yourself struggling to maintain healthy relationships and boundaries? Are you tired of hating your body and obsessing about food? Do thoughts of food and weight consume you? If you can relate to any of these questions, therapy can help. I can help you overcome the challenges you are facing.
(262) 300-4055 View (262) 300-4055
Photo of Caroline Schmidt, Psychologist in Milwaukee, WI
Caroline Schmidt
Psychologist, PhD
Verified
Milwaukee, WI 53211
I’m Dr. Caroline Schmidt, a licensed psychologist and experienced psychotherapist. I help people who are struggling with issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, mood disorders, and relationship problems.
I’m Dr. Caroline Schmidt, a licensed psychologist and experienced psychotherapist. I help people who are struggling with issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, mood disorders, and relationship problems.
(262) 684-4285 View (262) 684-4285
Photo of Alexandra Berthelon-Lathrop, Counselor in Milwaukee, WI
Alexandra Berthelon-Lathrop
Counselor, MS, LPC
Verified
1 Endorsed
Milwaukee, WI 53204  (Online Only)
I specialize in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Eating Disorders, Hair pulling/Skin Picking, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders.
I am passionate about working with children, adolescents, and adults experiencing difficult situations that have prevented them from living a healthier lifestyle. My mission is to help you name what's keeping you stuck and identify individual strengths that will help overcome those challenges. I am there to support you in finding and becoming the best version of yourself by letting go of old patterns of thinking and behaviors that are stopping you from being who you want to be. I am also available to provide services in Spanish, as it is my native language.
I specialize in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Eating Disorders, Hair pulling/Skin Picking, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders.
I am passionate about working with children, adolescents, and adults experiencing difficult situations that have prevented them from living a healthier lifestyle. My mission is to help you name what's keeping you stuck and identify individual strengths that will help overcome those challenges. I am there to support you in finding and becoming the best version of yourself by letting go of old patterns of thinking and behaviors that are stopping you from being who you want to be. I am also available to provide services in Spanish, as it is my native language.
(608) 465-4344 View (608) 465-4344
Photo of Adrien Prah, Licensed Professional Counselor in Milwaukee, WI
Adrien Prah
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC
Verified
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Waitlist for new clients
As a clinician, I embrace an eclectic approach to healing, designed to empower diverse individuals to reach their mental health, education, career, and wellness goals. By incorporating elements from multiple evidence-based practices, the client and I work together to create a treatment plan tailored to their unique circumstances, needs, & strengths. I enjoy working with individuals of all ages and stages of life. I specialize in the treatment of eating disorders and management of disordered eating symptoms, as well as ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety, depression, trauma, and PTSD.
As a clinician, I embrace an eclectic approach to healing, designed to empower diverse individuals to reach their mental health, education, career, and wellness goals. By incorporating elements from multiple evidence-based practices, the client and I work together to create a treatment plan tailored to their unique circumstances, needs, & strengths. I enjoy working with individuals of all ages and stages of life. I specialize in the treatment of eating disorders and management of disordered eating symptoms, as well as ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety, depression, trauma, and PTSD.
(262) 293-4133 View (262) 293-4133
Photo of Heidi Hartig, Counselor in Milwaukee, WI
Heidi Hartig
Counselor, MS, LCPC, LPC
Verified
Milwaukee, WI 53211  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
Heidi is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Board Approved Supervisor in Maryland, Virginia, and Wisconsin. With over 10 years of experience, Heidi’s biggest passion is working with adults struggling with eating disorders through a Health at Every Size approach. She also works with co-occurring diagnoses, such as: trauma, anxiety, and depression. You don't have to be ready to completely commit to recovery, but let's talk about what could be.
Heidi is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Board Approved Supervisor in Maryland, Virginia, and Wisconsin. With over 10 years of experience, Heidi’s biggest passion is working with adults struggling with eating disorders through a Health at Every Size approach. She also works with co-occurring diagnoses, such as: trauma, anxiety, and depression. You don't have to be ready to completely commit to recovery, but let's talk about what could be.
(301) 381-1086 View (301) 381-1086
Photo of Nanci Schiman, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Milwaukee, WI
Nanci Schiman
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW
Verified
Milwaukee, WI 53217
Waitlist for new clients
Issues I'm passionate about include couples and relationships; addictions (alcohol, drug, food, internet etc); eating disorders; anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder; life transitions; self-esteem; stress management; parenting challenges, particularly involving mental illness, school refusal or defiance.
Clients come to therapy with individual needs, goals and expectations. It may be ambivilance towards a long term relationship based more on convenience than love. You may feel growing frustration and hopelessness with a marriage filled with conflict. A gnawing feeling of being 'stuck' or lacking direction and purpose. Anxiety or depression create barriers to everyday tasks. Parenting challenges leave you questioning your abilities, longing to help your child. I offer a collaborative, compassionate approach with my clients, supporting your goals with insight and empowering you through a focus on your individual’s strengths.
Issues I'm passionate about include couples and relationships; addictions (alcohol, drug, food, internet etc); eating disorders; anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder; life transitions; self-esteem; stress management; parenting challenges, particularly involving mental illness, school refusal or defiance.
Clients come to therapy with individual needs, goals and expectations. It may be ambivilance towards a long term relationship based more on convenience than love. You may feel growing frustration and hopelessness with a marriage filled with conflict. A gnawing feeling of being 'stuck' or lacking direction and purpose. Anxiety or depression create barriers to everyday tasks. Parenting challenges leave you questioning your abilities, longing to help your child. I offer a collaborative, compassionate approach with my clients, supporting your goals with insight and empowering you through a focus on your individual’s strengths.
(262) 404-4451 View (262) 404-4451
Photo of Dawn Cataldo, Counselor in Milwaukee, WI
Dawn Cataldo
Counselor, MS, LPC-IT
Verified
1 Endorsed
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Areas of special interest are eating disorders, anxiety, life skills, and wellness.
I have a passion for guiding others to discover their best self through the counseling process in a collaborative partnership. I find true joy in building a relationship with my clients that revolves around trust and support. I integrate a wellness perspective into my teaching and therapeutic pursuits. My therapeutic approach is integrative therapy with an emphasis on mindfulness, solution-focused therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Areas of special interest are eating disorders, anxiety, life skills, and wellness.
I have a passion for guiding others to discover their best self through the counseling process in a collaborative partnership. I find true joy in building a relationship with my clients that revolves around trust and support. I integrate a wellness perspective into my teaching and therapeutic pursuits. My therapeutic approach is integrative therapy with an emphasis on mindfulness, solution-focused therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
(262) 333-6559 View (262) 333-6559
Photo of Leah Witthuhn, Counselor in Milwaukee, WI
Leah Witthuhn
Counselor, LPC
Verified
Milwaukee, WI 53201
I typically treat adults struggling with trauma, and eating disorders.
When I think of the counseling process, I really view it as a journey of growth. It is something that can take time, and like with anything worthwhile, there are highs and lows. If we are a good fit, I want to be there with you every step of the way. My goal as a counselor is to create a safe space for each moment of your journey and to really experience those moments with you. I strive to be empathetic and create a warm and welcoming environment for all. No matter what you’re going through, we can begin this journey together.
I typically treat adults struggling with trauma, and eating disorders.
When I think of the counseling process, I really view it as a journey of growth. It is something that can take time, and like with anything worthwhile, there are highs and lows. If we are a good fit, I want to be there with you every step of the way. My goal as a counselor is to create a safe space for each moment of your journey and to really experience those moments with you. I strive to be empathetic and create a warm and welcoming environment for all. No matter what you’re going through, we can begin this journey together.
(262) 239-7498 View (262) 239-7498
Photo of Reshma Rampersad, Psychologist in Milwaukee, WI
Reshma Rampersad
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified
1 Endorsed
Milwaukee, WI 53202  (Online Only)
My areas of interests are multicultural issues, mood and anxiety disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders, and crisis intervention.
I am a licensed clinical psychologist and I provide individual, couples, and group therapy as well as psychological testing. I believe in a holistic approach to therapy allowing for the balancing of mind, body, and spirit. I place an emphasis on mindfulness and acceptance in my therapeutic approach allowing you to evolve in a meaningful way. Navigating that evolution can be difficult and uncomfortable, my job is to help you through that process. To facilitate your transformation I utilize Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Interpersonal Therapy.
My areas of interests are multicultural issues, mood and anxiety disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders, and crisis intervention.
I am a licensed clinical psychologist and I provide individual, couples, and group therapy as well as psychological testing. I believe in a holistic approach to therapy allowing for the balancing of mind, body, and spirit. I place an emphasis on mindfulness and acceptance in my therapeutic approach allowing you to evolve in a meaningful way. Navigating that evolution can be difficult and uncomfortable, my job is to help you through that process. To facilitate your transformation I utilize Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Interpersonal Therapy.
(331) 258-5675 View (331) 258-5675
Photo of Annie Sprinkman Dries, Counselor in Milwaukee, WI
Annie Sprinkman Dries
Counselor, MS, LPC-IT
Verified
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Areas of passion and expertise include eating disorders, body image, self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and life transitions.
Life can be a series of ups and downs. I believe that learning to find space for both is key to navigating life’s journey. I find true joy in helping individuals navigate the in-between while gaining understanding of the twists and turns. A strong therapeutic relationship is essential to a human beings’ growth and discovery through the therapeutic process. That is about meeting others in the field of honesty and vulnerability, connecting beyond what is said and sharing what is deep within. My goal is to create a safe space where exploration and growth are possible.
Areas of passion and expertise include eating disorders, body image, self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and life transitions.
Life can be a series of ups and downs. I believe that learning to find space for both is key to navigating life’s journey. I find true joy in helping individuals navigate the in-between while gaining understanding of the twists and turns. A strong therapeutic relationship is essential to a human beings’ growth and discovery through the therapeutic process. That is about meeting others in the field of honesty and vulnerability, connecting beyond what is said and sharing what is deep within. My goal is to create a safe space where exploration and growth are possible.
(262) 379-8405 View (262) 379-8405
Photo of Melissa Manganello, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Milwaukee, WI
Melissa Manganello
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, APSW
Verified
1 Endorsed
Milwaukee, WI 53211
I have worked with struggles like hoarding disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression.
You're feeling anxious, overwhelmed or maybe even fearful of the future. All you've been wanting is to feel understood and validated by those around you. You remember times when you've felt better, more yourself, but now you just feel so disconnected. Going through challenges like these can feel really isolating, but you do not need to go it alone. Connecting with a therapist can be a great way to start your healing journey. My favorite part of being a therapist is having the opportunity to sit across from someone and help them feel seen, valued and understood, while also offering day to day tools to help them feel better.
I have worked with struggles like hoarding disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression.
You're feeling anxious, overwhelmed or maybe even fearful of the future. All you've been wanting is to feel understood and validated by those around you. You remember times when you've felt better, more yourself, but now you just feel so disconnected. Going through challenges like these can feel really isolating, but you do not need to go it alone. Connecting with a therapist can be a great way to start your healing journey. My favorite part of being a therapist is having the opportunity to sit across from someone and help them feel seen, valued and understood, while also offering day to day tools to help them feel better.
(414) 446-0751 View (414) 446-0751
Photo of Jamie Garrow, Licensed Professional Counselor in Milwaukee, WI
Jamie Garrow
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC
Verified
Milwaukee, WI 53217
Jamie is knowledgeable in treating a variety of mental health concerns including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, trauma, ASD, and difficult adjustment and self-esteem issues.
Jamie Garrow is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin who has been practicing since 2020. Jamie received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Communications from the University of Milwaukee and earned her Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Cardinal Stritch University. Jamie is skilled in working with children and adolescents ranging from ages 3 to 17. She is a passionate, dedicated clinician who utilizes an eclectic and integrative approach to psychotherapy that focuses on adapting therapeutic techniques to meet the unique needs of the individual.
Jamie is knowledgeable in treating a variety of mental health concerns including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, trauma, ASD, and difficult adjustment and self-esteem issues.
Jamie Garrow is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin who has been practicing since 2020. Jamie received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Communications from the University of Milwaukee and earned her Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Cardinal Stritch University. Jamie is skilled in working with children and adolescents ranging from ages 3 to 17. She is a passionate, dedicated clinician who utilizes an eclectic and integrative approach to psychotherapy that focuses on adapting therapeutic techniques to meet the unique needs of the individual.
(262) 588-4889 View (262) 588-4889
Photo of Mallory Sunstrom, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Milwaukee, WI
Mallory Sunstrom
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW
Verified
Milwaukee, WI 53207  (Online Only)
I can help treat a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, anger, low self-esteem, behavioral concerns, grief, adjustment disorders, OCD, PTSD, personality disorders, mood disorders, and eating disorders.
Are you ready to make a positive change in your life? Are you feeling overwhelmed or anxious? I am here to help! I am a trauma therapist that uses CBT and Solution-Focused approaches, as well as Schema Therapy. I have over ten years of experience in the mental health field.
I can help treat a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, anger, low self-esteem, behavioral concerns, grief, adjustment disorders, OCD, PTSD, personality disorders, mood disorders, and eating disorders.
Are you ready to make a positive change in your life? Are you feeling overwhelmed or anxious? I am here to help! I am a trauma therapist that uses CBT and Solution-Focused approaches, as well as Schema Therapy. I have over ten years of experience in the mental health field.
(561) 264-5641 View (561) 264-5641
Photo of Nicholas Salazar, Licensed Professional Counselor in Milwaukee, WI
Nicholas Salazar
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC
Verified
Milwaukee, WI 53217
Nico Salazar (whose current availability is every other week) is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin who has been practicing since 2021. He graduated from Marquette University. Nico aims to help clients by offering a validating and warm space to share their challenges and take the time to work together to develop a plan. He utilizes evidenced-based approaches and skills from CBT and DBT to find a path forward and allow clients to break out of old unhelpful habits. Nico has experience working with patients struggling with Eating Disorders, Depression, Bipolar Disorders, Anxiety, and Borderline Personality Disorder.
Nico Salazar (whose current availability is every other week) is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin who has been practicing since 2021. He graduated from Marquette University. Nico aims to help clients by offering a validating and warm space to share their challenges and take the time to work together to develop a plan. He utilizes evidenced-based approaches and skills from CBT and DBT to find a path forward and allow clients to break out of old unhelpful habits. Nico has experience working with patients struggling with Eating Disorders, Depression, Bipolar Disorders, Anxiety, and Borderline Personality Disorder.
(414) 441-6586 View (414) 441-6586
Photo of Nanci Schiman, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Milwaukee, WI
Nanci Schiman
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified
Milwaukee, WI 53217
Nanci's areas of interest include couples, relationships, co-parenting and divorce; substance abuse, eating disorders and other addictive behaviors; anxiety, depression and other mood disorders; life transitions; self-esteem issues; stress management; parenting concerns, particularly when mental illness or addiction are involved.
Nanci is a licensed clinical social worker with over 18 years of experience in the mental health field working with adolescents, adults, families and couples. She offers a collaborative, compassionate approach with her clients, supporting their goals and empowering them by focusing on individual strengths. Nanci builds a safe and trusting relationship with her clients through respect for individual values and beliefs, calm and supportive encouragement and the occasional splash of humor.
Nanci's areas of interest include couples, relationships, co-parenting and divorce; substance abuse, eating disorders and other addictive behaviors; anxiety, depression and other mood disorders; life transitions; self-esteem issues; stress management; parenting concerns, particularly when mental illness or addiction are involved.
Nanci is a licensed clinical social worker with over 18 years of experience in the mental health field working with adolescents, adults, families and couples. She offers a collaborative, compassionate approach with her clients, supporting their goals and empowering them by focusing on individual strengths. Nanci builds a safe and trusting relationship with her clients through respect for individual values and beliefs, calm and supportive encouragement and the occasional splash of humor.
(262) 588-4117 View (262) 588-4117
Photo of The Shore Counseling and Consulting Clinic, Psychologist in Milwaukee, WI
The Shore Counseling and Consulting Clinic
Psychologist, MA, MEd, PhD
Verified
Milwaukee, WI 53217
I am very multifaceted in my interests and type of individuals I like to treat. I am very experienced with over 30 years of experience working as a psychologist and am trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR (Certified Therapist/Consultant), Brainspotting, NLP, Internal Family Systems, Holographic Memory Resolution, and Havening. I am experienced in dealing with a variety of issues including anxiety, depression, trauma, ADD/ADHD, adjustment issues, grief, couples/relationships, eating disorders and sleep. I am compassionate in my approach as I work with clients to address areas of challenge.
I am very multifaceted in my interests and type of individuals I like to treat. I am very experienced with over 30 years of experience working as a psychologist and am trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR (Certified Therapist/Consultant), Brainspotting, NLP, Internal Family Systems, Holographic Memory Resolution, and Havening. I am experienced in dealing with a variety of issues including anxiety, depression, trauma, ADD/ADHD, adjustment issues, grief, couples/relationships, eating disorders and sleep. I am compassionate in my approach as I work with clients to address areas of challenge.
(414) 939-7958 View (414) 939-7958
Photo of Marcia Catlett, Counselor in Milwaukee, WI
Marcia Catlett
Counselor, LCPC, MA, MEd
Verified
Milwaukee, WI 53209
Offering video sessions, phone sessions, and live chat sessions. I have had the honor and satisfaction of working with a wide range of people experiencing relationship and/or transitional issues, as well as more serious problems including mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, menopausal issues, pre and post bariatric surgery adjustment, trauma, OCD, grief and divorce recovery. Within the scope of general adult and child and adolescent counseling I offer individual psychotherapy, family sessions, couple's counseling, and some testing. I use Hope therapy and seek to build on people's strengths.ver
Offering video sessions, phone sessions, and live chat sessions. I have had the honor and satisfaction of working with a wide range of people experiencing relationship and/or transitional issues, as well as more serious problems including mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, menopausal issues, pre and post bariatric surgery adjustment, trauma, OCD, grief and divorce recovery. Within the scope of general adult and child and adolescent counseling I offer individual psychotherapy, family sessions, couple's counseling, and some testing. I use Hope therapy and seek to build on people's strengths.ver
(208) 488-1766 View (208) 488-1766
Photo of Sarayu Meraki, Pre-Licensed Professional in Milwaukee, WI
Sarayu Meraki
Pre-Licensed Professional, LPC-IT
Verified
Milwaukee, WI 53221
I am particularly attuned to clients who've experienced childhood trauma or struggle with eating disorders, addictions, or religious and vicarious trauma.
Are you struggling through a loss or life transition, or hoping for healing and connection with yourself and others? Maybe you have unresolved trauma that's making you feel stuck? Or maybe you're in a relationship and want something different together. As humans, we want to experience connection and find a place of belonging and love. It's so important to create space to slow down, discover ways to hold life's complexity differently, and be compassionately curious about what’s getting in the way of what we truly want. It's never too late to explore being comfortable in your own skin and move toward growth and aliveness.
I am particularly attuned to clients who've experienced childhood trauma or struggle with eating disorders, addictions, or religious and vicarious trauma.
Are you struggling through a loss or life transition, or hoping for healing and connection with yourself and others? Maybe you have unresolved trauma that's making you feel stuck? Or maybe you're in a relationship and want something different together. As humans, we want to experience connection and find a place of belonging and love. It's so important to create space to slow down, discover ways to hold life's complexity differently, and be compassionately curious about what’s getting in the way of what we truly want. It's never too late to explore being comfortable in your own skin and move toward growth and aliveness.
(262) 300-8265 View (262) 300-8265

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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.