Eating Disorder Therapy

We all have a relationship with food.

Food represents a distinct aspect of our individual and social lives, a system of our existence. Beyond the irrefutable fact of necessity, food has other dimensions of experience. We eat to affirm relationships, family, celebrations and rites of passage. Eating disorders are symptoms of a relationship with self that is distorted, and a relationship with food that is destructive. These destructive relationships with food run the gamut from emotional eating, to compulsive overeating and binge eating disorder, to severe cases of anorexia, bulimia or avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder.

Therapy for Eating Disorders

Problems with food and body image are symptoms of deeper issues, and messengers of a unique inner story trying to be heard. They attest to internal conflicts around sense of identity, sexuality, or lack of power, and can also be the result of a traumatic experience. And they often perpetuate co-occurring conditions such as addiction, self-harm behaviors, depression or anxiety.

Eating disorders also serve a purpose to the individual in some way. They can help manage difficult or unhappy feelings, thoughts and moods, reduce episodes of intense anxiety, or relieve the frustration of feeling out of control. Unfortunately, an eating disorder begins as an attempt to self soothe, a distraction, and may comfort like an old friend, but eventually spins out of control and becomes an enemy.

Through an alliance of trust and collaboration, I work with clients to learn what needs are being met by their eating disorder and help them find new ways of dealing with life. I also address the underlying issues of body image, self-esteem, thought patterns, habitual behaviors, and family-of-origin and current relationships in a safe and supportive environment.

I realize that many clients enter treatment with ambivalence about giving up their eating disorder. Whatever your stage of readiness is, I will work with you from there, knowing that you may not be quite ready to give up your eating disorder just yet, but trusting that the time will come when you no longer need it.

In addition to working with the individual suffering from an eating disorder, I work with family members or loved ones as they are instrumental in an individual’s recovery, and often the first person to observe an eating disorder. I also collaborate with medical doctors and nutritionists who also specialize so that we can best support the recovery process.

The emotional pain and frustration in the lives of someone inflicted with an eating disorder, or someone from their intimate circle, is enormous and pervasive. It is possible to create and live a better life, even if the spark of hope right now seems dim.

For additional information, click on eating disorders.