top of page
Fresh Strawberries
Eating Disorders
Eating Disorder Therapy

Eating is one of our most basic needs. Yet for many people, food has become a source of struggle rather than nourishment. If you find yourself obsessing about food, turning to or away from food for emotional relief, and plagued by insecurities about your body, you are not alone and there is help.

 

As a therapist who has recovered from an eating disorder myself, I have a deep understanding of the recovery journey, and welcome the opportunity to guide you in yours. I specialize in the treatment of Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge-Eating Disorder, chronic dieting, exercise addiction, and body image issues. In therapy, we will explore the emotional component to eating, identify and challenge limiting beliefs surrounding food and your appearance, and come to understand the function of your eating disorder behaviors. I will also help you to develop skills to effectively cope with your emotions, and work through underlying issues so that you can thrive and be fully present in your life.

 

When you're struggling to recover, it can feel like you'll never get there. Or, that staying in your eating disorder would be easier. It won't be. Recovery can be hard and the journey can feel disorienting, but you can do it and it will be worth it. I would be honored to help you find balance with food and develop a relationship with yourself that is rooted in self-care, rather than body-hatred and shame. You deserve healing. You deserve joy. You deserve freedom. And it is possible.

“To find freedom from eating difficulties, you must remain committed to your search, persistent when overwhelmed, patient with your resistance, and gentle with yourself.”

—Anita Johnston

Eating Disorder Therapy

What is eating disorder therapy?

Assessment. When I am assessing for an eating disorder, I am paying attention to the amount of “power” that food, exercise, and your body image has on your life, which may or may not be reflected in your actual body size or outward behaviors. I am listening for the amount of time spent thinking about what you are eating or not eating. Listening for how your self-worth is impacted by your eating patterns or body image. I’m paying attention to the toll it has taken on your relationships and ability to engage in your life. I am listening for how it has helped you to cope and manage in the world. But most of all, when I am sitting with you and assessing for an eating disorder, I am listening for your suffering and pain. I say this because there are so many misguided beliefs about eating disorders and people often dismiss their struggle as “not being serious enough,” or feel they don’t fit into a specific diagnosis, or “don’t look like they have an eating disorder,” and therefore, they shy away from getting help. If you are struggling with eating problems or body image issues, no matter how it might look to the “outside eye,” or how long or how short you have struggled, you are deserving of a safe space to explore what it all means for you and experience healing. Eating and having a body are with you for a lifetime — In my opinion, there is no greater gift to give to one’s Self than to lean in and begin the journey of healing. 

 

We will start where you are. David Whyte wrote a beautiful poem in which he tells the reader to “Start close in, don’t take the second step or the third, start with the first thing close in…” And so, I say to you, we will “start close in…with the ground you know.”

 

We will begin by coming to understand how you experience your eating disorder. We will explore it’s role in your life — both how it has hurt you and how it has helped you. I have found that more often than not, disordered eating is initially rooted in hope. ”If only I was thinner/ate healthier/exercised more, I would be happier…confident…or have the relationships that I want…etc.” It is important for us to acknowledge and honor the hope that your eating disorder has given you, as well as any comfort or safety that you might find in it’s rituals, rules, or its role in your life. We will strengthen the part of you that wants to recover and I will help you to visualize what recovery means for you. We will also be curious about the parts of your eating disorder that you are afraid to let go, and challenge any fears that you might have about what it means to recover. We will think together about the different strategies you have tried to heal yourself, the places where you feel stuck, and will explore new perspectives and possibilities. All in all, therapy is your space to slow down mentally so that you can process and understand your relationship with food and your body, in all of it’s complexity, and create a path towards healing that is as unique as you are. 

 

It’s about the food and it’s not about the food. Now that I’ve talked about ways in which we will explore your relationship to food and your body, I’m throwing a curve ball and adding that our conversations will not solely be centered around your eating disorder. If all we talked about were your symptoms (food, eating, body shape), we’d miss profound opportunities for healing. If we never talked about your eating and body image struggles, we’d again miss profound opportunities for healing. This is because your eating problem is a problem within itself, and it is also a signal that another part of your life needs attention and healing - this is the intricacy of eating disorder therapy. All aspects of your life are invited into our sessions, and are in fact an integral part of the process to finding freedom. 

Families
Are you concerned that your child may have an eating disorder?

Learning that your child has an eating problem often triggers profound fear, confusion, and feelings of helplessness in parents. Many find themselves replaying the past trying to put the pieces together, questioning what they missed, and struggling with guilt believing on some level that it is their fault. If this sounds familiar to your experience, please hear me when I say that eating disorders are complex, they develop due to a combination of factors, and early symptoms are often hidden and easy to miss. You are doing your best as a parent, seeking help for your child is a good next step, and the willingness to show up is all that is required to make some progress. I do not take lightly the vulnerability and trust that you are placing in me, as we join together to help your child heal and thrive in his or her life. 

Many parents express worry that an eating disorder is a lifelong illness that their child will have to endure — it does not have to be. Your child can achieve full recovery, and in my experience, many people who recover from an eating disorder actually develop a healthier and more nurturing relationship with food and their body than the general population, in part because of the hard work they do in therapy.

bottom of page