psychotherapy for eating disorders | portland, oregon & NEW YORK
Don’t let an eating disorder hold you back.
If you feel like "your weight" is holding you back in life, or that you’re eating to numb (rather than nourish) yourself, I can help you get to the heart of the matter and transform your relationship with food, and yourself.
Working with both individuals and small groups, I integrate psychotherapy with practices such as mindfulness and intuitive eating. I incorporate body positive principles such as HAES, weight inclusivity, eating for well being, and life enhancing movement, and support clients develop practical coping strategies and healthier eating and exercise patterns.
I understand the complex pieces involved in achieving full recovery, and believe in bringing both depth and lightness to the process. Using a client-centered holistic approach, I’m a proponent of integrated mental health and practical evidence-based strategies. I aim for quick yet long-lasting results, so you can get back to living your life.
You didn’t choose to have an eating disorder, but you get to choose what happens next.
Treatment options include:
BINGE EATING DISORDER GROUP
Downtown Portland | Tuesdays | 6.30-8pm
Group therapy is highly effective for BED, and includes a nutritionist’s support. Our next round of sessions beings in September.
RO DBT SKILLS GROUP
For executives in Portland & New York
Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy offers practical skills for managing emotional over-control and perfectionism.
Certain combinations of symptoms can mean it makes sense to treat a client physically as well as psychologically. In these situations, clients often respond best to a team approach that delivers 360° treatment. I’m able to draw on an awesome network of nutritionists, sympathetic movement and exercise practitioners and primary care providers, all working together for your recovery.
THERAPIES & PRACTICES TO OVERCOME EATING DISORDERS
CBT brings awareness to negative food-related triggers, thoughts and behaviors. It helps clients create healthier patterns and perspectives, and offers practical strategies to overcome day-to-day challenges.
Eating disorders are often a result of painful suppressed emotions - an attempt to numb, soothe or avoid them. EFT helps clients develop better emotional regulation and self-care practices, so that they can resolve difficult emotions and improve their relationship with food.
Those suffering from eating disorders often deal with perfectionism and the excessive need to feel in control. Controlling their diet becomes their coping mechanism. RO DBT addresses emotional over-control, and helps clients enjoy more openness, flexibility, and social connectedness.
Those grappling with eating disorders are often overwhelmed with their own negative thoughts. Mindfulness can help clients detach from these thoughts and impulses, and choose more positive responses and behaviors. Mindful eating can also help clients savor food in a more healthy, satisfying way.
Intuitive Eating rejects the diet mentality and retrains us to eat when we’re hungry, and stop when we’re full. By teaching clients to tune in to their body’s signals (rather than external rules and triggers), it helps clients trust and honor their bodies, and establish a healthier relationship with food.
LIVING WITH AN EATING DISORDER IS DIFFICULT.
In part, because eating disorders are complex conditions, involving biological, psychological and societal elements. As the combined effect of these elements naturally varies from one individual to another, I offer highly personalized treatment to cater to an individual’s unique situation, and give them the best chance of full recovery. Here’s some more information on the conditions I typically treat:
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) – Binge, emotional or compulsive eating, is the most common eating disorder in the United States. People with BED eat to excess to the point where they feel out of control. The aftermath often leads to feelings of guilt, embarrassment and shame. If you’re eating to the point where you feel out of control, you may be experiencing BED.
Bulimia can be defined as a cycle of binge eating and self-induced purges, such as vomiting or over exercise. If left untreated, Bulimia eventually affects the digestive system, leading to nutritional deficiencies and chemical imbalances. This in turn can affect the major organs and even lead to cardiac arrest. Effective treatment helps prevent or reverse complications by establishing healthier eating patterns.
Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (NOS) This is where an individual’s symptoms are causing distress, but diagnosis is unclear. Sometimes because an individual’s symptoms do not meet strict diagnostic criteria for Anorexia or Bulimia and sometimes due to hybrid conditions of more than one disorder. What is clear is that NOS disorders are as serious as other eating disorders and should not be left untreated.
Body Image Issues (BII) People who experience BII can spend hours a day, thinking about their real or imaginary physical flaws. Telling them they look fine, is met with disbelief doing nothing to alleviate their negative thoughts. This negativity causes emotional distress and can interfere with they way they function socially and at work. BII most often develops in adolescents, equally affecting men and women and is frequently accompanied by eating disorders or depression.
Anorexia can be characterized as a fear of gaining weight and often involves distorted body image. People with anorexia often display over control by restricting calories and food intake, exercising compulsively, and in some cases binge eating and purging. While most people with anorexia are extremely underweight, it can affect larger-bodied individuals as well.
Orthorexia is an obsession with healthy eating taken to unhealthy extremes. Although the condition is not formally recognised there is increasing awareness of it. People experiencing Orthorexia may compulsively check lists of ingredients and nutritional labels, can be draconian about cutting out food groups, and may feel distressed when ‘safe’ or ‘healthy’ food is not available.
Exercise Addiction while regular exercise can be beneficial, individuals can become addicted to the pleasure response that the endorphins create. This can lead them to exercise compulsively regardless of injuries, excessive weight loss, or other negative effects on their personal lives such as decreased social activity This addiction is often correlated with distorted body image and eating disorders.
Improve Your Relationship with Food If you’re experiencing concern about the way you interact with food, a little pre-emptive therapy may be just what you need. If you’re beating yourself up for what you ate yesterday, or on the yo-yo diet treadmill, you can benefit from resetting your relationship with food so that you can enjoy the nourishment and satisfaction that comes with eating for your own wellbeing.