Eating disorders can take many different forms. In fact, some people wonder if their thoughts and behaviors around food and body image constitute an eating disorder. A comprehensive assessment with me will sort those issues out and will inform the path for treatment. I treat any of the following eating disorders and behaviors: anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, compulsive over-eating or emotional eating, purging, "orthorexia", compulsive exercise, avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) and body image issues. I have a special interesest in working with parents who have concerns about their child's eating patterns or weight/body image issues and helping them navigate their parenting around this. Having the right understanding and approach around these issues can help prevent the development of eating disorders or life-long food/weight struggles and can improve family relationships.
Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety also comes in many forms---constant worrying, intense fears, social avoidance, and panic. Depression can be a chronic condition involving long-term management or it can be situational, related to a life change, a loss, or a traumatic experience. Therapy can help address uncomfortable emotions associated with anxiety and depression and restore functioning to be able to manage daily life.
Life Transition Issues
Life = adjustments and transitions! While these things are to be expected in life, they sometimes involve great difficulty, stress and mixed emotions. The types of adjustment/transition issues that my clients present with include: school transitions (starting high school/college or a new school); changes in relationship or marital status; new parenthood; "empty nest"; "sandwich generation" or caring for elderly parents; loss of a loved one; and adjusting to a new medical condition or career change. I'm particularly passionate about supporting women during mid-life transitions related to changes in roles and relationships, whether due to martial status, navigating demands of parenting and/or caring for aging parents.
With over 20 years of experience in the field of social work, I've been privileged to work in a variety of mental health settings including those providing psychiatric, eating disorder, and addiction treatment services. While various symptoms and behaviors may seem quite different at the outset, common core issues are often at the root of these problems. In our time together, we will explore the underlying emotions related to the problems you're identifying and pair that with a new understanding of how your emotions, thoughts and behaviors connect as well as practical skills to improve your functioning in your day to day life.
My approach is tailored to your individual needs and situation and always starts with meeting you where you are. Therapy may include traditional "talk therapy", skill development to improve emotion regulation and distress tolerance, mindfulness exercises, exposure work and homework assignments that connect to the work being done in the session. In some cases, an individual is simply seeking a safe space and supportive listener to facilitate the processing of thoughts and emotions. Beyond direct individual work, I encourage collaboration with other professionals involved in your care and am open to including family members, as appropriate, to further your progress in therapy.
For eating disorder therapy, I recommend evidence-based practices such as Family Based Treatment for younger adolescents and a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and emotion-focused interventions for older adolescents and adults. Family Based Treatment involves the parent(s) at each session and includes extensive collaboration with other professionals involved in the care.