CREDENTIALS/DISCIPLINE: I am a licensed psychologist with a PhD in Clinical Psychology. I was trained to work with eating disorders at the Susan B Krevoy Eating Disorder Program at the Wright Institute of Los Angeles while I worked there as a therapist for 1.5 years. I led process groups and conducted individual therapy for individuals with eating disorders, as well as consulted with the program nutritionist and outside medical doctors. I approach therapy from a psychodynamic perspective, aiding individuals in understanding and learning to tolerate the emotions that trigger their eating disordered behavior. I also utilize cognitive-behavioral techniques to give clients concrete ways to reduce their behavior.
Board Certified: Yes.
Number of patients with eating disorders you treat annually: 5-10
EDUCATION, TRAINING, and EXPERTISE: I obtained my doctorate from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. Like I said, I was trained in eating disorders at the Susan B Krevoy Eating Disorder program. I also worked on a treatment team for eating disorders at Pepperdine University’s counseling center. I am skilled at working with a team of individuals in approaching eating disorder issues (medical doctor, psychiatrist, nutritionist). My expertise is in psychodynamic psychotherapy, being trained at the Wright Institute of Los Angeles, and I use the approach to work with both men and women with eating disorders of all ages. See above question regarding credentials for slightly more information.
I work from a self-psychological approach, which holds that individuals with disordered eating have an underdeveloped sense of self. Thus I work to aid these individuals in developing their sense of self and identity – often the eating disorder has become their sole identity. Further, often these individuals have come to believe that their emotions are unacceptable and every time they feel an emotion, turn to their eating disorder to escape or numb themselves. Thus, I also work with individuals on educating them about emotions, letting go of past beliefs about emotions, and beginning to tolerate emotions. Last, I believe much of the change happens in the context of the therapeutic relationship, as clients learn to trust the therapist and feel positively regarded by the therapist. Ideally in time, they can begin to think positively about themselves as a result. Usually these techniques, in conjunction with work with a nutritionist and medical doctor result in remission of symptoms.
Yes, I do believe it is possible to recover from an eating disorder. I define recovery as the complete remission of eating disorder behaviors (e.g., no restricting, bingeing/purging, etc.), an increase in positive self-esteem, and a developed sense of self and ability to cope with life problems and intense emotions in new healthy ways. Individuals with a history of eating disorders may occasionally struggle with negative thoughts about their body image or food, but when recovered they will know how to manage these thoughts in a healthy way so that they do not lead to unhealthy behaviors.
POPULATIONS SERVED: Adolescents, Adults, Athletes, Couples, Ethnic Minorities, Families, Females, GLBT, Males, Seniors
CONDITIONS TREATED: Abuse, Addictions, Affective Disorders, Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, Co-Morbidity, Compulsive Exercise, Dissociative Disorders, NOS (Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Overeater, Overweight
TREATMENT APPROACHES: Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Psychoanalysis
TREATMENT SETTINGS: Outpatient, Willing and experienced in working as part of a team