Phyllis Klein, LCSW

Phyllis Klein, LCSW

870 Market St. #944
San Francisco, CA 94102
Contact by phone or email

Wheelchair accessible

CREDENTIALS/DISCIPLINE:  I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with many years of experience working with women and with eating disorders. I have additional training in eating disorders and also in poetry therapy which is a creative art therapy.

Board Certified: No

Number of years treating patients with eating disorders: 10+ years

Number of patients with eating disorders you treat annually: 10-15

EDUCATION, TRAINING, and EXPERTISE:  I have attended many workshops and trainings regarding eating disorders, most recently a two day workshop for treating trauma as it relates to eating disorders sponsored by a wonderful treatment program called Castlewood, I have participated for about 2 years in a multi-disciplinary consultation group with other clinicians. I have seen many women struggling with bulimia, anorexia and compulsive eating. and have seen much recovery in the years I have been practicing.


In the desert of the heart Let the healing fountain start W.H Auden As a psychotherapist practicing for over 30 years, I have become well acquainted with the craft of uncovering the heart’s knowledge. Using an integrative approach, I combine my personal style with several theoretical approaches in a desire to create an atmosphere of safety, learning, and growth. The theoretical approaches I use are psychodynamic, control mastery, cognitive behavioral, and supportive. I am also familiar with other approaches such as mindfulness and relaxation practice. I think change comes from motivation coupled with a healing relationship based on your needs and history. The progression from the desert that Auden talks about in the excerpt above, such as an eating disorder, to the healing fountain, includes understanding your feelings and thoughts, noticing the way you treat yourself and how others have treated you now, and in the past. In the process of psychotherapy it may be useful to use tools such as guided imagery, creativity, soothing/relaxation, and somatic grounding techniques. I use writing as a healing tool with individuals and groups and can also work with collage and dreams. For eating disorders, it is important to focus on the eating behavior, the way you think about food, black and white thinking, perfectionism, and “dieting mentality”. It can be very helpful to have a team of people including a physician nutritionist, psychiatrist, therapist, and support group as needed and depending on the level of help and support needed.

Yes, it is possible to recover from an eating disorder. Recovery is feeling safe to be in the world with food and eat with less fear and impulsiveness. Recovery is self awareness and self-forgiveness. All progress takes time and is not a straight line up. Recovery is being able to manage with the inevitable ups and downs of getting better. Recovery is not giving up even when you really want to. Recovery is continuing to work on the problem in the face of disappointments. Recovery is being less focused on size and weight and being more focused on feelings and thoughts. Recovery is about self acceptance and size acceptance, learning to eat healthfully and treat your body with more respect. Recovery is a desire to be healthier, listen to and take care of yourself and your body. This means learning to find ways to like yourself and understanding the reasons for self destructive behavior. Recovery is finding healing ways to exercise rather than slamming your body with exercise. Recovery is learning how to work with depression and anxiety.

LANGUAGES: English only

POPULATIONS SERVED: Adults, Couples, Females, Males

CONDITIONS TREATED: Abuse, Addictions, Affective Disorders, Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating, Bulimia Nervosa, Co-Morbidity, Compulsive Exercise, NOS (Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified), Overeater

TREATMENT APPROACHESArt Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral, Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Therapeutic writing groups for eating disorders


FEES: Cash, Credit Cards, Personal Checks,  If you are covered by “Provider out of the network” in a PPO, patient needs to apply for reimbursement.