I specialize in eating disorder treatment for adolescents, adults, males and females. My doctoral research project was on the topic of the sociocultural influences on women's body dissatisfaction. I completed my post-doctoral fellowship at the Cambridge Eating Disorder Center and am a member of the Multi-Service Eating Disorder Association (MEDA).
Eating issues can range from disordered eating to a diagnosable eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and eating disorder "not otherwise specified" (which includes binge-eating). Problematic eating behaviors may include restrictive eating including rigid food rules, calorie counting and crash dieting; binge-eating; and purging. Other behaviors may include over-exercise, and laxative, diuretic, or diet-pill abuse.
While eating disorders may be thought to primarily exist in adolescents, they often can persist or even develop in adulthood and this should not be overlooked.
Typically, disordered eating runs deeper than an over-concern with body weight and appearance and is often a symptom of more complicated emotions and conflicts. Because the symptoms of an eating disorder may serve an important function for an individual, it is common for clients to either feel ambivalent toward treatment of their eating disorder or to have tried treatment many times to no avail. Often the beginning phase of treatment is aimed at discussing and working through the ambivalence and the difficulty of "giving up" the unhealthy eating disorder behaviors.
I believe that therapy must include identify and understanding underlying emotionally issues as well as practical skill-building and identifying other coping skills to use to replace eating disorder behaviors.
Because some eating disorder behaviors can lead to electrolyte imbalances, low heart rate, low blood pressure, it may be important for the therapist to have permission to have regular contact with other medical professionals such as one's primary care physician and nutritionist. This is something that the therapist and the client can discuss and come to agreement on in the beginning of treatment.
The following books may be helpful: