I specialize in working with adults and adolescents with various forms of eating disorders, including:
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Bulimia Nervosa
- Binge Eating Disorders
Adults: When treating eating disorders, I use a team approach and work closely with a physician and a nutritionist as part of a treatment team. I take an active role in organizing the team and facilitating ongoing communication among the team members. I view the client as the integral part of the team and their family members as significant resource to the client in the treatment process.
In my work, I use various approaches depending on the need of the person. In my view, eating disorders are very complex conditions with many layers, ranging from medical concerns to emotional, relational and social issues. Each layer requires different interventions, such as providing education and awareness regarding impact of eating disorders on health, developing awareness and understanding of the role and functions of the eating disorders in the life of the person and employing various therapeutic methods to develop coping tools necessary for recovery and healing.
I utilize cognitive-behavior therapy, mindfulness-based approaches such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Compassion Focused Therapy, as well as insight oriented and relational approaches. I believe that it is through a process of cultivating self-compassionate and non-judgmental awareness, understanding and acceptance of what we do that we are able to create change and bring about what we want.
Adolescents: I work with children and adolescents with a wide range of eating disorders and food and weight related issue. My initial approach is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation to gain a through understanding of the adolescents' health and functioning and of the role and impact of the eating disorder in their lives. I will consult and work closely with the child/teen's pediatrician and together will form a multidisciplinary treatment team, including a nutritionist with expertise in eating disorders and a psychiatrist as needed. I will coordinate and work very closely with every member of the team to assure teens medical stability and need for higher level of care, if needed. I assess carefully for any co-existing conditions and treat and/or refer accordingly. Through this process of comprehensive evaluation and in working closely with the treatment team and the family, I arrive at an individualized treatment plan. Based on appropriateness, I utilize an adolescent focused or a family based approach in treating children and adolescents with eating disorders.
I am certified in Family Based Therapy for treatment of eating disorders with children and adolescents. In this approach which is based on the most recent research findings parents play a significant role in successfully fighting and helping their child overcome an eating disorder.
The Maudsely approach, developed at the Maudsely Hospital in England and the Family-Based Therapy, developed by Drs. Lock and La grange at Stanford University and University of Chicago, is strongly supported by research and is the recommended model of care for treating eating disorders with children and young adolescents. This model empowers the parent to take the crucial and challenging role of leading their child back to health, as they would be expected to do if their child were to suffer from any other potentially life threatening condition. My work with adolescents with eating disorders and their families are informed by this and other principals of the Maudsley approach.
Once the eating disorder is treated and the teen/child is back to health, other intervening personal or family issues can be addressed and resolved. I work closely with the teen in understanding and overcoming the underlying issues as well as helping to develop healthier coping mechanisms in dealing with normal developmental challenges and stressful life situations.
In my own practice, I have found that since utilizing these principals, on average the course of treatment has shortened significantly, need for hospitalization has reduced and rate of recovery has notably increased and therefore chance of developing a more chronic condition is lessened.
For more information about the Maudsley and Family Based Therapy, you can refer to the following Websites:
Article on eating disorders by Dr. Kashani: https://marincountypsych.org/eating-disorders.aspx
Advice for families: