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Eating Disorder Treatment

I specialize in the treatment of Eating Disorders. I have helped clients in every stage of Eating Disorder recovery and I have experience treating a wide range of Eating Disorder behaviors, such as binge eating, purging, food restriction and chronic dieting, obsessive exercising, body dysmorphia, and general body image dissatisfaction.

It can be difficult to believe that there is anyone out there that can understand your experience in having an Eating Disorder. Eating Disorders are highly misunderstood in the media which contributes to a widespread lack of awareness. Photos of unhappy, unhealthy celebrities on the cover of tabloid magazines with their alleged weight splayed across the cover in bold, bright text is not exactly the best way to educate the public and foster a sense of compassion for the disorder. Misinformation also contributes to a general perception that Eating Disorders are somehow a choice that people make, and that the solution is to “snap out of it” and “just eat!”. It is very common for a person with an Eating Disorder to feel frustrated and isolated when the people around them are having a hard time understanding what the disorder is about. An Eating Disorder is not about vanity, it is not about choosing to hurt their loved ones and it isn’t a phase in order to “try to get attention”. They are complicated illnesses that manifest themselves in varying levels of severity. Not every person with an Eating Disorder looks the same, or acts the same. If you have issues with food or body image that affects your life in a negative way, if getting on the scale determines whether you have a bad or good day, if it seems easier to isolate yourself from others, or if your social life or self esteem revolves around food or how you look, it would be a worthwhile investment to be assessed for an Eating Disorder by a trained Eating Disorder specialist.

Getting help for an Eating Disorder can be an incredible challenge. You might be unhappy overall, but are not sure if you want to give up certain parts of the disorder. Or, you might be afraid that if you get help, your weight will go “out of control” and it might not be such a great help after all. For others, they have lived with the disorder for so long that it is hard to imagine life without it. These are all common fears and concerns. Coming in to get help does not mean that I will be ripping the rug out from underneath you, demanding that you stop these behaviors and I absolutely can not tell you that you “just need to eat more”. I am not the right person to be advising you on what to eat and when, my role is to help you explore the emotions and thought patterns around your eating disorder and to help you gain insight into the unique aspects of your particular situation, along with developing healthy coping skills. Treatment will be at your pace, and even though I will be here to challenge you, you are the one who makes the decisions about what changes you make and what changes you don’t make.

As part of your treatment, I request that you have a current physical exam with your primary physician. My training as a psychotherapist does not cover assessing the physical manifestations of an eating disorder that could result in medical complications, only your doctor can assess for that. In terms of evaluating your food intake, if you have extensive food fears or want help creating a meal plan, I can refer you to a Registered Dietitian. Many people benefit greatly from seeing a Registered Dietitian in conjunction to psychotherapy. During our treatment together, I will offer you my professional recommendations, if I feel that your eating disorder can not be treated in an outpatient setting, I can support you in seeking out more intensive treatment.

Please click on the link below to hear my interview on the Dr. Drew Podcast on Eating Disorders and Treatment:

Dr. Drew Podcast interview with Erika Hirsch, MFT, ATR