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Eating Disorders

Statistically, the sooner an eating disorder is detected, the higher the chance for recovery.
Image by Brooke Lark

Two of the most extensively researched forms of treatment for eating disorders were first developed in the UK and have also been studied and adapted here in the US. __ Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders (CBT-E), developed by Dr. Christopher Fairburn, and The Maudsley Approach, developed at The Maudsley Hospital, London are considered to have the strongest scientific evidence for effectiveness. CBT-E gives patients tools for setting goals and making changes in their behaviors.  The Maudsley approach involves teaching parents how to support their children’s recovery.  I know how important it is to provide patients with eating disorders the support of a multidisciplinary team, so I collaborate closely with medical and nutrition specialists here in Houston when I work with patients with eating disorders. 


Treating symptoms without addressing the underlying is not enough.
Trauma - words from wooden blocks with l

It is not enough to treat symptoms without addressing the underlying issues that may drive people to symptomatic behavior. When I started treating eating disorders, I came to understand that many of my patients experienced painful traumas in their past.  To fully recover from their eating disorders, they needed help understanding and dealing with their trauma.  Depending on the diagnosis associated with trauma, there are different approaches that can help, including CBT and phased treatment to increase patient’s sense of safety and personal effectiveness. 

For info about enCOURAGE Trauma Center's IOP, please visit:

Mood/Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older.
Image by Fernando @cferdo

Anxiety and mood disorders are the most common psychiatric issues and commonly co-occur with eating disorders.  Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)  is the treatment identified as the most effective for treating anxiety and mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) provides many useful tools for managing life’s challenges and building a sense of self-efficacy.  Psychiatrists and other health care providers may be involved as part of the treatment team. Mindfulness and psychodynamic approaches also provide opportunities for insight and personal growth.

Family-Based Treatment

The Academy for Eating Disorders identifies FBT as Line One treatment for children and adolescents with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa because it has the strongest research proving the best outcomes. 
Family at a Beach

When I am treating children or adolescents, my first choice of treatment is Family Based Treatment or FBT. 

It is called family-based treatment because parents are the providers of care and support for their child’s nutritional rehabilitation.  This treatment model empowers parents to help their children and addresses the challenges the eating disorder has placed on the entire family.  It is cost effective and enables children to recover at home instead of having to go away for treatment.

I work closely with the parents and their child to guide them on how to support recovery at home.  I work with a treatment team that includes a medical provider and a dietitian.  Please see the video link in the Resources section of this website for more information.

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