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Eating disorders & Disordered Eating

eating disorders disordered eating vaEating disorders & disordered eating are more common than what we think.

I treat people suffering from anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder as well as people with general food/weight concerns. The majority of people with eating problems do not fit the category of anorexia or bulimia nervosa (1% to 5% of the general population). However, we know that many people struggle with food and body image issues. If you are constantly trying to control your weight by dieting regularly, overeat or starve based on your emotions, are never content with your body. You can benefit from psychotherapy. I can help you reinvent your relationship with food and yourself. It is not what you are eating but what is eating you. I treat the full range of food/eating concerns in adolescents, adults, males and females.

I believe the eating disorder is merely a symptom of some underlying pain/trauma the person has experienced in life.

In my practice, I integrate a variety of therapeutic techniques. These are from cognitive-behavioral techniques such as dialectical behavioral, mindfulness, and acceptance. These help clients get in touch and work with their emotions to psychodynamic insight oriented interpretation. In addition, I incorporate wellness and existentialism principals to help clients gain long-term recovery. So, they can develop a new approach to life. Finally, I offer my clients several options (short-term and long-term). Moreover, I discuss with them what best suits their needs and goals. When necessary, I work with a registered nutritionist and psychiatrist.

I am a member of the International Academy of Eating Disorders. Counseling in Spanish is also available.

More Information On  Eating Disorders & Disordered Eating

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If a person has a compulsion to eat, obsesses about not eating, constantly judges what to eat or wants to burn out calories all the time. He or she might be suffering from disordered eating or a diagnosable eating disorder (DSM_IV: anorexia, bulimia, binge eating). Eating disorders or any problems with food have a negative effect not only on the mental and physical health of people suffering from it but also on other aspects of their lives and on their families. Many people get confused as to whether they have a problem or not because they don’t see themselves as “Anorexic” or “Bulimic” or as a “Binge Eater” or “Exercise Addict”. Because these lines can be blurry, and there is a lot of room for grey.

Most people think that there is a problem if people are starving themselves, or throwing up but the problem is much more subtle and broad that you can imagine.

If people are weighing themselves every day, thinking about food or eating most of the day, checking their stomach and thighs constantly. Eating only “healthy” foods, going to the gym religiously for more than an hour every day. And become upset or irritable if something gets in the way…something might be going on.

If you are wondering if you, or someone you care about, may have an eating disorder the most important thing to ask is whether or not bingeing, purging, overeating, obsessing about food, body image, weight and exercise is getting in the way of living a life that is “normal” or most importantly of being “happy.” If you, or the person you care about, can answer this question honestly, it may be easier to decide if seeking out help is the right thing to do.

You can also use the following quiz to help determine if you or a loved one is at risk or may be in need of treatment for an eating disorder.


Last but not least, in the recovery from an eating disorder the most important thing to consider is that you can’t do it alone. To recover from an eating disorder you need help, professional, and from friends and family.  Again, if someone is going through this is not because they want to but it is a result of some psychological suffering and until that is addressed you won’t be able to have a healthy relationship with food nor with your body. (More and more studies are showing than obesity might be linked to childhood trauma). Eating healthy is not a matter of willpower and eating disorders don’t stay static. They get worse. So the sooner you get help the better.

For appointments contact me at 703-231-7991 or isabelkirk@gmail.com

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Resources on Eating Disorders