Eating Disorders

Questions & Responses:
Eating Disorder Nutritionist for 16 year old(2 responses)
Resources for 9 year old with eating disorder(1 response)
Archived Responses: 

Questions about Teens Questions about Adults

Questions about Teens

Group program for 14-year-old bulimic daughter?

Oct 2015

I have a 14 year old daughter who is bulimic. She has been referred to an eating disorder program in Walnut Creek called EDIOP. They meet three or four hours a few times a week, eat meals there, and apparently receive some therapy and skills/coping strategies.

Has anyone participated in this program? Is it successful? Does it work better for certain types of kids and not others? Our daughter is not outgoing and will not want to be with other teens, and will not warm up to group activities. Is this a characteristic that will impede her progress in the program?

Thank you for any insights anyone has out there! We are not sure if she should go or not. We are also not sure of other programs she might attend. Trying to navigate

I think you are referring to a Kaiser program. I don't know that program--but I would strongly recommend you contact Michele Vivas, the east bay expert on eating disorders. Her recommendation is worth a lot, and I would listen to her views about this program. Many, many doctors and even reputable medical care institutions are simply ill-informed about ED treatment. I had to change pediatricians twice before getting one who follows evidence-based treatment and not 1980s erroneous beliefs about EDs. If we had followed some of the bad advice from several doctors along the way, my daughter would be still sick, or even worse.

I also recommend looking at That forum is for parents of kids, teens and young adults with EDs. You can read there about others who have been successful and find great support. Ask questions on that forum, you will be answered by compassionate, experienced parents who have already been down this path and have much good advice to offer. Digging out of the ED rabbit-hole

I'm terribly sorry you and your daughter are struggling with this awful, tenacious, and dangerous illness. You don't say where you live. I am not familiar with EDIOP, but there is a very good adolescent eating disorders IOP (intensive outpatient program) in Concord called ''Casa Serena.'' There is also a very good residential treatment program - Center for Discovery - with locations in Danville and Menlo Park.

Your daughter has been referred to an IOP program for psychological treatment for a serious mental/physical illness. It isn't a day camp or a social activity. Most of the kids don't want to be there - they need to be. They may want to get better, but they don't want to do it in groups or in front of other people. There is a lot of shame. They may argue that they can get better on their own - but they CANNOT. The therapists will help your daughter engage in the program.

I strongly support you in following the medical advice you have been given, and in sending your daughter to an IOP program. Your daughter is at the age when eating disorders emerge. The more quickly they are treated, the better the odds for recovery and the less enduring physical damage may be done (to heart, bones, teeth, esophagus, stomach, intestines.) Your daughter's recovery is likely to be demanding for your whole family. I wish you every blessing for strength, patience and compassion. Try to keep in mind that your daughter is no more in control of this illness than she would be if she had pneumonia. It is a hard road. Been there

Dietitian/Nutritionist for Teen Eating Disorder

Feb 2014

I am looking for a great dietitian/nutritionist who works with teens with eating disorders. Pluses would be an office in Berkeley or Oakland, and experience with Family Based Treatment. Any recommendations? In Support of a Brave Girl

Michele Vivas, (510) 595-9474 and, sounds like the person you're looking for. She's very experienced with eating disorders, immensely knowledgeable, and uses the family-based / Maudsley approach. Personally, she's warm, practical, down-to-earth, and connects well with teens. She works closely with medical doctors and has a go-to list of therapists who share her approach. Our pediatrician put us in touch with her, and she has made all the difference. Stay brave

You may have difficulty getting in to see her, but the gold standard in this area is Michele Vivas (5665 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618 (510) 595-9474). Her office is right in Market Hall, and she is super approachable and matter of fact. Wishing you the very best of luck with your brave girl...we are going through the same thing. Anon

16 year old's eating disorder after weight loss

Oct 2012

My 16 year old has eating disorder due to weight lost. She has strong resentment about medical treatment and therapy, only agrees to eat more at the condition of w/o getting too much weight back. However, I was told by the doctor that the only way to get her period back and improve her weak vital signs is to get at least 10 pounds back. Any advices of dealing with teenage girl with similar situation will be greatly appreciated. Very concerned and frustrated Mom.

You need to find a way to communicate to your daughter that she is doing her brain and body ACTIVE HARM by keeping her weight down--e.g. walk her through the implications of her period stopping (body shutting down non-vital functions in an attempt to keep going: this is an emergency response on the body's part). She is losing/has lost weight not just where she can see it but in her internal organs--including her brain. You may need to find good biological material to present her with and you probably need to scare her-but the issue is a scary one, after all.

I went through something similar with my daughter and she immediately came around once she understood what she was really doing to herself. If your daughter is at a place where she can't listen to reason, and it sound like she might be, maybe try therapy (individual or group)--she may have issues she needs to talk through and you are probably not be the person she can do that with. And there are surely local support groups that could help. Best of luck with this difficult situation. anon

So sorry to hear that your daughter is dealing with an eating disorder. I went through that myself at 16 and struggled with unhealthy eating habits (or not eating) for years. I wish my mother had addressed the situation more directly because I couldn't see how bad it was. The fact that you stop mensturating is a big problem. Please check out the Eating Disorder Treatment offered at Herrick Hospital in Berkeley. I hear it is an outstanding program. Eating disorders are about control, and you likely won't be able to get her to eat more. She needs to realize that it is problem and learn to take care of herself, sooner rather than later. I wish you and your daughter the best of luck with this. Anon

I had an eating disorder as a teen, in an era where anorexia was only a medical term. I was never formally diagnosed and feel very fortunate that I somehow got out of it on my own. After my son went through a residential treatment program for addictions, he was indignant that I hadn't told him about this aspect of my health history. He told me that eating disorders are considered a form of addiction. His justification for needing to know is that it showed an inherited susceptibility to addiction. (Given what he had gone through, I have no cause to question his statements.) So... Has your daughter been evaluated by a qualified medical person? If so, and therapy was recommended, then tell her it's appropriate. Alta Bates has a residential eating disorders program--they take it seriously. And not to scare you, but left untreated it can become very dangerous. Karen Carpenter died from anorexia not long after I recovered. And best wishes to your daughter. She's lucky that eating disorders are taken seriously these days. Grateful survivor

Hi, Since your daughter is willing to gain weight but is concerned about gaining ''too much'', I suggest that she consults with a nutritionist. Michelle Vivas, 510 595-9474, in Rockridge, is very experienced working with people with eating disorders and providing nutritional support. Perhaps she can allay your daughter's fears. experienced mom

Hello. I'm so sorry to hear of your daughter's struggles with food. I have walked that walk as a parent and it was frightening and beyond frustrating. One strategy I used was to take my daughter's passion, which was dance, and tell her she couldn't do it until she was at a safe weight. But I kept her close to it (watching rehearsals etc. ) so she became hungry for it and eventually decided to start eating again so she could dance.

Of course there was therapy etc. and she too, was very angry and resistant to it all. Along the way we met a great nutritionist who, for some reason, did not annoy my daughter. I recommend her highly. Her name is Tami Lyon (in SF and Marin.) You can find her number online. It's such a hard, and complex disorder. I wish you and your daughter well. Been there.

Call Michele Vivas (510) 595-9474 She is a nutritionist who specializes in eating disorders. She was able to help my daughter see what she was doing to herself, and the very real danger she was in. I am very grateful to Michele-she stopped the eating disorder in its tracks and reversed it. She was worth every penny-it's your daughter's health and life we're talking about-if she had a diagnosis of diabetes, you'd do whatever had to be done to help her-same is true for an eating disorder-your daughter needs help, is not in control of the situation (though she may think she is). anon

18 years old boy needs help to treat bulimia

Oct 2011

Hi, I am a mother of 18 years old boy who is suffering eating desorder. I just realized that every time he eats, he goes to bathroom turn on the shower, than nobody can hear him, and start to provoke vomiting. Before that I new something wrong was happening with him. But he never wants to talk, every time I tried, he said he didn't want to talk and locked into his room.

I am desperate because I never thought that could happen with him. He is a happy boy, he loves to dance, he is a ballet dancer. I don't know how to start to resolve this problem, because he is already 18 years old and do not want to talk about that.

If somebody can help me organize my ideas and figure out how I can help him, I will really apreciate. Thank you very much for who can help me. Desperate mom.

I'm so sorry your son is suffering with this. I know that the dance/ballet world, especially, has very high rates of eating disorders amongst young dancers. Years ago I was involved with the 12 step program Overeaters Anonymous. There were groups w/in OA specifically for bulimia and anorexia and I think there are teen groups as well. You can find a local meeting on line. HOpefully your son will go, but if he wont', you should go. The 12 step groups are all welcoming and friendly. Good luck anon

I'm sorry to hear about your son. His symptoms are very frightening. I would take him to see a therapist immediately. The longer an individual is bulimic, the harder it is to get better. You and your son both need support and help with this. I would recommend a very skilled eating disorder specialist to you -- Lisa Bograd, MFT. She has a lot of experience with teens with eating disorders. She has an office in the east bay and one in SF. You can't deal with this alone! Her number is 415-820-3929. Good luck!

We discovered that our 14 year old daughter was bulimic much in the same way as you, using showering to disguise her purging. We ended up sending her to an inpatient eating disorder hospital for one month. It was a very hard decision to make, but for her it was lifesaving. Inpatient provides a full day of a variety of therapies for them. DBT, CBT, group and individual therapy. They even coordinate the homework with their high schools. She did not want to go of course, but now looks back on her time there fondly. She became very close to the other girls and still stays in touch. They are a good resource for her to stay on track. They are really supportive of one another. We found a program our health insurance would pay for. Unfortunately this one does not take boys. I think Stanford has a two week program. Good luck with your son. been there

Support for parent of teen with eating disorder

Jan 2009

does anyone have any therapist recommendation for parent support with dgthr with eating disorder in East Bay? a therapist with United Behavioral Health group? How about for young adult with eating disorder? thank you! therapist search ED

This is a serious medical and psycological condition that needs to be addressed NOW. I apologize that I missed your original post, so I am not certain that I am addressing your question to the point. Lucille Salter Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford offers a comprehensive clinic and inpatient program for children with eating disorders. The patients are followed by an MD, cared for by nurses, seen by a therapist and other specialists are available to help you child if need be. A wonderful and essential resource for this journey. I would at the very least give the physicans or psychiatrists there a call for referrals in your area if that program is not an option for you. Anon

14-year-old son's induced vomiting

May 2007

Last night I walked into the bathroom and found my 14 yr old son trying to throw up because he said he had eaten too much earlier in the evening and his stomach hurt. I'm afraid that he may be heading toward some body image/bulimia/anorexia type thing.

He's normal weight, with a good appetite, has never dieted, but I know he's concerned about his body (what teen isn't) and wants to be fit and muscular. How worried should I be? He doesn't binge, so I don't think it was a bulimic purge, but still it was frightening to see.

We eat a healthy diet, and have always stressed eating until feeling full and then stopping. I've allowed him to self regulate (mostly) in this way since the beginnning, and thought everything was going well, since he is at an ideal weight for his height. But what I saw last night really has me shaken.

How should I handle this? worried mom

I think you need a professional to gage how serious this is. I would be concerned too. Call his doctor. If you want a referral to a male therapist, I'll just tell you a friend of mine told me about a terrific guy she found, Mick Hausauer. He's helped her son with something completely different. But I noticed that most therapists seem to be women and a teenage boy may prefer a man. Mr. Hausauer's number: 510-654-2311. I wish you the best. another mom

Support for teenagers with eating disorders

April 2005

I was wondering if anyone knew of a weekly therapy or support group for teenagers with eating disorders, specifically anorexia/bulimia. I know that Overeaters Anonymous has groups but this does not attract young women. The best resource would be a weekly therapy group that meets in the late afternoon or early evening. Thanks.

My daughter struggled with anorexia for several years, and while I had good health insurance (Blue Cross PPO), it was very difficult to find coordinated care for eating disorders here in the East Bay. At the height of her troubles, we sought treatment at Stanford Children's Hospital, because they have an outpatient clinic that integrates group work, individual therapy, nutrition and physician care. The only similar system here is at Kaiser.

When we wearied of travelling to Palo Alto, we found a therapist at Kaiser Oakland who also conducted private practice. She tried to get entree for my daughter to Kaiser groups, but they would not allow non-Kaiser paitents in to their sessions. We learned that private practice pyschologists are reluctant to hold groups, because the psycology of the disorder is that individuals can either learn new ways to perpetrate the behavior through others in the group, or they can get support for overcoming it--the former being a big liability risk for a psychologist without a large pool of patients to draw from.

Ultimately, we put together a triage here that replicated the Stanford care: our family physician followed the Stanford protocol of weight monitoring and setting limits on weigh loss and other activities; she collaborated with a nutritionist who agreed on pace of weight gain, eating protocols, etc; and they both worked with the therapist who played the role of calming the waters as new, more healthy behaviors were instituted, helping examine the self-destructive thoughts, and working to mediate the family dynamics that become so central to the agony of eating disorders. We never found a group setting once she was out of hospital care.

Throughout all of this, I always felt like yoga, acupuncture, meditation--energetic things that helped calm my daughter's anxiety--were as critical as the structures the triage gave her.

The therapists trained in eating disorders who helped us: Therapists: Thomasine McFarlin 510.538-0304 (near telegraph and derby); Manda Hakimi-Ederer (415) 710-9301 (practice on Piedmont ave); Nutritionist: Michelle Vivas: (510) 595-9474 (Rockridge).

If you're a parent who wants to talk to another who has come out the other end, call me.

Anonymous out of respect for my daughter's privacy

Therapist in SF for teen's eating disorder

Jan 2005

My 19 year old daughter has an eating disorder and has expressed a desire to see a therapist again. She has some difficulty trusting doctors, etc. due to a past negative experience in counseling. She is attending college in San Francisco and lives on campus, so I am seeking referrals for female therapists in San Francisco who specialize in working with teens and eating disorders. Thanks in advance for your help.

I highly recommend Kirsten Beuthin . She specializes in eating disorders and has an office in San Francisco as well as the East Bay. She does very well with making young women and teens girls feel comfortable. Her numbers are 415-401-7180 and 510-652-0990. Good luck. anon

Anya Lane DMH in San Francisco is excellent with teenagers and eating disorders. She can be reached at (415) 346-1466. Jules

20-year-old daughter has eating disorder


My 20 year old daughter suffers from an eating disorder. She has admitted she has a problem and has agreed to go for counseling. I am looking for a counselor who comes well recommended and has experience dealing with this issue. We would prefer someone in the Berkeley/Albany/El Cerrito area, but are willing to travel a bit if necessary to get the right person. Thanks for your help.

While my daughter was being treated for an eating disorder, her therapist recommended an excellent family therapist who we all went to together alongside her therapy with my daughter, named Dr. DiMartini.

Preston Parsons Alvarez was someone who was recommended to us by my daughter's adolescent medicine doctor at Kaiser, Dr. Tipton. Preston is not a Kaiser provider -- she is private and this is costly. We decided we had more confidence in the private sector than Kaiser Permanente when it came to psychological help. I interviewed 5 therapists, including Preston, over the phone in lengthy conversations and then presented the results to my daughter. Ultimately, it was my daughter's decision. My daughter feels as good about Preston now as she did 5 years ago. Preston worked for many years in the in-patient units for eating disorder teens back in the days when they were subsidized by the government. She worked well with my daughter, and also consulted well with the psychiatrist who treated my daughter when she became an in-patient through Kaiser.

For the woman looking for a therapist who works with individuals' eating disorders... I would highly recommend Kirsten Beuthin . She is a thoughtful, dedicated and caring clinician who not only specializes in this area of work but is excellent working with adolscents and young adults. She is not in the East Bay, but isn't too far; she's across the San Rafael Bridge out in the Kentfield area and can be reached at 415 419-3576. She may also have a sliding scale if cost is a factor, but her rates are generally in the $70 per session range. She'll also know about adjunctive resources for your daughter should that be necessary. Michael

There is an excellent eating disorders psychologist in Berkeley. Her name is Dr. Sheila Byrns, 649-7979, 3020 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 10, Berkeley 94705. She will be on vacation from September 17 - October 17, but probably could recommend someone in her absence as well.

in reply to the Eating Disorder advice wanted entry: Jane Kaplan is an experienced therapist who specializes in eating disorders. Her practice is in Albany

My daughter identified her eating disorder to us, a combination of both bulemia and anorexia, when she was 16 years old. At first, as we made it through each day, we weren't sure if she was would make it. She is now 21 years old and a senior at U.C.S.C., working, and living on her own. She still comes back to Berkeley to see the therapist we found for her, and still attends her peer group that is run by an intern under her therapist as well. Preston Parsons Alvarez was someone who was recommended bo us by her adolescent medicine doctor at Kaiser, Dr. Tipton. Preston is not a Kaiser provider -- she is private and this is costly. We decided we had more confidence in the private sector than Kaiser Permanente when it came to psychological help. I interviewed 5 therapists, including Preston, over the phone in lengthy conversations and then presented the results to my daughter.

Ultimately, it was my daughter's decision. Preston, in turn, recommended an excellent family therapist who we all went to together alongside her therapy with my daughter, named Dr. DiMartini (don't recall his first name, maybe John). My daughter feels as good about Preston now as she did 5 years ago. Preston worked for many years in the in-patient units for eating disorder teens back in the days when they were subsidized by the government. She worked well with my daughter, and also consulted well with the psychiatrist who treated my daughter when she became an in-patient through Kaisewas totally paid for by Kaiser ($48,000). But we paid for Preston ourselves, which was around $20,000 over a several year period. These are the realities of private medicine. And this was the total after we received some reimbursement from New York Life, which was covered $1000 per year for the first couple of years by her step-father. It's an enormous long-haul, something which is ongoing. One way to look at it is that it takes a long time to go in this direction, and takes some time to make a different pathway. I wish you great luck with your child.

An additional resource for the young woman dealing with an eating disorder is Overeater's Anonymous. Though the name says Overeater the program, which is based on the same principles as AA, is for anyone facing any eating disorder. Best wishes to this young woman and her family.

On the eating disorders question, my son was starting to have eating problems associated with athletic stuff. Our pediatrician sent us to Michelle Vivas (642-5075), who is a nutritionist who works with athletes and with issues around eating disorders. She told me on the phone that she had names of a number of Bay Area therapists who specialize in this issue. In our case, just the very thorough interview with Michelle seemed to be successful in getting my son eating again. He really liked her, by the way. She would be a place to start, if not to finish.

Recommendations from Therapists Re: 20-year-old daughter has eating disorder (2001)

Editor Note:
Several therapists also wrote in to share recommendations from their own professional experience as well as suggestions from their colleagues. These appear below.

My name is Patty Hertz. I am a social worker and founder of the Magic Mirror Girls' Program; an educational service whose mission is to promote positive body and self image for middle school girls. Here at two therapists who specialize in eating disorders:
Jane Kaplan, Ph.D. 510-524-6117
Elizabeth Scott 415-488-9007

I also recommend a center in Marin called Beyond Hunger. Their web-site is

A national web-site with a lot of information and links is (eating disorders awareness prevention)

I can recommend you to very good people in the east bay: Linda Riebel, 2029 Durant, Berkeley 524-8444 Piera Piagentini 510-704-9989, formerly dir of adolescent psych unit at Alta Bates I also highly recommend Marya Hornbacher's book WASTED.

I would be very happy to talk with you about this subject, as I have been working somewhat with several young women with eating disorders. There are also some good in-patient places, which would be easier to discuss over the phone.

I wish you and your daughter lots of luck and many blessings on this journer to healing.

Meg Siddheshwari Sullivan <siddheshwari [at]> 510-428-0675 </siddheshwari [at]>

Regarding eating disorder specialists... I'm a psychologist here in the East Bay who specializes in Eating Disorders. I work with the young population but am full in my practice right now. I wanted to give you a comprehensive list of who I consult with and work with. Please make the recommendations anonymous. I can tell you that Jane Kaplan runs groups and works well with parents as well as the patient. She would be my first recommendation as a resource in the area. I think Claudia and Preston are great with young people. Susan is excellent and I think a little better suited to an older population. Alison has a good reputation but her work I am not as familiar with. I gave you a list because we all tend to run pretty full at this time of year when school returns and Cal is back in session. Here is a list all in Berkeley, Oakland, Albany:
Jane Kaplan,PhD 510-524-6117
Susan Sands,PhD 510-841-4889
Alison Trules,PhD 510-654-5582
Claudia Toomey,PhD 510-339-2373
Preston Parsons, PhD 510-653-5504
Diane Cohen, PhD 510-653-1464

From: Eileen Crean, MFT, therapist, and parent of BHS Sophomore

I am forwarding this referral info re: teen eating disorders from the etree of the East Bay chapter of California Marriage & Family Therapists. I have announced to the EBCAMFT etree that I am posting their suggestions. They are happy to have the word of mouth recommendations posted to the greater public. Several have written back with their permission.

- AltaBates inpatient programs for eating disorders and their psychiatrist, Dr. McKnight, whose specialty is EDOs. She works with adolescents. She might be able to refer to outpatient therapists who specialize.

- Jane Kaplan, Ph.D., at 524-6117. On Solano and Curtis in Albany. She is doing extensive work with teen girls with eating disorders and the parents. She is an eating disorders specialist. Very smart and competent.

- Vicki Ryan, at 591-0862, in Oakland.

- Marcia Perlstein, in Berkeley, three blocks north of University on Martin Luther King. 510 486-1662

- Patricia Burke, Ph.D. 510-523-4851 works with biofeedback, EMDR, neurolinks plus kineseology. in San Leandro about a 5 minute walk from Bart.

I specialise in both teens and eating disorders. I have worked in many settings treating teens--residential treatment, outpatient clinics and in private practice. In addition, I am both a Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Dietitian having experience in both fields treating teens, adults and some males with eating disorders. Currently, I have some day and evening appointments available in Castro Valley. Catherine Kvikstad, MFT Marriage and Family Therapist (510) 537-1606 Castro Valley

Two very good therapists who specialize in eating disorders: Joan Wickstrand MFT 530-9434 (Alameda), and Esther Lerman MFT (No. Oakland) 548-6241.

I have an office in Oakland and SF and specialize in working w/adults w/eating disorders individually and in group. I have a group in Oakland on Wednesday evenings from 7:10-8:40pm. This group is process-oriented and addresses food addiction and body image. I also teach a class at Oakland Kaiser called Food for Thought and it addresses people's food use and abuse. It includes some interesting exercises w/food, meditation, and helpful tools. It is open to Kaiser members for $40 for 8 weeks, and non-members for $80 for 8 weeks. You can reach me @ 510-436-4055.
Helene Redmond

I have my practice in Berkeley and I focus on treating eating disorders, especially compulsive eating and bulimia. I also accept referrals for anorexia if the individual is working closely with their physician. In addition, I work with mother/child dyads (child can be any age, but I work primarily with younger children to pre-teen) to help mothers foster attuned and healthy eating in their children. You may forward my name if you wish. Kellie Carbone, MFT (510) 594-8262

Questions about Adults

Mom with eating disorder - raising a healthy daughter?

Dec 2012

Does anyone know of any resources for moms who have eating disorders? Not moms of kids with eating disorders, but moms who have them themselves. I'm struggling with trying to raise my daughter to have a healthy relationship with food, while my own is so screwed up. Thanks - Struggling Mom

This is a great resource by Karen Schachter: She has a newsletter about healthy relationship with food. she is a mom who recovered from an eating disorder and is on a mission to break the cycle and help other women and their daughters change their relationship to food. She also does 1:1 consulting. My mother is 72 and has an eating disorder, still. I congratulate you for seeking help. Don't give up. It is a strain on our relationship to this day. it's worth it to keep trying

Therapist for adult eating disorders?

Nov 2009

Do you have a recommendation for a therapist in the east bay who specializes in eating disorders with adults? looking for someone who would take United Health Insurance. Thank you.

Dr. Jill Rodgers-Quaye is a highly qualified therapist with expertise in treating eating disorders- she is well known in the bay area as one of the top therapists in this speciality and she is very pragmatic as well as easy to talk with. Check out her website at for more info. Satisfied customer

Therapist needed for compulsive overeating and bulimia

August 2008

I'm looking for a therapist in Berkeley who focuses primarily on food issues; compulsive overeating and bulimia in particular. Any insurance is fine, just somebody who is easy to talk to and not judgmental. Thanks

Try Fern Nemenay she has an office in Berkeley 510-654-9448. She has a lot of experience with food issues. anon

Alison McCabe, MFT is very experienced with food issues and eating disorders. She is in Berkeley or Oakland. (510)273-9969

I know that Lisa Lancaster, who is a fabulous therapist, sees a lot of patients with eating disorders. 510-841-2525. a.

Eating Disorder Therapy in Lamorinda, Walnut Creek

June 2006

Hi there, My entire life, I've been battling with my weight. I went on several diets, and found that the tricky thing for me is the uncontrollable desire to eat chocolate (lots of chocolate - at least 2.5 lbs a day).

Yes, I've been to therapy before without much success. I was a teenager then and I am hoping that at 37 I am open enough to tackle a significant change.

AFTER the birth of my first and only 2 year son, I gained over 60 lbs. I had post partum depression and I am still taking anti- depressants. I just cannot lose it. I am able to control food intake and exercise but I cannot control the binging. It got to a point that I cannot even look at myself in the mirror anymore. I need help immediately.

So...any leads on therapists, psychologists or psychiatrist specialized in eating disorder 'beyond' the Caldecott tunnel would be deeply appreciated. Thanks!

Why not give Overeaters Anonymous a try? It's free and I personally have seen people experience miraculous results after years of all kinds of extremely serious bingeing, purging, starving and compulsive eating of all types. You can find information about OA and a list of meetings in your area here: or here: Anon

I don't have a specific recommendation for a therapist, but I can recommend a woman who specializes in regulating sugar cravings and depression, among other things, through the use of amino acids, herbs, and other supplements. She will tell you that your cravings are likely related to something your body actually needs and is trying to get via the chocolate. Her name is Julia Ross and she is in Marin and has written two books, The Diet Cure and The Mood Cure. I worked with her several years ago and the amino acids really helped. I beleive GABA is the one that reduces sugar cravings. I hope this is helpful. I am glad you are seeking help. anon

Help with compulsive overeating

May 2005

I am looking for a therapist who can help me with compulsive overeating/food addiction and my general inability to take care of myself physically. I would prefer to see someone with an MSW or a PhD, but would be open to providers with other education if they are really good. Thank you for your help! anon

I highly recommend Victoria Green, MFT. Her focus is eating disorders and food/body issues. She is also a nutritionist. Her office is located in San Francisco in Laurel Village but she will occasionally take a session over the phone if you are unable to get there. Her number is 415.974.9322. I believe her fee is $95/hour. She has also recovered from an eating disorder so she can relate on a very deep level. I encourage you to call. anon

Treatment for chronic adult bulimia

March 2005

Can anyone give me a current recommenedation for a therapist or psychiatrist (or other) for the treatment of chronic adult bulimia? Anyone know of any new medical treatments? Any ''alternative'' treatments? Thanks.

You might contact Kirsten Beuthin to get information and/or treatment for eating disorders. She helped me and my family deal with our daughter's bulimia. She is in Oakland and SF. 510-652-0990 or 415-401-7180.

Dr. Tara Rech is a wonderful therapist with an office on Collage Ave. She helped me with bulimia some years back. Goodluck! anon

Julia Ross in Marin County is a therapist-turned-nutritionist who treats eating disorders with nutrition, vitamins, etc. She has a book out, ''The Diet Cure''. If you go to her office, I recommend you see Julia for your appointments, not one of her assistants. jenny

Dr.Francis Dreher, in Kensington at Colusa Circle is a hypnotherapist who works with eating disorders (and other issues) and has had many successes. He's at 528 3738.

I do not have a recommendation for a therapist, but a friend of mine started a website on eating disorders that you should take a look at, called Best of luck to you. been there

I have several friends and a relative who have recovered from bulimia and/or anorexia through Overeaters Anonymous, a free 12- step program. They have a website at, which has a link to a list of local meetings. I guess you could call OA an ''alternative'' treatment for bulimia. Anon

I also wanted to let you know about another 12-step program for folks with eating disorders -- -- this program is amazing and really strong here in the Bay Area. The focus is on being completely abstinent from overeating, undereating, throwing up, and other unhealthy behavior around food. I went to a psychiatrist, a therapist specializing in eating disorders, and Overeaters Anonymous before finally finding FA three years ago. The change in my life has been amazing -- I'm at a healthy weight, I'm happy, and food is finally ''in its proper place'' -- not something I obsess about, worry about, or even really think about :) If you're interested, check out a meeting (look on the website for days/times) -- there are a lot in SF and the East Bay. You'll find people of all ages, races, and experiences (folks who've lost 100+ pounds, folks who've stopped starving themselves or throwing up, folks who didn't have a weight problem but have overcome an unhealthy obsession with food and weight ...) and a ton of support. Good luck to you! Finally free

Low-cost therapy for binge eating disorder

March 2004

I have binge eating disorder and am seeking a good therapist who specializes in treating eating disorders. I would also like to find a therapy or support group for people with eating disorders. I am sure there are many good therapists and groups that address this issue, but the problem is that my eating disorder was triggered by financial stress, so I am seeking low fee and or sliding scale options. I'd prefer something in the East Bay (El Cerrito, Albany, Oakland, Berkeley) or nearby (San Rafael), but would consider driving farther if necessary. I'd appreciate any advice or referrals. Thanks!

contact stanford university hospital. they have an inpatient eating disorder unit that deals with both anorexia and bulimia. they may have recommendations on therapists and groups on the east bay. please, please, please pursue a group, individual therapy and medical evaluation on a regular basis. all are essential for your recovery and day to day health monitoring. anon

Overeaters Anonymous is a wonderful support group for people who have issues with food - undereating, overeating, purging, etc. Members include people from all ages, races and backgrounds and both sexes. Plus, you can't beat the cost - free! Go to the east bay website at Lisa

Mother suffering from bulimia

July 2001

Can anyone recommend a therapist (or other treatment option) for a mother suffering from bulimia? I have looked at the UCParents website and have not seen any information on this topic. Any information would be welcome. Thank you.

Preston Parsons, LCSW. She is located in Rockridge. Good luck. Sara

I would highly recommend Peggy O'Neil (843-8959), located here in Berkeley. Peggy is the director for the Eating Disorders Treatment Program at JFK University in Orinda (the program trains therapists & health care providers in the diagnosis & specialized treatment interventions of all eating disorders). She has dedicated a large portion of her professional career to working with those w/ eating disorders & is highly knowledgeable/experienced. She also has a good working relationship w/ several MDs & nutritionists in the area which is also very important for safe, thorough care of someone w/ an eating disorder. I have trained under her in the program at JFK as well as collaborated w/ her on a few cases. I have found her to be very approachable & well liked by her patients, students & colleagues alike. Romy

I would recommend Pamela Zelnik, MFT, a therapist who has worked with eating disorders (including bulimia), post-traumatic stress (response to child post dog-bite), and integrates a cognitive-behavioral approach into her work. She has been treating individuals, couples, and families for over 13 years. She is astute at teasing out issues, is warm and very easy to talk to. She is also the mother of a 3-yr-old, so she has first-hand (and not just clinical) experience with many of the therapeutic issues facing parents. She has an office in Berkeley and can be reached at 527-0274. Good luck. Janet

Can't recommend a therpist for bulimia, but Overeaters Anonymous has meetings for bulimics. Also people with bulimia are addressed and welcome at all of the meetings. The therapy at OA lies in the support from other members with the same problems. Years ago I was involved with OA as a compulsive overeater and got unbelievable benefit from the meetings and made a lot of close friends as well as conquered my compulsion. OA is in the phone book and there are meetings all over the Bay Area.