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Therapy for Eating Disorders
in London, Ontario

Kathy Roberts, Therapist

If you or someone you love is struggling with body image, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, orthorexia or another eating disorder ... 

I'm Kathy Roberts, I practice in London, Ontario, and I might be the therapist you're looking for!

I'm compassionate, experienced and highly qualified. For 9 years, I worked full-time as a member of the London Health Sciences Centre's Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders Team. For the last few years, my private practice has significantly focused on helping teens and young adults with eating disorders. I'd love to work with you as well!

I encourage you to take some time to review the information below. But if you're already thinking that I might be the therapist you're looking for, then let's have a (no charge) 15 minute chat. You can call me at 519-281-8289 or complete this form.

Eating Disorders 101

The statistics are sobering. Almost 10% of North Americans will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives. But - because of misinformation, stigma and access barriers - less than 30% will be treated. Eating disorders are not just diets or lifestyle choices. They are complex mental health conditions characterized by dysfunctional eating behaviors and thoughts about food and weight. And they can be dangerous.

The 3 main types of eating disorders are:

  • Anorexia nervosa: Prolonged and extreme food restriction and malnourishment that causes dramatic and sustained weight loss. This often presents with a genuine fear of gaining weight and other body image issues.

  • Bulimia nervosa: Food is consumed but then expelled by self-induced vomiting, laxatives or other methods. This is often present with a genuine fear of gaining weight and other body image issues.

  • Binge eating disorder (BED): Excessive and uncontrolled consumption of food or a particular food without the regular use of compensatory measures to counter the binge eating; often present with a pattern of “yo-yo dieting.”

Less common eating disorders include Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), rumination disorder and pika.

Possible Signs of an Eating Disorder

Eating disorders can do a lot of damage to physical health. Often, people with eating disorders don’t get the nutrients their bodies need to stay healthy and work properly. In extreme cases, untreated eating disorders can cause heart or kidney failure leading to death.  In addition, eating disorders often have serious negative impacts on mental health; they can lead to anxiety, intrusive thoughts and poor self image.

The earlier an eating disorder is detected and treated, the greater the chance of recovery. Here are some possible signs of an eating disorder.

Possible Signs of an Eating Disorder

Treating Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are notoriously difficult to treat.  And the road to recovery can be long. That's why it is best to put together a top-notch team that includes:

  • the person with the the eating disorder ... and their parent(s) and/or partner

  • a doctor (who may prescribe medicine to treat binge eating, anxiety, depression, or other concerns)

  • a dietician with expertise in eating disorders

  • and of course, a therapist

Typically, the first and most important priority when treating eating disorders is behavioural change (e.g. eating less restrictively, reducing the frequency of purging or binging).   

 

Watch this video.

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The Role of Therapy for Eating Disorders

If you have an eating disorder, therapy is an essential part of the treatment plan.

In early (behavioural) stages of treatment, the role of the therapist is to support your journey toward tangible change. Your therapist will help you manage your mental health and validate your feelings.

But that's just the start. Because if you have an eating disorder, it's not just about food. A great therapist can help you understand the factors that may have contributed to the development of your eating disorder and support your journey toward recovery.

Therapy can help you

  • understand the contributing factors that led to your eating issues and body image problems

  • examine the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that maintain negative behaviour cycles

  • identify and gain insight into your triggers and how to manage them

  • improve your eating habits, self image, confidence, and resilience

  • develop personalized coping strategies to replace negative behaviours like bingeing, vomiting, laxatives, and over-exercise

Therapists use a number of tools to accomplish these goals. The most effective are:

  • CBT-E (enhanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), and

  • FBT (Family Based Treatment)

  • Talk Therapy (and Inter-Personal Therapy)

But enough acronyms.

Here's another video

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How to Find a Great Eating Disorders Therapist

OK. So you live in or near London, Ontario and you need a therapist.  But how do you find a great one?

Let's start with some general principles:

  • Therapy for eating disorders is a specialized field. If you meet a therapist who lists "eating disorders" as one of many areas of expertise, you should ask a lot of questions.

  • When treating eating disorders, miracles are rare. Of course we all want a fast path to "guilt-free peace and fulfillment." But be skeptical of such promises. Honestly, you probably have a bumpy road ahead, and you'll need a pragmatic, perceptive, persistent therapist to travel that road with you.

  • Experience matters. Look for an eating disorders therapist who has been in the trenches.

  • Teamwork is essential. Your therapist should understand the importance of, and have experience working with, a multi-disciplinary eating disorders support team. 

  • Connection is key. Find a therapist you're comfortable with. Don't fully commit to anyone until you've had a session or 2. 

  • In-person sessions are preferable. When we engage face to face, we nurture the interpersonal connection that enables us to dig deep and move forward. 

Great Therapist
Kathy Roberts, Therapist

I'm Kathy Roberts, I have a full-time private practice in London Ontario, and I might be the therapist you're looking for.  

  • I'm caring. I'm a good listener, empathetic, compassionate and down-to-earth.

  • I'm qualified. I'm a Registered Social Worker (RSW) with an MSW degree, a wealth of post-graduate eating-disorder-specific training and a solid therapeutic toolkit (including eCBT and FBT).

  • I'm experienced. For 9 years, I worked full-time with the London Health Sciences Centre's (LHSC) Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders Team. Over the past 12+ years, including my past few years in private practice, I've helped a lot of teens and young adults with eating disorders.

  • I'm connected. I know London's eating disorder resources, including local dieticians who specialize in eating disorders.

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If this resonates with you, then let's start with a 15-minute (no charge) phone discussion. You can call me at  519-281-8289  (and if I'm not immediately available, I'll call you back within 24 hours). OR click here to go to the New Client page and tell me a bit about yourself. I'll call you at a time that works for you. 

If that goes well, we'll schedule an initial session or two. And after that, we'll take another checkpoint. Are we connecting?  Have we made some progress?  Shall we continue to work together? 

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