Celebrating Professionals Who Treat Eating Disorders

August 4, 2010 Laura Collins

Well, I know you're not doing it for the money, the fame, or for an easy ride. Treating eating disorders is tough, and I admire those who take this up as a profession SO MUCH.

Some of My Best Friends Are Eating Disorder Clinicians

I'm well known for criticizing the eating disorder profession's poor history with parents, lack of scientific rigor, and resistance to change. I'm sure many people think me permanently dyspeptic and bitter - and probably think I'm anti-therapy and anti-therapists. I'm not.

"Some of my best friends..." is a cliche, I know. But it's true: I'm in awe of so many eating disorder therapists out there. I am devotedly admiring of several truly gifted clinicians out there.

Eating Disorder Professionals I Admire

There's the "Super T," as she is called by some parents I know, who should wear a red cape and mask she's such a hero as a support to patients and families and as a great communicator with her colleagues. She gets so much done I have suspected her of never sleeping. As much as I'm a big fan of evidence-based treatment I happen to know that much of Super T's skill is utterly un-manualizable. She's uniquely skilled, powerful, and professional. She's also a lot of fun.

And there's another "T." He has this way of reaching patients, mothers, fathers, and colleagues with this combination of authority and charm that makes you leave the room confident that not only can the eating disorder be beaten, that life will be better for the experience. How do I know this? Because he did it for our family.

I have to mention W as well. The first person in the ED field to say that he LIKES the patients. He admires them - not for their ability to resist food and focus on weight loss, though. He always makes me feel optimistic for the field and as if reasonableness was a cure for many ills.

A shout out to L. L taught me two very important things about eating disorders and gave me my first fledgling conversation of substance about the field and the science.

And C. On paper we couldn't be more different but she treats me with respect and it is mutual and I feel as though she and I can fix half the problems of the field if we just get the time to finish a conversation!

I'm endlessly admiring of J for her unsparing and inquiring mind - and ability to remain caring about families as a whole without falling into empty platitudes. She is a doer, an original thinker.

L. wrote my first fan letter, then brought me out to lunch, then won my undying admiration and respect for what she does for families. And what she doesn't: waste their time.

A., I'm sorry to say, died a while back. She is missed. I can't tell you what a loss this is to her friends and patient community. She was amazing. A truly special gift for connecting with patients and getting the job done and on to real life.

capeAnd S, and K, and J and C and T - you too.

There are more, a number of them, but I want to point out that it doesn't matter what specific field the above are from: researcher, nutritionist, therapist, physician. This is a multidisciplinary field and it takes a village and these professionals have all devoted themselves to this same perplexing illness. I admire them all and glad to call them my friends!

APA Reference
Collins, L. (2010, August 4). Celebrating Professionals Who Treat Eating Disorders, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Laura Collins

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