Find the best eating disorder therapists, dietitians, and psychiatrists in the Greater Boston Area. The following therapists specialize in the treatment of eating disorders and disordered eating, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder, and have practices in Boston, Brookline, Waltham, and Newton.
Eating disorders are severe disturbance in eating patterns that involve restricting, avoiding, and/or binge eating. Eating disorders can occur at any age, with the typical onset in adolescence. Eating disorders have the highest risk of death among any psychiatric illness; however, full recovery is possible and early treatment with talk therapy, nutrition counseling, and medical care is the best first step.
In Boston, most therapists with advanced training in the treatment of eating disorders are not in-network with health insurances, and out-of-network therapy sessions typically cost between $150 - $200 per session; however, it may be possible to receive reimbursement from your health insurance. The most commonly accepted health insurance is Blue Cross Blue Shield. While many therapists only see adults over the age of 18, some also offer therapy services for children, adolescents, and young adults.
Find eating disorder therapists below, as well as local resources for eating disorder treatment around Boston.
There are many types of eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED) (previously called eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS)).
Eating disorders affect at least 30 million people of all ages, genders, races, and ethnic groups in the U.S., according to National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. At least one person dies every 62 minutes as a direct result of an eating disorder.
Eating disorders can occur at any age, but often develop during the teen and adolescent years. 13% of women over the age of 50 engage in eating disorder behaviors.
Most eating disorder treatment includes a team approach with a therapist, nutritionist, physician, and psychiatrist. There are different levels of care depending on the severity of the eating disorder. The best approach to treatment is holistic and encompasses all of the different aspects and complexities of an eating disorder.
Dietitians can play an important role in eating disorder recovery. They can help meal plan, offer nutritional evaluation, counseling, and education in order to help individuals experience more mindful and nourished meals.
Multi-service Eating Disorders Association (MEDA): MEDA is a professional network and support group service for those with eating disorders, located in Newton, Massachusetts. MEDA’s mission is to heal, educate, and empower individuals with eating disorders, along with the families and community members that are also impacted. They promote acceptance of all body types and early detection and education. In addition to the support they offer eating disorder professionals, they also provide direct services to individuals, such as helping find treatment centers nearby, and support groups for patients, parents, and families.
Walden Behavioral Health: Walden Behavioral Health provides a whole health treatment approach for people with eating disorders. They treat different types of eating disorders, including, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED), orthorexia, and diabulimia. Walden Behavioral Health is in-network with major insurance companies and also accepts out-of-network insurance arrangements. All plans have co-payments and deductibles that the patient or guarantor is responsible for paying. If the insurance company does not cover Walden’s services, Walden’s staff will work on options for appeal or private pay. They are one of the first hospitals in the United States to provide a full continuum of care for their patients with eating disorders to help them make a full recovery. This continuum of care includes inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient care, and outpatient treatment. They have various locations in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. In Massachusetts, they are located in Waltham, Braintree, Peabody, Milford, Worcester, and Amherst; in Connecticut, they are located in Vernon, South Windsor, and Guilford.
The Renfrew Center: The Renfrew Center is an outpatient treatment center. They are designed to help treat eating disorders among adolescent girls and women. Their treatment model for eating disorders include providing evidence-based, emotion-focused treatment interventions. The Renfrew Center accepts more than 430 insurance plans across the country. If the insurance company does not cover Renfrew’s services, Renfrew’s staff will work on options for appeal or private pay. Renfrew also encourages patients who are in school to contact their university about their tuition refund insurance policy in order for protection of loss of tuition for medical reasons, such as treatment for an eating disorder.
Monte Nido: Monte Nido Eating Disorder of Boston provides care for male and female adolescents and adults. They provide individual therapeutic sessions, group therapy, and family therapy that run weekly, on weekends, or once a month. They also have a program for adolescents, called Adolescent Day Treatment Programming. Monte Nido is in network with Beacon Health Options. Their admission specialists work with patients and families to determine the level of coverage one’s insurance company is likely to provide. In addition, if the insurance company is not in network with Monte Nido, they can coordinate single case agreements with providers in order to help with costs. They have their day treatment center for eating disorders in Downtown Boston, and their residential program is located in Medford, Massachusetts.
Group therapy sessions and support groups can be another great resource for those with eating disorders. The Cambridge Eating Disorder Center offers a free support group for those with eating disorders that meets the first Tuesday of every month from 6:00 - 7:00pm. They also offer a support group for family members of those with an eating disorder that meets on the second Tuesday of every month from 6:00 - 7:00pm.
Project HEAL: Project HEAL is a non-profit organization that advocates for everyone who is seeking treatment for eating disorders, regardless of their race, income, insurance plan, age, education level, sex, or sexual orientation. They provide financial assistance in accessing treatment for highly motivated applicants who want to recover from an eating disorder but cannot afford to pay for treatment. They also have a peer mentorship program called Communities for HEALing, in which they offer one-on-one support and local weekly support groups. Communities for HEALing is undergoing a research study that will demonstrate whether different kinds of mentorship can help people recover from an eating disorder, whether that is through peer mentorship or social support mentorship.
Professional associations: The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP) of Metro Boston is a great resource for professionals seeking peer consultation and collegial support from fellow therapists specializing in eating disorder.