Eating Disorder Therapy in Seattle, WA

Eating disorders can happen to just about anyone; they don't discriminate based on age, gender or background. They also can be very difficult to handle alone. My name is Russell B. Hanford, Ph.D., and I'm a licensed clinical psychologist trained in treating eating disorders. My goal is to help you regain control of your eating, your health, and your future. If you live in the Seattle, WA area and are dealing with an eating disorder, I hope you'll consider contacting me.

What Are Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders involve unhealthy eating habits that can feel compulsive, but that doesn't mean all eating disorders are the same. I may be able to help if you or your child is dealing with an eating disorder like one of the following:

Anorexia Nervosa. This disorder causes the individual to aggressively lower their body weight, typically through dieting, fasting and/or excessive exercise and, sometimes, purging. Individuals with anorexia are significantly underweight yet may lack recognition of this fact and may perceive themselves as overweight. They fear gaining weight or becoming fat.

Bulimia Nervosa. This condition involves periods of binge eating followed by purging, which isn't exclusively self-induced vomiting; it can also take the form of excessive exercise, fasting, and other methods. Typically, individuals with bulimia don't become drastically underweight. Their self-evaluation, however, is excessively impacted by weight and body shape.

Binge-Eating Disorder. This is similar to bulimia nervosa, but it doesn't involve a purging phase. As a result, individuals with binge-eating disorder are often overweight.

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. This disorder is marked by the avoidance of food, due to sensory concerns or fear of the aversive consequences of eating, which interferes with health and/or psychosocial functioning. Individuals with ARFID deny any disturbance in the way they experience their body weight or shape.

People coping with eating disorders frequently feel shame and/or a sense of failure. This may be true for the person with anorexia, too, although they may also take great pride in their low body weight. Initially, the eating disorder often offers a sense of control, but the disorder can quickly seize control, turning into a domineering, impossible-to-satisfy bully or "voice." I usually start by apologizing to my clients with anorexia because treatment will put them in a very uncomfortable position where they won ‘t be able to please both me and the eating disorder bully, often referred to as "Ed." This is especially hard for most anorexic clients because typically they are "pleasers.” I urge them to align with me rather than Ed, knowing Ed is a formidable foe and a poor loser. Recovering from an eating disorder...walking away from Ed...usually is not easy, but it is possible, especially if the person is even 51% interested in recovery.

If you are tired of tackling your eating disorder alone or are questioning your own ability to address your child‘s disordered eating, perhaps it's time to work with an experienced eating disorder therapist and chart a course to recovery.

How Can I Help?

As a licensed clinical psychologist with years of experience treating eating disorders, my goal is to help my client, whether they're a child, adolescent or adult, build a happier, healthier future. Depending on the situation, I'll work with the client individually (with children, using the Family-Based Treatment, FBT, approach) or as part of a multidisciplinary team including a medical doctor and nutritionist. Either way, I'll align with my client (and their team, if present) to achieve recovery, both physical and psychological. For more information, please give me a call at (206) 409-9613.