PhD/PsyD Anyone working in the eating disorders field?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Sharewithme, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. Sharewithme

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    Hi there,

    Is anyone, psychologist, graduate student, applicant, prospective student, doing research or clinical/counseling practice specifically in eating disorders? I want to learn more about this topic from a professional standpoint, and why not try to learn more from people at SDN? We have a lot of great, helpful people here! Would you please write more about what it is that you do? If research, what areas of study are you interested in? If practice, what theoretical orientations, licenses, and/or populations do you work with?

    Thanks,
    Sharewithme
     
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  3. G Costanza

    G Costanza Psychologist - Private Practice

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    I don't practice as a specialty in ED but working in a counseling center means working with ED clients up to the point when they need PHP or inpatient.

    For clients that are nearing the moderate to severe range, we will have them work in conjunction with a dietitian on campus as well as a physician who specializes in eating. We meet as a team every other week to discuss the cases and manage potential splitting of providers.

    Did you have a more specific question about clinical work?
     
  4. Rmack1219

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    Marian Tanofsky-Kraff at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences thoroughly researches this topic with her laboratory.
     
  5. Sharewithme

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    You guys rock, thanks!

    G Costanza, I think working with clients with EDs at a university counseling center or PHP would be really rewarding. How do I know if I could get this training experience in graduate school? Or does the training come at the pre-doctoral internship?

    Rmack1219, Dr. Tanofsky-Kraff is doing great work! Unfortunately the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences is in Bethesda, MD, and according to Sperling's Best Places to Live cost of living, that's too expensive for me.
     
  6. G Costanza

    G Costanza Psychologist - Private Practice

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    I would say that's it's rewarding if you enjoying working with that kind of presenting problem. People struggling with EDs often are highly resistant to change, play games with their treatment, have a co-occurring disorder, and progress slowly. If you have the patience and boundaries to manage those challenges, it's definitely rewarding.

    You will be completing several practicums in a doc program before going on internship. The type of practicum (i.e. UCC, hospital, inpatient, PP, etc) will really only be limited by what's available in your area and the doc program's approval. So if you want to work with clients struggling with an ED throughout your training, seek out practicum sites that clearly state they will train you in those experiences. You may even be able to prac, intern, post doc at eating disorder impatient centers if in your area or willing to travel.
     
  7. Sharewithme

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    G Costanza,

    I'd like the challenge! I think people with other disorders resist treatment and play games, and I think it's a matter of knowing how ED dynamics work that can help provide effective treatment. Knowing dynamics and offering understanding through a positive therapeutic relationship are both good tools.

    Do you think if I contacted program training directors and inquired as an applicant about what types of practicum sites offered training with the ED population, and what distance from campus the sites are, it'd be appropriate?
     
  8. PsychPhDStudent

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    Usually programs list their practica sites on their program websites. I'd definitely start there.
     
  9. Rmack1219

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    I live in Rockville, MD which is outside of Bethesda. But if you're really interested in this as your career you can probably find a way to make it work. Because cost of living is higher, so is the income. Also USUHS is a fully funded PhD program with a stipend of about 35k
     
  10. Australianrugbyplayer

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    I am retired now. That is a unpopular field in my area. The interest was picked up by MSW's, mostly women. I would not take a case and took most. If you think you will learn some secrets in grad school, you would be wrong. few psychologists here would take a real case. We had a excellent child Psychiatrist that did.
     
  11. foreverbull

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    In my program, we didn't have much opportunity to specialize in ED. If you're interested, make sure it's known to your director of training and that you can seek out practica supervisors who have experience with it, otherwise you won't get the training necessary for a good ED postdoc.
     
  12. psyched2graduate

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    Hi there! I don't want to identify myself, but I am a postdoc working in the eating disorders field. I am happy to PM you about what I do if it would be helpful.
     
  13. Sharewithme

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    Thank you all!

    Foreverbull, I'll be sure to do this!

    psyched2graduate, I'm PMing you now.
     
  14. Shiriyama

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    I haven't personally worked with a patient with an ED. However, my faculty adviser G. Terence Wilson at Rutgers University is very interested in work with this population. From what I remember, there's something called CBT-E (Cognitive Behavior Therapy-Enhanced) that they use with that population. He noted that CBT-E is particularly hard to train and deliver, though, so he was looking into treatments that are easier to train, deliver, and disseminate. He also mentioned that Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) does quite well too. A final thing that comes to mind is that psychiatric treatment can also be useful as well; Terry mentioned that 60mg of prozac actually showed promising results in patients with AN.
     
  15. Sharewithme

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    Thank you!
     
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  17. procrastin8r

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    Hi, there! My main career interests are ED and cultural competencies. I've been able to merge the two in my research, but I've yet to do so in clinical work. I worked in a ED research lab as an undergrad, worked at an ED-focused practicum in grad school. I am currently an intern, but I did not apply for ED-focused internship sites (although I applied to some UCC's that happened to have an ED track or team). I shied away from the ED-focused internship sites, because I did not have a strong interest in learning more manualized and/or strictly evidence-based treatments. (There is a time and a place for these treatments, I'm not bashing EBT's - I just find them inadequate for cultural considerations). So, I am at a culturally-focused internship site, and still undecided about postdocs.

    I find ED work very rewarding, particularly BN, BED, recovery from yo-yo dieting, and bariatric surgery support. AN is my least favorite to work with, because they stakes are VERY high and the physiological/cognitive effects tend to produce treatment resistance.
     
  18. cara susanna

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    Can you elaborate on how the physiological/cognitive effects tend to produce treatment resistance? Are you referring to the ego-syntonic nature of the disorder producing treatment resistance, or something else? Very curious. :)
     
  19. procrastin8r

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    In my experience, clients with AN tend to be severely nutritionally compromised (I mean, DUH), and there are physiological effects of near-starvation on the brain. Individuals who experience severe undernourishment (whether as a result of AN, or other circumstances) sometimes exhibit personality changes. These may include anxiety, irritability, maladaptive perfectionism, obsessive tendencies (esp. re: food), etc. So, clients with AN are stuck in this god-awful cycle, where restriction begets worse psychological symptoms, which beget more restriction, etc. I've observed overall perfectionist and anxious tendencies exacerbated in clients with AN, but - these traits sometimes emerge post-restriction, sometimes regardless of pre-AN personality.
    (to nerd out in a fascinated/horrified way, see Minnesota Starvation Study)
     
  20. Sharewithme

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    Thanks procrastin8r :)
     

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