Have you struggled to find the right treatment to help you treat your eating disorder? Are you struggling to find medical support for yourself or your loved ones? How can you tell if a treatment strategy is genuine? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about overcoming barriers to receiving quality care with Rebecca Eyre.


Rebecca Eyre is the CEO of Project HEAL, the leading national nonprofit focused on equitable access to eating disorder support. Project HEAL offers direct services to people who are unable to access treatment, providing free treatment, assessments, cash assistance, insurance navigation support, and community education. Rebecca is a licensed mental health therapist who has been treating individuals with eating disorders for over a decade, and she's a vocal advocate at the intersection of eating disorders and social justice. Visit Project HEAL and connect with them on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Connect with Rebecca on LinkedIn.


  • Barriers to care
  • Systemic healthcare barriers
  • Be mindful of size-reduction strategies

Barriers to care

  • Systemic
  • Cultural
[Cultural barriers include] Social stigma, the glorification of thinness, and a lot of representation issues in the media. (Rebecca Eyre)
  • Lack of providers
  • Personal
There [are] internal barriers. We think about resistance, shame, and denial a lot as clinicians because they’re still there when a person is in treatment. (Rebecca Eyre)

Systemic healthcare barriers

The biggest systemic barriers are access to healthcare and affordability. They do blend because often people who struggle with financial capacity cannot afford insurance. Insurance does not cover every level of care. Most healthcare plans don’t delineate eating disorder specialists on their provider finders.
What that means is that people who can’t pay out of pocket, between $50 and $200 a session, are not getting access to those outpatient providers. (Rebecca Eyre)
Another systemic issue about getting people to access medical treatment for eating disorders is getting them deemed “medically necessary”. Sometimes a person’s labs and blood work may look “normal” even when they are terribly sick, and this can stop them from being admitted.

Be mindful of size reduction strategies

Sometimes misinformed doctors or practitioners may first recommend size reduction strategies before looking at any other solutions when it comes to eating disorder treatment or health-related issues. This strategy is not based on real care. If any health care strategies are geared towards the ultimate goal is weight-loss, over and above recovery, then they are not real treatment plans.
Changes in input and output that are aimed at the ultimate health goal of weight loss are so destructive. (Rebecca Eyre)
Remember: steer clear of diets, because they are never the answer!



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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