Why should you work with an eating disorder specialist? How is an eating disorder specialist better equipped to create healing for the patient than a wellness coach? Which certifications should you look for? In this podcast, Dr. Castagnini speaks about eating disorder treatment and why a specialist is key.


  • Why you should work with a specialist
  • Look for CEDS certification
  • An eating disorder specialist does not work with diets

Why you should work with a specialist

If you struggle with disordered eating, seeing a specialist who has trained rigorously in helping people to overcome their eating disorders is your best route to heal. You see an ENT specialist when you struggle with chronic sinusitis, and you may see your GP for general concerns. Although, when you know something is bothering you or is impacting your well-being, the best way that you can quickly and effectively heal that pain is to see someone who has experience in treating it.
You might be asking, “how do I find [an eating disorder specialist?” The International Association of Eating Disorder Professional certifies licensed professionals after they complete a very rigorous set of criteria. (Dr. Cristina Castagnini)
There is a lot of work that goes into training for an eating disorder specialist and for them to achieve their certification.

Look for CEDS certification

When you are looking for a therapist or counselor to work with to heal your eating disorder, make sure to look out for CEDS in their credentials. This tells you that they are a certified eating disorder specialist.

The International Association Of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation

An eating disorder specialist does not work with diets

Some people work with eating disorder specialists thinking that they are another form of weight loss coach. They are not. Eating disorder specialists help patients to understand the deeper causes behind their disordered eating, they are not self-acclaimed wellness coaches or personal trainers.
All of these types of professionals … will only serve to lead someone into another diet or program that has the goal of weight loss, and that doesn’t work, because they’re not treating the root of the problem. They’re not getting to the ‘why’ of why somebody is struggling. (Dr. Cristina Castagnini)
Getting to the ‘why’ behind why someone is having difficulties with their food, eating, body image, and weight is not related to the food. It has deeper roots. These behaviors are outward portrayals of what someone is going through either emotionally, spiritually, or mentally. These behaviors are not stand-alone phenomenons.
Please hear me when I say this: an eating disorder is not the problem, it is a symptom of the problem. Eating disorder specialists know this, and [they] will treat the problem. (Dr. Cristina Castagnini)
Therapy is not about changes in the body. Therapy is about changes on the inside because the inside informs the outside.



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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