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Psychotherapy and coaching for eating disorders

When treating your child for an eating disorder like anorexia, binge eating disorder or bulimia, you will benefit from employing a multidisciplinary team, which may include professionals such as a psychotherapist, registered dietitian, doctor, psychiatrist, and recovery coach.

We spoke with Jennifer Rollin, MSW, LGSW, who is a licensed psychotherapist who recently added recovery coaching to her practice.

She says that the difference between her service as a psychotherapist compared to a recovery coach is mainly that “coaching is more present-focused than many traditional forms of psychotherapy. While psychotherapy can be helpful to explore the roots of disordered behaviors and body-image issues, coaching can be action-oriented around recovery goals, coping strategies and tools, as well as managing current triggers.”

She says that as a recovery coach, she provides accountability and in-the-moment support. “For instance, my coaching clients are able to email or message me in moments where they are feeling highly triggered or vulnerable,” she says.

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“This can be incredibly helpful for those who are struggling and in need of extra support,” she says. “Additionally, each week my clients and I collaborate to come up with recovery oriented goals. I then send my clients an email reminder of their goals. This is useful in terms of accountability and empowering clients to make progress in their recovery.”

Jennifer requires that her coaching clients who have been diagnosed with an eating disorder are also meeting with a therapist. “The therapist and I are able to communicate regularly to discuss recovery goals, challenges, and essentially act as a team to help them to make progress in their recovery,” she says.

In addition to coaching children and teens with eating disorders, Jennifer also coaches their parents. “Many parents are looking for how to best support their loved one in recovery,” she says. “Parents can be incredible allies in the healing process, and my aim in parent coaching is to empower parents to best support their children in eating disorder treatment, as well as to provide them with guidance as to the recovery process.”


Jennifer Rollin, MSW, LGSW is a Psychotherapist specializing in eating disorders and body image. In addition to her psychotherapy practice, she also offers recovery coaching via phone or Skype. She has published numerous articles regarding children, adolescents and eating disorders. Website

See Our Eating Disorder Treatment Guide For Parents

2 thoughts on “Psychotherapy and coaching for eating disorders

  1. It’s not ethical to coach as a therapist.

    1. I can understand why it may seem like a gray area. According to several sources I found, it is ethical if the therapist continues to abide by all state laws and rules governing their license, including but not limited to mandated reporting, dual relationships, and record-keeping. xoxo

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