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Solutions for Eating Disorders: A Helpful Conversation With Carolyn Costin

Posted Apr 19 2012 6:20pm
Written by Tera on April 19, 2012 – -

- by Tera Warner

This call was offered as part of our Getting Over Ed series of interviews held in January 2012.

After working in the field of women’s health and nutrition for much of the last 10 years, I’ve seen enough to know that some of us really struggle with our relationship to food and our body image. Recently, my friend, Emily Shaules and I decided to bring this conversation out of the closet and start asking questions to some of the most well-respected health and wellness leaders and teachers in the world.

We’ve created this summit in an effort to spark a conversation. There will be a lot of different ideas, suggestions, solutions and we hope that this will be a window of opportunity for you to find the support you need or offer it to someone else who does.

Carolyn has been helping mostly women undergo treatment and recovery from eating disorders for nearly 30 years. She’s published several books on the subject and is one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject.

She joins us for this conversation to address some of her observations over time and what she believes are the key strategies to successfully overcoming eating disorders. Her discussion of “clinical” and “sub-clinical” conditions opens the doorway to a much broader conversation, showing that disordered eating runs deep and the only way to address it is to start with one breath, one bite, one step at a time, but there IS a way out. Carolyn outlines her best steps and suggestions in the following interview:


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Carolyn Costin is the founder and executive director of The Monte Nido Treatment Center and its affiliates. Recovered herself from anorexia nervosa, Carolyn has been treating eating disorders since 1978.

Previously a high school teacher and counselor, Carolyn left her first career to devote herself fully to the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. In the early 1980′s Carolyn established The Eating Disorder Center of California, which continues to provide outpatient and day treatment services for eating disorder sufferers and their families in several locations throughout Southern California.

While maintaining the center and her private practice, Carolyn developed, implemented and served as the director of 4 inpatient and 2 residential eating disorder programs. During this time, Carolyn dreamed of opening her own healing center, in a home-like setting, that would provide a more holistic and realistic approach to recovery. When Carolyn came across an estate in a beautiful wooded area in the Malibu foothills, she knew she had found the place to have her own facility. In March of 1996, Carolyn became a pioneer in the treatment of eating disorders, opening the doors to a unique, six-bed residential program in Malibu, California for individuals suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and exercise addiction. She named it after the local neighborhood, “Monte Nido”, which meant “Mountain Nest” to the Indians who once inhabited the area.

Carolyn has written five books which are popular with both professionals and the lay public; 8 Keys to Recovery from and Eating Disorder, Your Dieting Daughter, The Eating Disorder Source Book, 3rd edition, 100 Questions and Answers about Eating Disorders (2007), Anorexia and Bulimia, A Nutritional Approach (Co-author Alexander Schauss)

Aside from her books Carolyn writes for magazines and journals and has been a contributing author for other publications. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) and on the editorial board for “Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention”. The combination of her own personal recovery and her experience in the field make Carolyn an empathic, articulate and informative writer, speaker, therapist and clinical director. She is frequently sought after for television and radio appearances. Carolyn stays up-to-date on all new research in the field of eating disorders and is passionate about fighting the cultural emphasis on appearance and thinness, which contribute greatly to these illnesses. Through her own recovery, enthusiasm and expertise, Carolyn offers hope that becoming fully recovered from an eating disorder is possible.

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