Hello everyone! I want to introduce you to eating disorder and addiction expert Dr. Carolyn Ross, a wonderful person who has practiced in San Diego and Denver. She has served for several years as the medical liaison for the San Diego chapter of the International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals foundation (IAEDP). Dr. Ross has also launched an amazing online coaching program for binge eating, emotional eating, and compulsive overeating. PLUS, she has written several books on eating disorders, binge eating, and emotional eating! A very accomplished woman who really knows her stuff!!!
Why did you choose to become an eating disorder specialist in San Diego and Denver?
I became an ED specialist because I enjoy the challenging of working with people around changing their behaviors. I feel people with eating disorders and addictions, both of which I take care of, are often challenging but very rewarding people to work with. I’ve only recently moved back to San Diego from Denver where I practiced for 10 years. Since moving back two years ago, I’ve changed to working with my clients via telemedicine.
What kind of treatment do you provide?
My main focus now is my online coaching program for people with binge eating, compulsive overeating and emotional eating. The program offers a non-diet approach to food and body image issues by offering group and individual sessions online which people can access from the privacy of their own homes.
Do you work with only eating disorders?
In the past i’ve mainly worked with both eating disorders and addictions, particularly opiate addiction. Currently, I’m working with people with binge eating, compulsive overeating and emotional eating. I also do consulting work at addiction and eating disorder treatment centers. I also speak locally and internationally on topics such as food addiction, the opiate crisis, binge eating and the healing power of integrative medicine. And finally I have a blog on Psychology Today (Real Healing) and a Podcast (The Carolyn Coker Ross MD Show)
How long have you been working with eating disorders overall, and how long have you been in San Diego?
I’ve worked with eating disorders for over 20 years and have worked in all settings. I have been the head of the Eating Disorders program at renowned rehab centers such as Sierra Tucson and have done consulting for a number of other treatment centers who are interested in my integrative medicine approach to treating eating disorders and addictions. I believe that treating both as close to the same time as possible enables clients to see the common root causes that lead to both eating disorders and addictions - such as trauma, abuse, neglect and other adverse childhood experiences. I believe that these experiences contribute greatly to the risk for the development of eating disorders and addictions. In order to really develop a strong recovery program that is sustainable, it’s important to be aware of these root causes and to understand how they may have an influence in past relapses and future triggers.
How long have you been providing online services?
For several years now. I developed the telemedicine practice because I was frustrated with the prevailing approach to eating disorders and addictions - the 30 day treatment program. I saw many people who became bankrupted trying to save their family member’s life. We now know that these disorders are chronic brain diseases and so it stands to reason that a 30 day program is not a “cure.” I felt it important to be part of the solution of offering a long term solution that is affordable for people so they have the support they need to get better.
Who are your favorite types of clients to work with?
I enjoy working with clients with binge eating disorder and compulsive overeating and also with clients with opiate addictions. For these eating disorder clients, I really like to work with those who are finally aware that diets don’t work and they are ready to do the deeper work necessary for long term recovery. Many of them have experienced such difficult lives that my heart goes out to them and I feel that the work that I’m able to do with them enables them to get their lives back and that’s very gratifying for me.
What happens during a first appointment with you?
Usually my first appointment is really just listening to someone’s story. You learn so much from the narrative history about what people are struggling with and how they’ve gotten to where they are now. Understanding this is important to developing a working relationship going forward.
You also have an online coaching program for people with eating disorders living in larger bodies. Would you mind sharing about this program?
The Anchor Program is based on over 20 years of work in this field. It is a non-diet approach that is integrative in scope and enables people to make peace with food and with their bodies. The program has a team of providers including myself. Other team members include dieticians, an exercise specialist and therapists. The core program is 10 weeks long and then clients are able to sign up for a six month or year long program that gives them the support they need to make lasting and sustainable change.
What do you wish people knew about getting treatment for eating disorders?
That there is hope and recovery is possible. Many of my clients don’t feel that they can live without their eating disorder because it serves such a strong purpose in their lives - sometimes to keep them safe, to make them feel more in control in a chaotic world or to give them comfort. So it’s important to know that no matter where you are in your journey, healing is possible and available.
How can people learn more and contact you?
You can also find me on Facebook (Carolyn Coker Ross MD), twitter and Instagram
Share one fun fact about you.
I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Thanks so much for reading my blog! Have a wonderful day. :)
If you are struggling to find eating disorder treatment in San Diego give me a call for your free 15-minute phone consultation at (858) 699-3754, and I will help you get where you need to be!