Our Interview with Dr. Judith Brisman

Judith Brisman, Ph.D., C.E.D.S.,(Certified Eating Disorder Specialist) is a renowned expert in the field of eating disorders, as well as a sought-after supervisor, speaker and consultant. She opened the first center in the United States dedicated to the treatment of bulimia, the Bulimia Treatment Associates (BTA). Over time, BTA was renamed the Eating Disorder Resource Center (EDRC) as the treatment program expanded to include work with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and other body image disorders. Dr. Brisman was founding director and director of training at EDRC in New York for over thirty-five years. Since then, Dr. Brisman offers individualized interpersonal psychoanalysis and psychotherapy services to clients in recovery from eating disorders. Her work focuses on the need for direct intervention with disordered eating and related behavioral health issues, while maintaining a sensitive exploration of the psychological factors involved. All of her treatment plans are individualized and intimate, drawing on theories of interpersonal psychology as well as evidence-based treatment practices including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). 

Dr. Brisman is a co-author of Surviving an Eating Disorder, which was the first book of its kind to offer effective solutions and support for family and friends of those with eating disorders. Also, she is on the editorial board of Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, an associate editor for the journal Contemporary Psychoanalysis, and an expert in running training seminars and presentations, regarding the interpersonal treatment of eating disorders. Dr. Brisman is on faculty at the William Alanson White Institute, where she has also been a supervisor of psychotherapy. 

Interviewed by our Founder and President, Alexandra Nicholas, Dr. Brisman offers a crash course in understanding the difference between someone who eats disorderly and someone with an eating disorder. She also shares some typical traits of those with eating disorders: perfectionism, genetic disposition, and susceptibility to the pressures of society. Those pressures, mainly from social media, distort weight parameters and the false perception that looking thin equals self-confidence and self actualization. Dr. Brisman says, "People individually have the bullets. The culture shoots the gun.”

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