My plans for being an art historian took a back seat when I took some courses in psychology and found a passion there. When I did a rotation with high-risk adolescents, it just felt right. I loved working with teens, especially those with complex challenges. Then, over the course of my training, my interests turned to eating disorders.
As a psychologist, I specialize in treating youth and young adults with eating disorders. Contrary to common belief, people of all backgrounds, ethnicities and body types develop eating disorders. Parents are not the cause and patients often do get better and lead meaningful lives. I am committed to providing evidence-based care and helping patients and families overcome eating disorders.
I practice family-based treatment with a focus on how the entire family can support the youth in their recovery. Family is the key resource, so I focus on providing parents with the tools they need to best support their child. I also help the youth learn ways to express their needs and wants throughout the treatment process.
For young adults with eating disorders, I integrate evidence-based treatments with a particular emphasis on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). This modality focuses on ways to live a meaningful life, while also navigating day-to-day challenges. Regardless of the patient's age or treatment approach, my care philosophy is to align with the patient and family, respect their needs and wants, and work together as a team. It is a privilege to care for youth and their families, and I greatly value my work.
In 2017, I became the clinical director of the inpatient Eating Disorders Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Liberty Campus. In this role, I developed a comprehensive treatment intervention to give families the skills to help their child recover after hospital discharge. I also lead the multidisciplinary team in strategies to provide optimal mental health care to youth during admissions.
My primary research centers on the well-being of caregivers and siblings in families of youth with eating disorders, and inpatient mental health interventions for youth hospitalized with medical complications of eating disorders. I hope to identify new ways to better support families when a child has an eating disorder.
In my free time, I am highly invested in relaxing and being present in the moment. I don't particularly appreciate having a schedule with lots of activities planned, and I am a homebody who treasures time with my family. I read contemporary fiction novels voraciously, take long walks with my daughter and dog, and I greatly value sleeping.
Eating disorders in youth and young adults; anxiety disorders
Family based treatment of eating disorders; family and caregiver well-being in eating disorders treatment
Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
Behavioral Medicine, Adolescent Medicine