When Three's a Crowd - ED Treatment with Couples

This Table Talk happened on Monday, February 11, 2019

It is hard to live with someone with an Eating Disorder and not want to fix them, control them. And what of the husband who blames a resulting weight gain for a loss of attraction? Yes, we went there this week during our rousing discussion led by Nancy Katlin Willinger, PsyD, LMFT. The isolation and secrecy of an ED can damage a relationship, as a person seeks comfort and stimulation from food. Nancy likes the work of a clinician, Terry Real (The New Rules) who identifies 5 Domains of Intimacy and teaches us that the old ways of counseling no longer apply. As clinicians, we are reconsidering neutrality and encouraged to focus on the codependency of a partner when it bleeds into control or abuse. She directs us also to Pia Melody, reminding us we can help a loved one to discover and ask for what they really want, to use “I statements”, to accept recovery as a process, and to offer help to their partner instead of blaming. And we are encouraged to check out the 13 Acceptance Statements of Women for Sobriety (see attached handout). Thank you to all who participated! Amanda Jennings, Alyssa Snow Callahan, Lindsay Nicole, Christine Loeb, Stephanie Dains Monte Nido, Jennifer Schneider Zahn, Laura Ortman, Katie Chapman, Nancy L. King, Josie Christina, Kim Scott.


Nancy is a Psychologist and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who started her professional career at Verdugo Mental Health in Glendale. There, she worked with people struggling with alcohol and drug addiction, eating disorders, and mood disorders. 
Since then, she has worked in the field of grief, loss, and trauma running groups for the HOPE foundation for Spousal Loss and Family Loss for eight years.
Currently Nancy is in private practice in Studio City. She specializes in therapy for couples, families, and individuals. She has trained with Harville Hendrix, the founder of Imago Therapy and also with Terry Real in Relational Empowerment work.

Past Table Talks

HAES - Q & A Ask the Expert Monday, May 4, 2020
Existential Gifts of Quarantine Monday, April 6, 2020
The Joys of Dating for the ED Client Monday, February 10, 2020
EMDR Revisited Monday, November 18, 2019