Eating Disorder Treatment Services

Eating disorders are not a choice—they are illnesses that affect a person’s mind, body and spirit. Although certain people may be more at risk for developing eating disorders, they affect people of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. They also affect people with all types of religious and spiritual beliefs. Eating disorders place a limit on your:

  • health
  • quality of life
  • interpersonal relationships
  • creativity
  • contentment
  • inner peace

They take over and take away. They are life-compromising and life-threatening. You didn’t mean to get to this place. You deserve help. You deserve to be free from this illness to recover and discover your true self—which is, and always has been, good enough.

Recovery is possible no matter how long you have had an eating disorder, and no matter how many times you’ve gotten treatment before.

“I believe that hope and recovery don’t have a shelf life.”
—Dr. Carolyn Phelps

Why Specialized Care
Eating disorders are highly complex, bio-psychosocial problems with the highest mortality rate of any mental health problem. It is essential that those seeking services for an assessment or treatment of an eating disorder do so with a provider who has had specific and specialized training in this area and who has experience in providing specialized care for those suffering from an eating disorder.
Why Dr. Phelps

Dr. Phelps specializes in the treatment of people with eating disorders. Since the beginning of her graduate training in 1982, she has provided expert, specialized and compassionate psychological care to those of all ages and any gender suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating/compulsive overeating, and other eating problems. She has provided expert, specialized, compassionate eating disorder treatment in the Northland since 1993.

“Recovering from an eating disorder is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do—but I’ve never met anyone who has recovered from an eating disorder who wished they hadn’t. Regardless of how long you or a loved one has had an eating disorder, there is hope for a better life.” —Dr. Carolyn Phelps

Who Do You Treat?
Dr. Phelps treats people of all ages and genders with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, compulsive overeating, avoidant and restrictive food intake disorder and other eating problems. Those who:

  • self-starve/significantly restrict what they eat
  • diet constantly
  • purge, vomit, use laxatives or diet pills
  • binge eat or eat compulsively
  • overexercise
  • overtrain
  • have body image problems
  • think obsessively or excessively about food, weight, shape and/or physical appearance or are overly preoccupied with health and fitness
  • fear becoming fat or gaining weight
  • are experiencing problems after bariatric surgery
  • are experiencing unusual/unexplained eating problems
  • are experiencing unexplained and excessive weight loss for which there is no medical explanation
Addressing Special Needs

Dr. Phelps addresses the special needs of eating disordered athletes, dancers and those with co-existing and co-complicating medical (e.g., diabetes), psychological (e.g., depression, anxiety, trauma/PTSD) and substance use problems.

How Treatment Begins
All treatment begins with a thorough evaluation of your psychological and emotional health and your eating and weight history. From there, specific recommendations will be made for the treatment course best suited for you.

Treatment services include:

  • a comprehensive diagnostic assessment
  • individual outpatient therapy
  • intensive individual outpatient therapy
  • family/couples therapy

No commitment to treatment is made until a complete evaluation is conducted, and evaluation results and treatment recommendations are explained to you.

Because eating disorders have a clear and sometimes life-threatening impact on a person’s physical health, appropriate medical follow-up and nutritional counseling are required if you participate in treatment for an eating disorder.

Dr. Phelps will work closely with your physician or will refer you to a physician familiar with the treatment of eating disorder patients if you do not have a primary care provider.

Additionally, Dr. Phelps will refer you to a registered dietician who has special expertise in treating people with eating disorders. Both the medical services and nutritional counseling typically are covered by your health insurance plan for treatment of an eating disorder.

Participation in other services (e.g., family therapy) will be determined based on your individual needs. An intensive individual outpatient therapy track is available here if eating disorder symptoms require a more aggressive treatment program.

If at any time after the initial evaluation, inpatient treatment or residential care is indicated, Dr. Phelps will facilitate a referral to an appropriate hospital or residential treatment program.

Caregivers for minor-age clients are expected to attend appointments.

Additional Eating Disorder Services

  • to parents, family and or friends with a loved one struggling with an eating disorder
  • to health care providers—telephone consultation to health care providers and other mental health care providers is offered free of charge
  • to schools, athletic teams and coaches, concerned friends and family, and organizations—a brief telephone consultation is available free of charge—if you would like a lengthier consultation there is a fee

Training • Education • Public Speaking
Dr. Phelps is available for training and speaking on a variety of topics related to eating disorders, weight concerns, eating problems and body image.

Insurance Coverage and Fees

For more information about insurance coverage and fees, please contact Dr. Phelps at 218.606.1844.

I’m Ready to begin my journey toward a life worth living.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”

—poet, Mary Oliver

Lonsdale Building

302 West Superior Street, Suite 502 • Duluth, MN 55802

The contents of this website are not a substitute for professional advice, assessment, care or treatment; and should not be construed as such.
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