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If you suffer from an eating disorder now or have in the past, please email Joanna for a free telephone consultation.


Eating Disorder Recovery
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Eating Disorder Recovery Psychotherapist
serving Arizona, California, Florida, Oregon and Utah.
All appointments are virtual.

No, people suffering from eating disorders should not be turned into fodder for the entertainment industry. I'm a psychotherapist in Los Angeles specializing in eating disorder recovery for adult women. I get at least two calls a week from producers or their lackeys asking me to help them find people with eating disorders for their shows.

They also ask me to talk to my patients and encourage them to be on such shows. Confidentiality, respect for the healing experience, and honor for the individual's process go out the window in search of ratings based on voyeuristic interests.

If I sound angry, I am. People who strive for eating disorder recovery are courageous. They are dedicated people committed to doing the deep and personal work necessary to free themselves from their eating disorder and step into a healthy and more fulfilling life.

If they want to write about it later, fine. That could be encouraging to others. But to film the process while it's in process is like digging up a seed periodically to see how it's doing. The growth experience is distorted or stopped.

I see such shows as going for ratings and turning recovery work into a circus - not giving consideration to the people who are serious about getting well. But most importantly, I see the powerful influence of ignorance leading the way.

In my opinion, programming decisions, auditions and the intimate nature of these reality shows show that the people involved do not understand the complex nature of a person's vulnerability and naiveté when gripped by an eating disorder.

Eating Disorders and Reality TV Part I - First Response

Reality TV and Eating Disorders Part II - Emotional Cost and Alternatives

Reality TV and Eating Disorders Part III - Informed Consent Issues

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Written by Joanna Poppink, MFT. Joanna is a psychotherapist in private practice specializing in eating disorder recovery, stress, PTSD, and adult development.

She is licensed in CA, AZ, OR, FL, and UT. Author of the Book: Healing Your Hungry Heart: Recovering from Your Eating Disorder

Appointments are virtual.

For a free telephone consultation, e-mail her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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