ARFID Collaborative

-Increasing ARFID awareness, education opportunities, training options, and treatment access for all-

We are a group of dedicated clinicians, serving family members, caregivers, providers, and individuals of all ages with ARFID, by helping to better address the unique needs of this underserved population.

Hi, My name is Carolyn Comas, LCSW, CEDS-S and I am a licensed clinical social worker and certified eating disorder specialist and supervisor. I am a practicing therapist in Los Angeles, CA where I work at Eating Disorder Therapy LA. I have been passionate about working with the eating disorder population and have worked at all levels of care. I am a member of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals and currently sit on the Los Angeles Board chapter. Over the past few years I had seen a rise in ARFID patients come into my office which led me to begin more extensive training in CBT-AR. I found a passion for treating this often unrecognized or mis-diagnosed disorder. Currently I co-run a monthly ARFID parent support group along with Dr. Lauren Muhlheim and have presented on this topic to different therapist organization groups.

Stefanie Ginsburg, RD, CEDRD-S has been a Registered Dietitian since 2006, after receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Nutritional Sciences from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and completing a one year dietetic internship with the Rutgers School of Biomedical and Health Sciences.  Her career began as a Nutrition Therapist working for three years at the Center for Eating Disorders through Penn Medicine Princeton Health, treating inpatients and partial hospitalization patients of all ages. During an eight year tenure at Eating Recovery Center of Denver's Child and Adolescent Program, she became a Senior Clinical Dietitian and the company's subject matter expert in the treatment of patients with an ARFID diagnosis, helping to create a treatment protocol, admission assessments and providing trainings for fellow clinicians and floor staff. While with ERC and since starting her private practice, she has trained a multitude of professionals, working at all levels of care, about ARFID and best care practices.  She and Rebecca Thomas, RD, LDN have co-created and co-lead two different sessions of Mastering ARFID: 8 Week Training for Dietitians, as well as an online training course for clinicians entitled, Treating ARFID: The Newest Eating Disorder on the Block. Located in the Greater Denver Metro Area, her aim is to bring expertise in and dedication to eating disorders as a Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian and Approved Supervisor (CEDRD-S), her many years of experience helping people make peace with food, and her ARFID training and consulting services to eating disorder treatment centers, providers, and support systems.

Lauren Muhlheim, Psy.D., FAED, CEDS-S is a psychologist, fellow of the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), and certified eating disorder specialist (CEDS) and approved supervisor for the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP). She directs Eating Disorder Therapy LA, a group practice in Los Angeles. She integrates various evidence-based treatments along with Health at Every Size® principles. She is certified in FBT for adolescent eating disorders and is the author of When Your Teen Has an Eating Disorder. Dr. Muhlheim has held leadership roles in several professional organizations including the AED, IAEDP LA Chapter, and the Los Angeles County Psychological Association. She is an IAEDP core course instructor. Dr. Muhlheim provides group and individual therapy for teens and adults with ARFID.

Blair Marini Bowman, LCSW is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist with years of clinical experience working directly with individuals and families at all levels of care. Blair earned her Bachelor of Social Work undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University and Masters of Social Work from University of New England. She began her career working with survivors of human trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic violence, which developed a passion for supporting those who are navigating a life entangled with an abuser in their past or present. While in graduate school, Blair began working at Veritas Collaborative’s adolescent hospital in Durham, NC where she discovered how eating disorders can often take on the personality profile of an abuser; but entangled in the brain rather than in an interpersonal relationship. Since that time, Blair’s passion and commitment to working with those suffering from eating disorders has grown and expanded to include a specific interest in the underserved population navigating an ARFID diagnosis. Blair contributed to the development and implementation of the ARFID protocol for Veritas’s adolescent population and has since adapted the approach to apply to her outpatient clients. Blair has grown a specialty in working with young children diagnosed with ARFID, utilizing an eclectic blend of play therapy approaches, CBT-AR, and FBT. In addition to ARFID, Blair treats a wide range of eating disorder diagnoses in addition to Anxiety, Depression, OCD, Self-esteem and Body Dysmorphia issues. Blair is the Clinical Director for CAS Counseling, a premier outpatient therapy practice specializing in the treatment of eating disorders. Blair is licensed in both Virginia and North Carolina and oversees operating in CAS Counseling’s Virginia branch.

Rebecca Thomas, RD, LDN is a Maryland based dietitian specializing in pediatric eating disorder recovery. She is the founder of the B.R.A.V.E. program (Better Recovery for ARFID and Very Picky Eating) and Rebecca Thomas Nutrition Group LLC. Prior to starting her practice, she was the adolescent outpatient dietitian for The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt in Baltimore, MD where  she worked on developing an ARFID treatment track. Alongside Stefanie, she has co-facilitated two different MASTERING ARFID for Dietitians courses and she has spoken for Danone's 2020 Global Symposium and for Nutricia's 2021 Global Conference. She has been featured on Rebecca Scritchfield's Body Kindness Podcast as well as The Feed podcast series: The Spectrum of Picky Eating.

Ilana Pilato, PhD is a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of eating disorders at the Duke Center for Eating Disorders. She currently works as a post-doctoral fellow and clinical associate treating patients with eating disorders and conducting clinical treatment research. Her interests include creating novel treatments for eating disorders, specifically for ARFID, and examining treatment efficacy of existing interventions. She aims to continue integrating research and clinical work in her career and is committed to reaching those that are underserved and overall increasing access to care. Throughout her career, she also hopes to teach and advocate for education about eating disorders to the broader mental health field, medical field, and general public. Personally, Ilana loves to play board games with friends and her husband, spend time with her dog Benji, sing and play guitar, and go hiking as much as possible.

Chelsea Zimmerman, MS,CCC-SLP, CLC, NTMC is a speech language pathologist receiving her masters degree at Marywood University Scranton, PA. She has spent her whole career in medically based speech therapy, specifically swallowing, in rehabilitation units, outpatients, and acute care. While at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, her caseload of patients were filled with those misdiscognsed of conversion disorder and "pseudodysphagia" sparking the passion to advocate for those with ARFID. While utilizing techniques including muscle tension release and respiratory muscle training mixed with cognitive behavioral food chaining approaches, Chelsea has seen much success with her patients. She relies heavily on a multidisciplinary approach to ARFID as she finds it to be often the missing piece and has run multiple ARFID support groups throughout her career.  She owns and operates a private practice in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania continuing to help those with ARFID and other swallowing related diagnoses.

Katie Yant, LCSW , SEP is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner in Denver, Colorado where she works in private practice. Katie focuses her work on the treatment of eating disorders, including ARFID, utilizing a somatic based approach and an attachment lens with her clients. She is especially interested in working to increase the efficacy of treatment for ARFID by integrating the use of somatic based therapy and the understand of attachment. In her free time, Katie enjoys spending time with her dog Emery, hiking, skiing, and finding adventures. 

Meg Fraley, MS, RD s a registered dietitian and the FBT Clinical Nutrition Supervisor at NourishED Colorado, a group practice of registered dietitians specializing in the treatment of eating disorders and disordered eating through a weight inclusive and social justice lens. Her mission is to empower and support others to build a positive relationship with food that is equally as pleasurable as it is nourishing – for the mind, body, and soul. Meg is passionate about working with families and adolescents who struggle with eating disorders and other feeding issues. Currently, this has led her to establishing a Family Based Treatment Program for Nutrition Counseling at her group practice. Since working with patients with eating disorders, ARFID has quickly become a passion leading to an eagerness to learn more to support her patients. Meg’s focus with clients is to help reduce both the patient’s and parent's anxiety at meal and feeding times by taking a very patient-centered approach. In 2009 she earned her Bachelors in Science in Nutrition and Dietetics with a minor in Culinary at Saint Louis University, she completed her one year dietetic internship at Utah State University to officially become a Registered Dietitian. She also completed a Masters in Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Saint Louis University in 2013. She is currently working towards her CEDS.