Eating Disorder Therapy

Mark Hayden, PhD

Mark’s approach is built on the foundation of respect, acceptance, and a strong belief in your ability to grow, even change. Psychotherapy is a collaborative process as each intervention is tailored to you and the care you deserve. Mark is mindful at all times that you are a unique individual with a unique set of circumstances. His 20 years of clinical practice in a wide range of therapeutic approaches ensures each person receives a tailor made and individualized approach. 

Together, we can increase your effectiveness.

Mark treats a broad spectrum of complex difficulties, including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, and relationship problems.

Mark decided to specialize in the treatment of eating disorders and PTSD based on a recognition that our approach to eating plays a central role in our physical and emotional health. His prior experience working with individuals with anxiety, depression, and trauma led to an increasing awareness that these emotional difficulties are often linked to the development of eating disorders, and that his skills in treating these difficulties could be effectively incorporated into eating disorder treatment.

For 20 years at the East Orange Veterans Administration Medical Center, Mark focused on the treatment of severe anxiety, depression, and PTSD as a response to highly intense events. Treatment approaches include cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure/emotional processing therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and interpersonal psychotherapy.

As a staff psychologist at St. Clare’s Medical Center, Mark balanced intricate psychological and medical struggles involving eating disorders. Between the outpatient mental health clinic and various medical departments, Mark had no choice but to get the job done. At the mental health clinic, he treated individuals with a wide range of complex mental health difficulties, which led him to his work at the VA. As a Behavioral Medicine consultant, he provided treatment to individuals with various medical ailments, including cancer, heart disease, lung disorders, diabetes, and chronic pain. Techniques such as relaxation training, guided imagery, and meditation were paramount to the process.  Additionally, Mark led bereavement groups for family members of patients who died from various illnesses.

 Treatment Protocols include:

Prolonged Exposure/Emotional Processing Therapy

Individuals who experience a traumatic event often try to cope with the emotionally overwhelming aspects of this event. One may attempt to avoid thinking or talking about their experience. Unfortunately, the traumatic event continues to impact the person via nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive memories, and many other symptoms. Prolonged exposure/emotional processing therapy is an evidence-based treatment that involves helping people with the challenging process of talking about their traumatic experiences in detail in a safe and emotionally supportive environment. Consequently, research has shown that this approach can significantly reduce and, in many cases, eliminate the symptoms of PTSD.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (ITP)

An evidence-based treatment, interpersonal psychotherapy (ITP) stresses the importance of personal attachments and ways of interacting with others. Most importantly, the focus is on the development and maintenance of various emotional problems such as anxiety, depression, and chronic relationship dissatisfaction. By exploring the details of an individual’s interactions with others, Mark can help them develop new ways of relating that contribute to more harmonious relationships and a reduction of emotional distress.

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