An Overview of Eating Disorders & Treatment with Dr. Rhea Ann Merck

Are you interested in treating Eating Disorders yet are unsure of how to approach them? Today’s guest, Dr. Rhea Ann Merck, gives us an overview of the diagnoses, the clinical issues to explore, and her integrative approach to treatment.

This episode is chock full of clinical insight and practical ideas for you to start implementing today. 

If you are new to working with Eating Disorders, we highly recommend you obtain clinical Supervision as you begin treating clients exhibiting these symptoms. 

Presenters: Lisa Mustard, Ed.S., LMFT and Rhea Ann Merck, PhD

In this course, Lisa interviews Psychologist Rhea Ann Merck on understanding eating disorders and how to approach them as a clinical counselor.


List the diagnostic criteria for the three major eating disorders.

Describe the roles that weight, weight loss and calorie level have on emotional and cognitive functioning.

Summarize the relationship between eating disorders and comorbid conditions.

List the key diagnostic issues that guide treatment formulation.

About Dr. Merck: Dr. Rhea Ann Merck has worked in the field of mental health for over 32 years.  An alumnus of the University of South Carolina, she received her PhD in Psychology from the University of North Texas and has maintained a private practice in Columbia since 1996.  She has worked in hospital in-patient and out-patient settings, university counseling centers, has been the Director of Training for the Pre-doctoral Psychology Internship Program at the USC Counseling and Human Development Center, and currently teaches undergraduates at the University of South Carolina.  She previously served the Vice-Chair of the Board of Examiners in Psychology in South Carolina as well as on the Board of Directors of NAMI. While her practice is general in nature, she especially enjoys working with adolescents, families, people with eating disorders, and adults navigating major life transitions. Professionally, she is interested in ethics, mind-body health practices, and early career mentoring. Currently, Dr. Merck teaches Abnormal Psychology, the Psychology of Personality, and the Psychology of Marriage; her philosophy for teaching is “Psychology is Life.” She has begun a weekly blog with a therapist-friend, LiM-Squared, which stands for “Life is Messy. Life is Marvelous.” and offers skills for managing life.  In her free time, Dr. Merck enjoys yoga, painting, camping, gardening, live music and anything that brings her together with her friends and family.  

About Lisa: Lisa Mustard, MPH, EdS, LMFT is a talk therapist, lover of all things fitness and health, app creator, personal branding consultant and Podcaster.

Additional Information

Course Timeline:

10 mins Introduction and backgrounds

15 mins Diagnostic criteria for eating disorders

15 mins Describing how calories, weight and food restriction impair emotional and cognitive functioning

15 mins Discussion of assessment, treatment and integrated approach

10 mins Discussion of sub-clinical issues

5 mins Questions and Answers

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