Therapy for Healthy Habits and a Peaceful Mind
Dr. Debra Gill, NJ Psychologist
Dr. Debra Gill, Clinical Psychologist
124 E. Mt. Pleasant Avenue Livingston, NJ 07039Phone: (973) 820-5174 Website: www.eatingdisordertherapistnj.com
I am a seasoned therapist and coach who has been helping people make desired changes in their lives for over 20 years. Before starting my private practice, I developed expertise in a wide variety of areas through working in programs and clinics specializing in: mood disorders, eating disorders, sleep disorders, pain management, substance abuse, alcoholism, smoking cessation, diabetes, cardiac rehabilitation, bariatric surgery, bladder problems, GI issues and aging.
I have multidisciplinary experience and education in weight and eating concerns. In addition to my specialized training as a psychologist, I am certified to provide nutrition education, fitness instruction, healthy lifestyle coaching, as well as mindful eating and meditation training. Below is a chronology of my career development in this area:
In 1992, when graduating from college at UVA, I became certified to teach aerobics and fitness and have taught five or more classes per week since then. In 1994, while a doctoral student at UCLA, I ran an “Intuitive Eating”weight-loss program at the VA Medical Center (Los Angeles, CA) before moving to the East Coast for my post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA). There, I was mentored by internationally-renowned experts in obesity treatment, binge eating, body image and bariatric surgery and was a clinician for NIH-funded trials of innovative weight-loss approaches. I have since conducted over 300 psychological assessments for clients preparing for bariatric surgery.
In 1999, I moved overseas (London, England) and created a smoking-cessation program that would help people avoid gaining weight when they quit smoking. In 2001, I became Senior Psychologist for a comprehensive adult weight loss program at the Cooper Institute (Dallas, TX). While at Cooper, I also began teaching nutrition courses and became certified in healthy lifestyle coaching.
In 2005, I came to New Jersey and founded the award winning Healthy LIFE Pediatric Weight Management Program at Barnabas Health (Livingston, NJ).After 8 years as Director of Healthy LIFE, I moved this family-based child and adolescent program to my private practice. I coach and educate young people who are prone to weight gain to utilize health and effective weight management strategies so they will avoid extreme diets and be less likely to develop eating disorders.
In my private practice, I also provide individual and group treatment for adults and adolescents seeking recovery from eating disorders including freedom from emotional eating, bulimia and weight obsession. In addition, I co-lead an eating disorders support group sponsored by ANAD for those
struggling with eating disorders and their family members.
I struggled with weight as a child and was put on diets such as “Weight Watchers” from the age of 9. Starting in middle school, I lost weight but developed disordered eating patterns. My symptoms took different forms during various stages of my life but persisted for a number of years into adulthood. My desire to enjoy eating without guilt, regret or anxiety and to be free from obsession with my weight and body shape prompted me to read, practice and learn as much as I could about treatment approaches that truly help. My own full recovery from disordered eating and distorted body image inspired my career-long commitment to share what I’ve learned and help others through their struggles.
Another major accomplishment in my private life was to navigate an amicable divorce after 17 years of marriage. This renewed my early-career interest in working with people struggling with relationship issues or navigating various stages of divorce. Also, my twin teenage sons and two younger step sons help me better understand many of the parenting challenges that my clients are experiencing.