My life-long passion has been to help people through understanding their needs, validating their struggles and using her knowledge and expertise to help them navigate life stressors. I am a licensed clinical psychologist, Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry & Behavioral Health at The Ohio State University/Wexner Medical Center, and Founder of Eating and Behavioral Health Associates, where we are committed to providing evidence-based treatments for eating disorders, PTSD, depression, anxiety and chronic health conditions in children, adolescents and adults. Additionally, I have been dedicated to the training and education of psychological conditions and their evidence-based treatments for providers, future mental health providers and the community.
Integration and Application. (April 2017). Invited panelist at Applying a New Understanding of Brain and Behavior into Ongoing Eating Disorder Treatment Hosted by The Center for Balanced Living, Worthington, OH.
Psychological Therapeutic Interventions for Clients with Eating Disorders. (August 2016). Invited speaker at Collaboration: A Multi-Disciplinary Eating Disorder Treatment Training. Hosted by The Ohio State University, Office of Student Life, Counseling and Consultation Service and Student Health Services.
The Risk and Development of Psychological Disorders Post-Bariatric Surgery. (August 2014). Invited speaker at The Care of the Bariatric Surgery Patient Conference. Hosted by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Altman, S. E., Campbell, M.L, Nelson, B.D., Faust, J.P, & Shankman, S.A. (2013). The Relation between Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Startle Investigation. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 122, 1132-1141.
Segal, K.E., Altman, S.E., Weissman, J.A, Safer, D.L, & Chen, E.Y. (2013). Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Binge Eating. In D. LeGrange & A. Goldschmidt (Eds.), Binge Eating Disorder, A Guide for Clinicians. London: Routledge Publishing, Inc.
Altman, S.E., Shankman, S.A, & Spring, B. (2010). The effect of acute tryptophan depletion on emotions in individuals with a personal and family history of depression following a mood induction. Neuropsychobiology, 62:171-176.
Altman, S.E., & Shankman, S.A. (2009). What is the association between obsessive-compulsive disorder and eating disorders? Clinical Psychology Review, 29, 638-646.
It is my privilege and passion to help individuals with eating and weight-related concerns move toward a more comfortable, reliable, and flexible relationship with food. I provide evidence-based care in a compassionate and supportive environment to help individuals work toward overall balance and wellness in their lives. I work with adults who struggle with binge eating, emotional eating, or other forms of loss- of-control eating, as well as depression or anxiety that occur in the context of coping with chronic health conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, Multiple Sclerosis, and POTS. In addition, I provide psychological evaluations and mental health services for individuals pursuing or who have undergone bariatric surgery.
I am passionate about alleviating the burden eating disorders place on individuals’ lives. I utilize evidence-based treatments, primarily cognitive-behavioral therapy, to help individuals reach their treatment goals. I work with adults with a variety eating-related concerns, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and other specified feeding or eating disorders like purging disorder. I also treat comorbid conditions like depression and anxiety using evidence-based treatments.
An Ohio native, I completed my bachelor’s degree at Miami University and earned my Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Florida State University. During graduate school, my research focused on eating disorders, particularly purging disorder, loss of control eating/binge eating, and atypical anorexia nervosa. I completed my APA- accredited clinical internship at the University of Chicago Medical Center where I received additional training in cognitive-behavioral therapy for a variety of conditions, including eating disorders. I am also an assistant professor at Ohio University, where I study eating disorders and disordered eating, supervise doctoral students in clinical work and research, and teach at the undergraduate and graduate level.
I work collaboratively with my patients to develop a working model of what keeps their symptoms going. Treatment starts with a thorough assessment, including getting to know my patient’s specific treatment goals. After identifying treatment goals, we use our working model to tailor empirically-supported techniques, like self-monitoring, cognitive restructuring, and exposure, to help patients address their unique problems and concerns. My job as a therapist is to work myself out of a job- that is, to help patients learn to be their own therapist for long-lasting recovery.
My desire to help those with eating and weight-related concerns, in addition to my training, complement the mission of Eating and Behavioral Health Associates to provide excellent, evidence-based treatment to those struggling with eating and weight concerns. Originally an Ohio native, I lived in Chicago for several years where I obtained my doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. During graduate school, I completed specialized training at The University of Chicago Medical Center’s Adult Eating Disorders Program in the use of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for bulimia and binge-eating disorder and contributed to research in this treatment area. I completed my APA-accredited doctoral internship at Illinois State University’s Student Counseling Services and post-doctoral training at Ohio Wesleyan University Student Counseling Services. Both of these experiences allowed me to continue to work with young adults who struggled with a variety of eating concerns, as well as other challenges typically seen in this population. In addition to my doctorate, I hold a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from The University of Cincinnati and completed my undergraduate training in psychology at The University of Dayton.
I have a deep desire to provide hope and healing to individuals who feel stuck in the chains of their eating disorder. I believe in a holistic view of health and ascribe to a strengths-based perspective when working with individuals because I strongly feel that empowerment is a powerful tool in the change process. I bring compassion and authenticity to each therapy session because I believe the therapeutic relationship is a key driver in the recovery process. I work with children, adolescents and young adults who struggle with eating disorders, as well as co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety and OCD.
Originally, a native of Toledo, Ohio, I attended Bowling Green State University where I received my Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Social Work in 2015. I went on to the University of Toledo to obtain my graduate degree, also in Social Work in 2017. Since that time, I have worked with a multitude of age groups in clinical settings, schools and community mental health facilities but have found my true passion in working with children, adolescents and families to walk alongside them through the journey of recovery from all forms of disordered eating.
After graduate school, I worked in an outpatient setting treating a variety of mental health disorders before being employed as both an outpatient therapist and intensive outpatient therapist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital for three years, during which time I also facilitated parent support groups, participated in research within the eating disorder field and facilitated a training at the National Association of Social Worker’s annual Ohio conference on misconceptions of eating disorders for other professionals. I also regularly participate in eating disorder specific trainings to stay relevant in the field from sources such as The Emily Program, Eating Recovery Center, NEDA, AED and IADEP.
In therapy sessions, I primarily utilize and have extensive training and experience in both Family Based Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I also find it important to incorporate Acceptance and Commitment Therapy into the treatment I conduct in order to bring focus back to each individual’s values to help with treating the spectrum of disordered eating. I have seen the effectiveness of both CBT and Family-Based Therapy in empowering parents and families to take control of meal times and to be a part of the treatment team to bring full healing
In my free time, I enjoy teaching yoga, running, exploring new cities, coffee shops and book stores with my husband, spending time with friends, reading in my hammock, baking and taking my German Shepherd/Labrador mix on adventures.
It has been a lifelong passion of mine to help others find balance and peace in their lives. Working in the field of eating disorders and trauma has allowed this passion to come to full fruition. As a therapist, I provide evidence-based care and support in a warm, compassionate, and encouraging environment. My career focus has been to therapeutically partner with adults of all ages who struggle with eating disorders, body image issues, and frequent comorbidities such as anxiety and depression, as well as trauma.
A Columbus native, I received my BS from Bowling Green State University, and my Master of Social Work from Indiana University. I am an independently licensed social worker, with a supervision designation (LISW-S) in the state of Ohio by the Counselor and Social Work Board (CSWMFT). I completed my clinical fellowship and delivered evidence-based treatment to adults with eating disorders, mood disorders, and trauma at the Center for Balanced Living in Columbus, Ohio. While at the Center, and then later The Emily Program, I worked in Admissions, Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient, and Outpatient programs. While there I developed a wide breadth of skills, perspectives, and evidence-based approaches to support clients with eating disorders -- including leading groups using expressive arts modalities, and organizing a client-represented art show.
As a certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) and a registered Yoga teacher (RYT-500), I understand that many clients with eating disorders can benefit from the emerging research of complementary practices to support the mind-body connection in healing. Researchers like Bessel van der Kolk and David Emerson suggest -- and inform my own clinical practice -- that intentional connections to one’s body can be imperative to support recovery and growth. I am able to develop and have supported therapeutic yoga groups as an integral complement to psychotherapeutic recovery work in patients with eating disorders at The Center for Balanced Living, The Emily Program, and Cincinnati’s Lindner Center of Hope. I’ve also worked with populations addressing substance abuse disorders through facilitation of Yoga for 12-Step Recovery (Y12SR) groups.
My preferred therapeutic approaches include the use of Enhanced Cognitive Behavior Therapy for eating disorders (CBT-E), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), with elements of Mindfulness and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). I utilize Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and trauma, and am a national CPT provider. When appropriate, I also can employ complementary modalities of expressive art, writing, yoga and breathwork.
I am a passionate advocate for my clients and believe in providing high quality, evidence-based care designed to support each individual’s goals. I specialize in working with children, teens, and young adults who struggle with issues related to food, body image, anxiety, depression, and trauma. I operate from a strengths-based, person-centered approach and work to empower individuals and families to live their best, most balanced lives.
My passion is helping people of all shapes and sizes who are struggling with stressors by teaching them how to bring balance to their thinking, eating and behaviors, and by helping them to find compassion and ease in their lives. Over the last decade, I have been dedicated to providing mental health treatment to a variety of individuals. Most of these years, my focus has been on providing evidence-based treatment for all types of eating disorders, and I specialize in working with those who struggle with Binge Eating Disorder and body image concerns. At Eating and Behavioral Health Associates, I am excited to work with adults through individual, group or couples therapy.
My clinical work and years of experience have shaped my therapeutic practice in a way that attends to the entire continuum of my patient’s care. From the initial meeting, to the celebration that successful termination brings, I work hard to foster trust and learning as we navigate eating disorder recovery together. While typically described as a warm and compassionate therapist by my colleagues, I also know that changing behaviors, thoughts, and leaning into difficult emotions may require a direct and honest approach to better motivate a person towards the change they may want and need. I rely on my training in evidenced-based practices such as CBT, DBT, and RO DBT, for which I have been intensively trained to provide, to address the needs of my patients in a systematic way and ensure that real and lasting change is occurring. I work with primarily with young adults and adults who struggle with eating disorders of all types, but I also have extensive training to treat and support the often co-occurring disorders that can accompany eating disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and past trauma.
Assisting those who struggle with body image and eating disorders has been a passion of mine since 1994 when I began volunteering as a support group leader for an online website, and subsequently became a public speaker on eating disorders and trauma, including presenting at The Renfrew Conference. I have had the pleasure in working with various eating disorder organizations and charities over the last 20 years. I received my Bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Phoenix, and have been working in the administrative field within mental health organizations since 2004. I am excited to be a part of the team at Eating and Behavioral Health Associates.