Clinical Director and Co-Founder

Holly Finlay

 MA, LPCC, CEDS, CSP, President of iaedp

Thanks for taking the next step to find out more about me and my work.

I received an MA in Counseling from the University of New Mexico in 1992, and worked as a Mental Health Therapist in a hospital setting for 2 years while developing my private practice. In 1993 I devoted myself full time to that practice, treating older children, adolescents, and adults as individuals, and in family and group sessions. Throughout my career I have worked with both males and females of all ages.

In 1993, I became a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist through the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (iaedp), and I have served on the Board of Directors of that organization since 2004. I am the current President of iaedp. In addition, I provide training and supervision for clinicians and interns seeking professional growth and or iaedp certification.

After 25 years of counseling, I still enjoy my work very much. I have learned to design effective treatment based on the individual’s needs and not to use a one-size-fits-all approach.  I think it’s important for clients to know that eating disorder treatment doesn’t mean getting fat. Instead, treatment means becoming healthy and free from chains of the eating disorder.

I have specialized in treating the full spectrum of eating disorders, including:

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Binge Eating Disorder
  • Compulsive Overeating
  • Various Eating and Food Phobias
  • Body Image Distortion
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Compulsive Exercise
  • Night Eating Syndrome
  • Laxative Abuse

Unfortunately, eating disorders are often linked with one or more of all of the psychological diagnoses. In addition, a high percentage of people with eating disorders have a history of trauma and sexual abuse. As a result, I have learned to treat a variety of other issues including:

  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety and Phobias
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Bi-Polar Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • And various other issues involving difficult Moods and Behaviors

Over the years, I have studied many treatment methods including talk therapy, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), Solution Focused Therapy, ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy), CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Regression Therapy, and Psychodrama. However, I am most excited about a cutting edge new mode of therapy for trauma and body image distortion called Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP). In 2012 I became a Certified Sensorimotor Psychotherapist after 6 years of intensive training and study under Pat Ogden, PhD (Founder/Clinical Director Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute). Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is based on current brain research which allows clients to process through trauma and a variety of issues without becoming deregulated.  I find this mode of therapy useful when working with clients who are afraid to deal with painful experiences because it allows them to work out the struggles without being destabilized and re-traumatized.

Body image distortion is a common symptom of an eating disorder and because it is abstract and becomes so entrenched, it is very difficult to treat. I have been using SP to deal with body issues very successfully by teaching my clients that body image distortion and other body issues aren’t really about feeling fat or ugly. In fact, the body sensations are a window into the body’s unconscious language which can be decoded and worked through in the treatment. SP teaches them tools to work through these issues outside of therapy, and provides them an avenue in which to release unexpressed emotions that are held in the body as manifested in the distortion.

Throughout my career, I have worked closely with many local providers to assist them in treating their eating disordered patients. I firmly believe in using a team approach to treatment to address all facets of the problem.

I look forward to the opportunity to meet with you and help make your life healthier and happier.

Holly

 

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