Eating Disorder Therapist: Meet Kristin

Apr 4, 2019 | Eating Disorders

We are so excited that Kristin Ales is joining the Ruby Team as our newest Eating Disorder Therapist. She has extensive training and experience in the field and additionally comes from a unique perspective which combines outdoor adventure with therapy. We sat down with her for a little chat. If you have questions that we didn’t cover, ask them in the comments.

Why an Eating Disorder therapist?

Becoming a therapist was a happy accident.
Early on, in my life I was impacted by eating disorders, and a complicated relationship with my body. As an art major in college, I began taking nude portraiture of women of various sizes. Because I was in the presence of other bodies, and talking about bodies and what it means to “be in our bodies”, this became not only a healing experience for me but also was my first taste into what being a therapist might be like.

From there, I went on to guide outdoor adventure trips. One important lesson I learned, was how to love my body for what it could do. To appreciate my strength, rather than run from it. Before long, I stepped into a leadership role for young people and saw them grow too. This consequently ignited my passion for growth, understanding, and compassion. Soon I wanted to take ‘helping people’ to the next level, so I looked into becoming a therapist.

With this in mind, I obtained my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in Wilderness Therapy. There I specifically studied the correlation of time spent in the outdoors and eating disorder recovery. What a rewarding way to translate what I have learned to my clients. (Click here if you are interested in learning more about Kristen’s Wilderness Therapy programs)

Have you ever had an Eating Disorder?

Yes. As a child, I was always larger than the other kids at school. I was also a foot taller, had breasts, and strong muscular limbs by the time I was a 5th grader. This was pointed out by peers, teachers, and family members. I always remember wanting to be smaller. Throughout my time as a teenager, I suffered from Binge Eating Disorder followed by Atypical Anorexia. Without proper treatment, I struggled to free myself from negative thoughts about my body, and the binge/restrict cycle for years.
I eventually found freedom from my disordered thoughts and patterns through my time guiding in the outdoors as well as a lot of therapy.

Can Someone be Cured of an Eating Disorder?

In my opinion, recovery is possible. I don’t believe that there is just one ‘right way’ to find peace with food, mental health, and your body. We were all made different, our recovery will look different. For some it could be quick, for some, it is a process that takes years. As a therapist, I want to be intentional about healing and really looking at how past traumas, messages, and core beliefs are impacting you now.
Kristin Ales Eating Disorder Specialist
My goal as a therapist is not to promise that you won’t ever have negative thoughts about your body again, or hear your eating disorder voice. My goal is to help you learn how to take care of yourself when those feelings do show up.

Will you help me lose weight?

No, but I will teach you about Health at Every Size®, and help you navigate the feelings that come up with intuitive eating, and how weight is a social justice issue.

What will Happen in Our First Appointment?

First appointments are the most fun! Therapy is a collaborative process, and I believe that you are the expert of your own life. In our first session, I will get to know you a little bit better, listen to parts of your story, and we will lay out goals for our time together.

Learn More about Kristen or Call: (541) 598-5707

Ruby Health and Wellness