Skills

Skills

Speaker & Advocate

Andrew Walen is a sought after speaker, given his credentials as an expert in the field of psychotherapy specializing in eating disorders, compulsive eating, body image, and preparation and aftercare for bariatric surgery patients.

Author

Andrew Walen is the author of the memoir/self-help book, Food Psycho, which is currently being shopped to publishing houses. Additionally, Andrew has been a professional writer since 1998 writing features articles for In Review newspaper (1998-2000), The City Paper in Nashville (2000-2002), The Observer (2002-2006), and several other publications as a freelance writer, including The Tennessean, MC2, and several online publications.

Singer/Songwriter

Andrew Walen is a former professional singer and songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee.

Psychotherapist

Andrew Walen, LCSW-C, is a psychotherapist who specializes in treating patients with eating disorders, compulsive eating and body image issues.

Why Choose BITC

BITC’s therapy services provide the following benefits:

  • Develop healthy lifestyles, self esteem and body image
  • Helps individuals love themselves from the inside out
  • Stop destructive patterns of eating disorders, binge eating or other compulsive behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse
  • Install healthy communication in families where eating disorders exist
  • Treat underlying psychological illnesses such as depression, anxiety, OCD, bi-polar, ADHD, and personality disorders

BITC points of competitive distinction are as follows:

  • BITC is currently the only source for comprehensive treatment of eating disorders in an outpatient setting from Frederick County to Anne Arundel County.
  • Additionally, BITC has a unique niche in that it treats eating disorders across the spectrum and for all ages.
  • BITC’s group therapy programs, Mindful Eating Classes, and cooking classes use the only classroom kitchen in the State to help clients deal with their most fundamental anxiety about food, preparation and consumption.
  • BITC’s sister program, Eating Disorder Center of Columbia (of which BITC is 50% owner) will be the only intensive outpatient program (IOP) between DC and Northern Baltimore County.
  • The combined efforts of these integrated programs have elicited great enthusiasm from private practice clinicians and physicians.

Publications

Volunteer Work

National Association for Males with Eating Disorders

Board member (2012 - present)

Binge Eating Disorder Association

Founding Board Member for BEDA (2009-2011), a non-profit dedicated to education, legislation, and outreach for those with binge eating disorder and their loved ones

Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee

  • Professional Development Network (2005-2006): professional therapists and graduate students met once a month to discuss important advances in the field, new articles, or difficult cases
  • Speakers Bureau (2005-2006): addressed children, parents, educators and health professionals about issues related to eating disorders, dieting, nutrition, and body image
  • Fashion for Every Body (8/2004): participated in fashion show to raise money and awareness of the EDCT and eating disorder issues

Presentations

The Real Face of Men with Eating Disorders: Profiles from Anorexics to Binge Eaters

(Petaluma, CA)

2/2013

Presented at Eating Disorders Resource Services 7th annual conference. Topic included speaking about his personal journey as a male with an eating disorder, as well as new information on etiology and treatment of men with an eating disorder, including case examples from The Body Image Therapy Center.

Pre- and Post-Operative concerns for the bariatric patient with BED

(Philadelphia, PA)

3/2012

Presented at the Binge Eating Disorder Association national conference. Topic covered description of bariatric surgery, psych eval tools and common findings for bariatric patients, post-operative outcomes, and potential areas of concern for patients with BED.

Psychology of Obesity

(Baltimore, MD)

5/2011

Trends in Nursing Practice Conference – University of Maryland Medical Center: presented a look at how obesity stigma leads to poorer medical care, other negative effects of weightism, the concept of Health at Every Size, diagnosing BED, and how to talk to patients about health behavior change.

Binge Eating Disorder: an overview of treatment

(Baltimore, MD)

3/2011

National Association of Social Workers – Maryland annual conference: Discussed BED diagnosis, its correlations to obesity and other co-morbidities, risks beyond obesity, causes, variety and types of BED, purpose of binge eating, concept of Health at Every Size, role of pharmaceuticals and weight loss surgery, and current efforts by the Binge Eating Disorder Association to affect legislation on Capitol Hill for greater awareness and treatment

Eating Disorders and the graduate student

(Baltimore, MD)

2/2011

Presented an introduction to eating disorders and how stress in the academic world can contribute to their development to graduate students at the University of Maryland at Baltimore

The Psychology of Weight Control

(Columbia, MD)

10/2010

Discussed cognitive therapy skills training in developing normal eating skills, as well as the dangers of dieting and the development of eating disorders

Eating Disorders: a brief overview

(Millersville, MD)

12/2009

Presented a basic overview of eating disorders and discussed the possible emergence of binge eating disorder into the DSM-V.

What the !*%!*?: treating impulse control disorders

(Millersville, MD)

11/2009

Discussed the etiology of the five basic impulse control disorders and discussed the possible inclusion of binge eating disorder on the disorder spectrum

Continuing Clinical Education for Mental Health Practitioners, Clergy and Chaplains (Baltimore, MD)

2/2009

Presented “When Nutrition and the Natural Act of Eating Become the Enemy,” a workshop on eating disorders, precipitating factors, treatment options and the role of spirituality in recovery.

Tennessee Conference on Social Welfare 93rd Anniversary Annual Training Conference(Nashville, TN)

4/2006

Presented “A Treatment Model for Body Image Disorder,” a workshop on the etiology, ramifications and cognitive behavioral treatment model on body image and body dysmorphic disorders

Memberships & Affiliations

MEDIA COVERAGE

Services Offered at BITC

Work History

Work History

Co-Founder/Clinical Director

Eating Disorders Center of Columbia

Eating Disorders Center of Columbia is an intensive outpatient eating disorder program located at The Body Image Therapy Center in Columbia, MD. We feature the only program to include meal planning, preparation and cooking as part of the program, helping our clients deal with the real-life triggers they face at home. In addition, the program offers nutrition counseling, intensive group therapy and psychiatric services.

2008 - Present

Founder & Director, Psychotherapist

The Body Image Therapy Center

The Body Image Therapy Center (BITC) is an outpatient eating disorder therapy service and treatment program located in Columbia, Maryland. BITC was created because in the United States alone, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life. Furthermore, a review of nearly 50 years of research confirms that anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. Given the increasing statistics of eating disorders and the potentially life-threatening conditions associated with them, especially among young people, BITC and its team of qualified, licensed professionals seek to be a catalyst for positive change for millions of women, men, teens and adolescents who suffer from an eating disorder, first starting with a local focus within the Greater Baltimore and Washington, DC Metro area (within a 30 mile radius of the Center).

BITC customers are comprised of those seeking direct therapeutic assistance, families seeking help for their loved one, as well as referring medical professionals. BITC offers a variety of individual and group therapy services, consultations and treatment that help those in need develop healthy lifestyles, self esteem and positive body image; help stop destructive patterns of eating disorders or other compulsive behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse; and help audiences resolve weight management issues.

BITC is uniquely positioned for success because it is currently the only source for comprehensive treatment of eating disorders in an outpatient setting from Frederick County to Anne Arundel County. Additionally BITC has a unique niche in that it treats eating disorders across the spectrum and for all ages. BITC’s sister program, Eating Disorder Center of Columbia, will be the only intensive outpatient program between DC and Northern Baltimore County. The combined efforts of these integrated programs have elicited great enthusiasm from private-practice clinicians and physicians, thereby creating a strong referral and revenue stream for BITC.

Although there are a number of independent therapists in our geographic concentration, few hold comparable credentials to the BITC team including its director, Andrew Walen, LCSW-C. He has garnered substantial publicity including appearances on The Today Show, New York Times and Baltimore/DC area TV and radio stations as an expert in the field of eating disorders, and a male who has recovered from one, further differentiating himself and BITC from the competition. Andrew has written a book entitled, Food Psycho that shares his own personal journey from being a binge eater to now therapist helping others who struggle with body image issues. Andrew leads the BITC team that is comprised of psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and dieticians to create a comprehensive solution to eating disorder cases.

2012 - Present

Board Member

National Association for Males with Eating Disorders

Established in 2006, N.A.M.E.D. is the only organization in the United States exclusively dedicated to representing and providing support to males with eating disorders. With a lack of attention, research, support, and prevention directed to boys and men with eating disorders, N.A.M.E.D. plays a vital role in filling this gap by offering information and resources about and support to this underrepresented population and their families. N.A.M.E.D.'s vision is to become a clearinghouse of information on the subject, thereby, becoming a valuable central source of information on this issue. N.A.M.E.D. invites researchers, males affected by eating disorders, their families, and mental health professionals to share their experience and expertise with N.A.M.E.D. on this subject.

Jun 2008 - Dec 2008

Therapist

Union Memorial Hospital
  • Individual therapy for patients in Suboxone study in adult medicine clinic with caseload of 10-20 patients
  • Recruit patients from inpatient hospital who are heroin addicts for study
  • Connect patients to outpatient therapy as necessary for ongoing treatment
Apr 2007 - Apr 2008

Clinical Social Worker

University of Maryland Medical Center
  • Therapist at the Carruthers Clinic, an outpatient community mental health clinic affiliated with the University of Maryland Medical Center Department of Psychiatry
  • Performed individual, family, couples and group therapy for the adult program with a caseload of 65-75 patients
  • Completed full diagnostic intake evaluations for new patients
  • Developed treatment plans with patients using the Recovery Model as prescribed by JCAHO
  • Worked with multiple outside agencies to coordinate a continuum of care for patients
Jun 2006 - Mar 2007

Outpatient Therapist

Centerstone
  • Outpatient therapist for community mental health center with a caseload of 150-200 clients ranging in age from 8-64 years old
  • Executed psychosocial evaluations, created treatment plans, and performed individual, family, group, and marriage counseling
  • Developed curriculum for and ran a dual diagnosis group
  • Communicated with several government agencies and courts requiring medical and psychotherapeutic documentation of client progress
  • Documented all therapeutic contact using electronic medical records following COMAR regulations
Aug 2005 - May 2006

Intern/Therapist

The Ranch
  • Led or co-facilitated group therapy and performed individual therapy in the areas of alcohol and drug addiction, eating disorders, OCD, PTSD, anxiety disorders, trauma, and family of origin issues
  • Assisted in discharge planning for clients from multiple geographic areas in the United States
  • Participated in multiple therapy techniques from cognitive behavioral, interpersonal and psychodrama to adventure and equine therapy
Aug 2004 - May 2005

Intern/Social Worker

Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee
  • Lectured to students in middle and high school, as well as some adult education classes, concerning multiple depression issues, especially eating disorders, body image, and self-esteem
  • Performed mental health screenings at high schools, health fairs, community events
  • Researched the rise and impact of U.S. Hispanic gangs on “At Risk” Hispanic male teens, as well as the palliative effect of mentors on those teens
  • Developed and implemented a pilot mentoring program for at-risk Hispanic male teens at Glenncliff High School
  • Facilitated a bi-weekly forum for Hispanic male teens to express concerns, work on solutions to alleviate those issues, and learn from guest speakers how to achieve personal and professional success beyond high school

Education

Education
2003 - 2006

MSSW

University of Tennessee College of Social Work
1994 - 1995

BM

Berklee College of Music

Certifications

Certifications

LCSW-C

University of Tennessee College of Social Work