Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC

President at Eating Disorder Hope & Addiction Hope



What is your current position?

I am the founder and president of Eating Disorder Hope. I have a masters degree in Counseling Psychology and a bachelor’s degree in Human Services. I am a member of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp), the Eating Disorders Coalition & the Academy of Eating Disorders. I collaborate and support Project Heal, National Eating Disorder Association and many other related behavioral health related organizations.

I spend my work hours writing, curating and reviewing articles and blogs to feature on Eating Disorder Hope and our sister site, Addiction Hope. Overseeing our social media, newsletters, Facebook Live Show, Sponsorships, responding to inquiries for support, collaborating with colleagues to further educate, prevent and treat eating disorders.

How did you get started in your career?

I struggled with an eating disorder during my teens and 20’s. After finally seeking treatment and getting on the road to recovery, I decided to become a therapist and work with others who suffer from anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and really all forms of disordered eating and body image issues. I hoped that my personal journey through an eating disorder would empower me to deeply understand the struggles of my clients.

I started off in private practice and launched the Eating Disorder Hope website in 2005. I then moved to devoting all of my time to the Eating Disorder Hope website and stopped seeing individual clients. It was a tough choice as I truly love the soulful and fascinating interaction between therapist and client. However, I sensed that I would likely have greater impact for good by developing the Eating Disorder Hope website to serve the global online community. It appears this was the right choice as we now have over 4 million visitors a year to the Eating Disorder Hope online community and are able to provide resources, information and treatment options to eating disorder sufferers, their loved ones and providers.

What advice would you give to someone new to the field?

Seek out connections with colleagues who also specialize in eating disorders. They will likely end up being some of your closest friends and will help you develop personally & professionally.

Attend the major eating disorder conferences to earn CE/CEU credit, network and stay abreast of all the developing trends and evolutions in treatment. Walk around the exhibition booths and learn about the various providers and programs.

Take care of yourself and realize that you must be able to set effective boundaries between work and home life, in order to go the distance in your career.