Feature Friday: Norman Kim, PhD of Reasons Eating Disorder Treatment Center

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This week, we are pleased to be featuring Norman Kim, PhD on the BALANCE blog! Continuing with the theme of our previous Feature Fridays this month for Men’s Health Month and Pride Month, we are celebrating Norman’s great contributions to the eating disorder community. Through his work, Norman has been continuously dedicated to help those that struggle with eating disorders, especially those in the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized communities.

Norman completed his B.A. at Yale University where he studied music and psychology, and was the recipient of a Mellon Fellowship for Research in Psychiatry. He completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at UCLA, where he was the recipient of an individual National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health to study the neurobiologic underpinnings of emotion recognition and understanding in Autism. Most recently he has been involved in a multi-site, longitudinal study of children and adolescents at risk for developing bipolar disorder.

In conjunction with his research, Norman has developed an expertise in treating and teaching about psychiatrically complex populations, multi-modal treatment, and diagnostic assessment. While rooted firmly in empirically supported approaches, he has incorporated practices emphasizing somatosensory integration and that draw from eastern and traditional medicine with our current knowledge of the neurobiologic and cognitive processes underlying anxiety, mood, trauma and eating disorders. He has endeavored to develop a clinical approach that focuses on the exploration of meaning as a path to healing and that honors an individual's’ own narrative and journey.

Norman is a frequent, national speaker and educator, and is a passionate advocate for eating disorder awareness and translating research into clinical practice. He was the co-founder of the Reasons Eating Disorder Center and is a regular national speaker, educator, and advocate for eating disorder awareness. He is on the Board of Directors of the Eating Disorders Coalition, the Eating Disorder Advisory Council for the Joint Commission, and the Clinical Advisory Boards for Recovery Warriors, Spectrum CBT, and Tikvah V’Chizuk. He is the National Director for Program Development for Reasons Eating Disorder and Center for Change.

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Earlier this year, Reasons joined the National Eating Disorders Association and The Trevor Project to do a national assessment on eating disorders amongst LGBTQ youth. The survey found a high prevalence of eating disorders and disordered eating among LGBTQ youth reporting over half had been diagnosed with an eating disorder. You can learn more about the findings here.

Last year, Norman shared on NEDA’s blog in a post about how to address the lack of diversity in eating disorder professionals sharing, “It has been well established that eating disorders do not discriminate. Women and men from ethnic minority groups and those in LGBTQ communities suffer from eating disorders at similar or higher rates than in the general population. On top of the serious impact that eating disorders have on all those affected, people from ethnic minority groups and from the LGBTQ community must often grapple with long histories of additional stigma and marginalization, resulting in multiple doses of shame and understandable reasons for experiencing self-hatred....People from these groups are under-identified by professionals and tend to receive treatment for eating disorders at significantly lower rates”

He also shared these words of wisdom with Eating Disorders Resource Catalogue: "I have great hope that with proper education and advocacy, we can do better about recognizing these struggles earlier in all people who are suffering.”

We could not agree more! We at BALANCE appreciate Norman’s fierce advocacy work to spread awareness for those that are at risk to struggle in silence.

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Learn more about Reasons Eating Disorder Treatment Center here.

Follow Reasons on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Melainie Rogers