Licensed Clinical Psychologist




A major area of professional focus for me has been in the treatment of eating disorders over the past 12 years. While living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I was the founding Clinical Director for two separate eating disorder programs. As Clinical Director of New Dawn Eating Disorder Recovery Center, I launched three levels of care: Intensive Outpatient, Partial Hospitalization, and Residential Treatment. More recently, I headed up La Ventana Eating Disorder Program's Partial Hospitalization, Supportive Living, and Intensive Outpatient Programs in San Francisco. I maintained a primary focus on direct patient care, providing individual, group, and couples/family psychotherapy.

I have held positions treating eating disorders at The University of Chicago Hospital, Eating Disorders Recovery Center of Athens, GA, the Eating Disorders Program at the Medical College of Georgia, and Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Francisco.

I have also held psychotherapist positions at three chronic pain management clinics (Center For Pain Control near Chicago, the Augusta, Georgia VA Medical Center, and Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Chronic Pain Clinic). In both eating disorder and chronic pain settings, I have extensive training and experience treating co-occurring depression, PTSD, chemical dependency, OCD and other anxiety disorders.

I received my Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado and my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School.

My own psychotherapy with renowned psychiatrist and author Dr. Irvin Yalom has greatly informed my therapeutic style.

Eating Disorders

I provide empirically-supported treatment for Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorder. I was the founding Executive Clinical Director for two eating disorder programs in the San Francisco Bay Area, and have witnessed firsthand what type of treatment approach leads to successful recovery. I teach my clients to overcome their food and body image fears by using a non-dieting approach to eating. By learning to stop categorizing foods into “good” or “bad”, my clients learn to eat from all food groups in moderation and are able to find a healthy weight for their body type.

The focus of psychotherapy is on building coping skills to help replace the eating disorder behaviors. I also help my clients find balance in their personal relationships with family, significant others, and friends, as well as in their academic or professional lives.

  • Individual Psychotherapy: Individual psychotherapy sessions are scheduled as frequently as needed. I am able to accommodate multiple sessions per week for individuals requiring intensive treatment.

  • Email Support: At no additional charge, I encourage my clients to be in touch with me via email throughout the week to help make progress toward his/her specific treatment goals. By corresponding through email, there is less need to review the events of the week and therefore more time in session to focus on underlying issues that are maintaining the eating disorder behaviors. Progress occurs more quickly as a result.

  • Nutritional Support/ Meal Planning: I am able to provide my clients with meal planning and nutritional support, when needed. I typically do this within the individual psychotherapy session and then utilize email as a way to help the client stay on track day-to-day with the meal planning goals we set in session together.

  • Family Psychotherapy: I provide family systems psychotherapy as well as the family-based approach/ Maudsley Method.

  • Group Psychotherapy: I provide a variety of groups both to my own individual psychotherapy clients as well as to individuals who have an outside therapist. Those interested in group should schedule an intake appointment to determine which group is the right fit and go over guidelines for participation. Here are some of my current group offerings.

  • Interpersonal Process Group: This group is designed to help participants discover and explore the underlying issues associated with their eating disorders. The open format allows for participants to discuss any present issues with which they are struggling. The goal of the group is to develop healthier ways to relate to oneself and to others.

  • Recovery Goals Group: This group helps participants make important lifestyle changes that are needed in order to reach their treatment goals. Reducing eating disorder symptoms, improving sleep hygiene, reducing medical complications associated with the eating disorder, boosting self-care, and lowering stress are at the forefront in terms of focus. A variety of modalities are utilized to achieve these objectives, including an ongoing discussion of struggles and roadblocks to recovery and skills-training.


I provide cognitive-behavioral therapy for individuals with chronic pain. I help individuals improve pain-related problems and overall coping strategies. I coordinate care with other medical and health care professionals (e.g., Primary Care Physicians, Chronic Pain Specialists, Psychiatrists, Physical Therapists, Chiropractors) to optimize treatment.

Anxiety Disorders

I frequently treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in my private practice. I utilize a combination of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Existential Therapy tools throughout the treatment process.

Social Anxiety Disorder is another area of focus professionally. I integrate Interpersonal Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral techniques to address symptoms.

A significant subset of my clients are victims of trauma such as sexual assault. I utilize Cognitive Processing Therapy and Interpersonal Psychotherapy to resolve trauma-related symptoms.


Having worked with individuals with Major Depressive Disorder throughout my career, I am very experienced evaluating the degree of mood impairment and the type of treatment needed. I utilize a variety of psychotherapy treatments, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal and Existential. The focus of psychotherapy is on increasing life satisfaction and self-esteem, strengthening coping skills, improving day-to-day functioning, and making healthy lifestyle choices. Close coordination of care with other health care providers, such as psychiatrists and primary care physicians, is another important aspect of treatment.


I am not an in-network provider. I do not bill insurance. You may be eligible for out-of-network benefits but need to check with your insurance company. I can provide you with a “Super Bill” (a receipt) at the end of each month with the information needed for your insurance to process the claim. Your insurance may or may not reimburse you for part of my fee. If you need “Super Bills” more frequently than monthly, please let me know and I will assist you with this.

Cancellation Policy

Unless you provide 24-hour cancellation notice, you are responsible for paying in-full fees associated with the missed appointment.



Main Office

Erin Elfant, Ph.D.

560 Higuera Street, Ste H
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
P: (805) 540-0636