About Abigail Natenshon
Over 35 Years of Eating Disorder Specialty Practice
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(847) 432-1795

Eating Disorder Specialist

Read about Abbie’s Books
Abbie's free online-access textbook chapters and journal publications
New Online Telehealth Eating Disorder Therapy Groups Offered
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Meet Abigail Natenshon

Healing eating disorders; Empowering parents and families who suffer from them; Educating and mentoring Health professionals who treat them

  • Renowned Psychotherapist
  • Consultant and Life Coach
  • Best-selling Author

Specializing in diverse treatment approaches to include trauma and attachment issues as they impact eating disorders and their recovery

Providing telehealth specialty treatments for individuals, groups and families world-wide

Offering neuroscience-informed somatosensory treatment innovations that harness the nervous system in facilitating mind, brain, body integration to further core Self recovery.  

Publishing widely in professional journals, textbooks; her own two pioneering books have placed her at the forefront of eating disorder research and practice.

Appearing as an expert on numerous television and radio programs through the decades, Abigail has become a spokeswoman for eating disorder healing and prevention. 

5-star reviews

Renowned as the foremost eating disorder psychotherapist on Chicago’s north shore, 

Abigail Natenshon…psychotherapist, certified eating disorder specialist, author, consultant, and director of Eating Disorder Specialists of Illinois… offers in-person and telehealth treatment to individuals and groups within an International community of eating disordered patients and their families throughout the United States, Europe and China, where her book, When Your Child has an Eating Disorder, was translated into Orthodox Chinese. 

Abigail is passionate about her work.  In caring deeply and genuinely about her patients, she inspires self-esteem, self-trust, self-confidence, self-actualization, self-regulation, and ultimately, Self-Integration…the cornerstone of sustainable eating disorder recovery.  Through her seasoned and versatile skills, versatile use of self, and compassionate attunement with her patients and their families, Abigail has brought hundreds of hard-to-treat patients to a complete and sustainable recovery. 

Abigail treats all forms of clinical eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, picky eating syndrome, ARFID, body dysmorphia disorder and activity disorders/ exercise bulimia. Her use of diverse and integrative treatment modalities serve children, adolescents, adults, parents, families and therapy groups, through relationship-based treatment techniques such as Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, and Trauma-Informed Therapy with its particular relevance for eating disordered victims. Having written the first book in the field about the pivotal role of parents in a child’s recovery, Abigail strongly encourages family involvement in the treatment of children and young adults with ED, providing consultation, mentorship and advocacy to parents and families in the interest of fostering recovery. She also provides case consultation for treatment team professionals who seek a better understanding of the unique and integrative requirements for effective eating disorder treatment.

Abigail’s pioneering books, professional journal publications and numerous original articles have made a significant contribution to the eating disorder field. Known for her innovation within the eating disorder field, through her training as a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner of Somatic Education©, she combines traditional and innovative treatment strategies, bringing holistic, cutting-edge brain research into traditional eating disorder practice, healing the neuroplastic brain, as she heals the patient. Abigail utilizes mindfulness-based body-movement and breathing techniques to achieve mind-brain-body integration, diminishing body image distortions, improving one’s relationships with food, others and one’s own increasingly integrated Self.  

During her career, Abigail has made numerous television and radio appearances as an eating disorder expert, having been interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, John Walsh, and numerous network news outlets in her effort to educate the public about what eating disorders are, and how they heal.  She maintains a private practice in Highland Park, Illinois where she resides with her husband. 

Read about Abbie’s Books

Read about Abigail’s Unique Philosophy of Care……

  • ED are integrative disorders. Integrative treatment must address all aspects of dysfunction: physiological, nutritional, emotional, behavioral, cognitive, social, relational, biochemical and neurobiological.

  • The collaboration of a team of professionals with diversified expertise enhances timely, effective recovery. Outpatient treatment teams require a therapist who is comfortable treating both patient and family, a nutritionist, a medical doctor, and a psychopharmacologist when needed.

  • Eating disorders are family system disorders. Parents and families play a pivotal role in healing the young person living at home. Enlightened, empowered parents become Most Valuable Players on their child’s treatment team.

  • The quality of the therapeutic connection between the therapist and patient (as well as family) is based on the therapist’s genuine caring and healthy attachment to the eating disordered patient. Scientific evidence points to the psychotherapeutic relationship as pivotal in achieving successful treatment outcomes.

  • The therapist’s versatile and transparent use of self, moment-to-moment within the committed treatment relationship, provides constant incentive for the resistant patient to heal.

  • Psychoeducation is essential in refuting myths and misconceptions about these disorders and how they heal, evoking the patient’s empowerment, and accountability to treatment tasks and challenges within the recovery process.

  • The proactive and outcome-based therapist seeks continual and consistent change, with an intentional, focused and passionate goal-orientation.

  • The roots of eating disorders reside in the brain and nervous system. In treating both the patient and the brain, the use of adjunctive body-movement (neurophysiological) interventions enhances body image and facilitates self-integration, offering new options that enhance all life functions.

Testimonials from Recovering Patients

“Abbie, you are a remarkably rare therapist, mentor, support system, and friend! I have worked with more than a few therapists in my lifetime, but I have never been able to achieve the changes that I have made with you. My life has been transformed in the most fulfilling and gratifying ways by your endless intelligence, patience, love, and confidence in me! I am deeply thankful and appreciative for all that you have taught me and all the love you have bestowed upon me. You are a blessing in my life .”…  ThirdEye

“I had seen 5 therapists before finding you.  None of them scratched the surface.  In our very first session I knew immediately, this was going to be a different experience.  I felt as though I was transparent in your presence…you were the first therapist who was able to see, and speak to, the person I really was.  Though it terrified me on some level, I knew this was “it” for me if I was to have any quality of life. Now, 3 years later, I am my own, whole person, through our powerful and lovely relationship.  My ED voice is still, with me at times, but I carry your voice in my head, crowding it out. I could never have become what I am today without you.”   ST Age 54

"Working with Abbie is like having a wooly afghan wrapped around you on a wintry day…comfy, cozy and safe."
    -- KL, a psychotherapy patient

Abbie…You are “smart” in ways that surpass psychology.  The depth of your wisdom seems almost “rabbinical,” which means so much to me because we share similar values in the way we see the world.  With all the Advanced Placement courses I took in high school, my sessions with you were clearly the most challenging and gratifying hours of my week.  RK

Abbie is kind, understanding, and expert in her field.  Very passionate.  Someone you will never forget!  She will touch your life…forever.  Sue Perno

“I am beyond grateful for your guidance, expertise, commitment, patience and friendship during our 2-year relationship. Your unique ability to listen, actively and purposefully, has resulted in unparalleled insights. You come to each session with such a nurturing spirit, that in spite of myself I feel a renewed sense of hope for becoming a better version of myself. Thank you for believing in me…. as a result, I am learning to do the same.” … JB

Psychotherapy via Telehealth

“I’ve had several therapists in the past, and none of those experiences have produced any real results – let alone make me think more deeply about the underlying reasons behind my behaviors. Even though our sessions have been purely by telephone, I am already encouraged by how fast I feel I am getting to the root of my issues. 

Our work together comes without judgment, without pressure and without fear, and for the first time I feel comfortable being entirely honest about my problems. This ability to be completely truthful is what has held me back in the past, and is what is allowing me to move forward now.  Many thanks.”    PG          ...also via Skype and Zoom

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