An eating disorder is a mental health condition where people use the control of food to cope with feelings and other situations.  Our wellbeing team are experienced in helping many patients with these conditions. 

Unhealthy eating behaviours include eating too much or too little food or inappropriate worrying about weight or body shape. 

High profile iconic images such as sports stars,  music stars or social media icons has created a social environment where people often try to emulate of copy their heros.  Whilst anyone can get an eating disorder, teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 are the most commonly affected. 

Broadly speaking there are 5 main ‘labelled’ Eating Disorders:

  • Anorexia Nervosa
    • Weight control by not eating enough food, exercising too much or doing both 
  • Bulimia
    • Losing control over food consumption and then taking drastic action to not put weight on
  • Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
    • Eating excessive portions of food resulting in severe discomfort
  • Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED)
    • Where eating disorder symptoms do not specifically match the expected symptoms of the other specifically defined eating disorders
  • Avoidant / Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) 
    • When certain foods are avoided or food intake is limited (or both) – but not driven by concern about body shape or weight


An Eating Disorder is a psychological illness which manifests itself in a physical condition. Having an eating disorder is NOT a choice or a PASSION, it is an illness that one may need professional help to understand and work through. An eating disorder does NOT need to be for life. There is a way OUT!

Having an eating disorder can be like having a best friend and an enemy at the same time! Using food/weight is a way to cope and survive in life.  It can also help the sufferer to manage difficult emotions and experiences they may have gone through, or are currently experiencing.

The ‘voice’ of an eating disorder is usually stronger than the spirit of the client, so the empathetic support, understanding and relationship from their therapist are all essential parts of the teratment.

Those suffering with eating disorders are normally highly self-critical. It can also be a common theme that a person suffering with an eating disorder feels bewildered, chaotic and out of control. 

Therapists endeavour to create a calm, safe and reassuring environment, whilst validating the ‘whole’ of the person, in order that the  client can potentially move forward.

An eating disorder is an illness that takes over their brain as well as masquerading as an identity that assumes inside their head, which sufferers switch into without even noticing.

Denial of an eating disorder is common and can often represent a defence mechanism in which the sufferer genuinely believes they are not suffering (the eating disorder is concealing painful feelings) and that they are well. 

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Your Specialists

Dr Javier Quintero

Consultant Psychiatrist (Adult and Child/Adolescence)

Areas of expertise

-Anxiety - Bipolar affective disorder (Maniac and Depressive episode) - Cyclothymia - Depression - Eating disorder - Grief & Bereavement - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Panic attacks & panic disorder - Personality disorders (Cluster A, B and C) - Phobias - Post natal depression - Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) / Trauma - Schizophrenia and other psychosis - Seasonal affective disorder - Self Harm - Stress - Adaptive Disorders - Behavioral disorders secondary to neurological pathologies (Alzheimer's disease, Huntington etc.) - Sleep disorders - Substance abuse or dependence - Treatment resistant depression - Parenting difficulties Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist: - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD) - Autistic Spectrum Disorder - Emotional Disorder (oppositional defiant disorder, learning and conduct disorder) - Phobias - Affective Disorder (Depression and Bipolar) - Neurodevelopmental Disorders (learning disability, intellectual disability) - Anxiety - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Tourette’s Syndrome - Low self-esteem - Relationship difficulties, sleep disorders, substance abuse or dependence , bullying

Education and professional training

Hospital Reina Sofia de Cordoba ( Spain). Consultant Psychiatrist.

Professional Qualifications, Associations & Accomplishments

Master propio in Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. UKCMC & GMRB Registered C.E.U. University San Pablo. Spain University Expert Cognitive behavioral therapy in childhood and adolescence problems U.N.E.D Psychiatrist Trainee (Consultant)

Professional experience

I have a very wide experience in Adult and CAMHS in the U.K and Spain.

Languages spoken

English and Spanish


Sport, fishing and music

When we give ourselves the time and space to listen to our hearts, without judgement, then we have our answers and we know what needs to be done. When we feel understood, then we are no longer alone and we find the power to do it. It's good to talk."

Dr Karen Surridge NNEB; BSc(Hons); PGCert; ClinPsyD; MBPsS, CPsychol

Chartered Clinical Psychologist / Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Areas of expertise

Therapy: Generalised anxiety, panic, obsessions and compulsions (OCD), phobias, depression, suicidal thoughts, reactions to trauma, hoarding issues, attachment/relationship difficulties, behavior problems, and others. Integrates ideas, approaches and techniques from different therapies tailoring the treatment to suit each individual client. (Cognitive Behavioral (CBT); Rational Emotive (REBT); Mindfulness; Psychodynamic; Narrative; Systemic; Solihull Approach; Meriden Project, Pre-Therapy work and others). Offers training at different levels: for healthcare professionals, teachers, general public, teams etc.

Education and professional training

West Kent College, Tonbridge, NNEB (Childcare and Education) University of Kent at Canterbury, BSc(Hons) Newman University College, Birmingham, PGCert (Clinical Applications of Psychology) University of Birmingham, Birmingham, ClinPsyD (Doctorate in Clinical Psychology)

Professional Qualifications, Associations & Accomplishments

UK Registration with Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Gibraltar Registration with Gibraltar Medical Registration Board (GMRB) Member of the British Psychological Society Chartered status with the British Psychological Society Publications range from papers in academic journals and articles published by the Department Of Health (UK), to articles disseminated at conferences, and magazine articles. Research and publications have resulted in achievements such as discussion in BBC Radio 4 interview; team nomination and shortlisting for a number of service awards and named as winner of NHS Care Trust Award. Member of the Division of Clinical Psychology

Professional experience

Initial training as a Nursery Nurse prior to studying psychology. First Assistant Psychologist post in the GHA, followed by three Assistant Psychologist posts in the NHS in UK before completing the doctorate. Since 2013, Dr Surridge has worked for the GHA and the Specialist Medical Clinic, also offering her expertise upon request to various Government departments, charities, organisations and companies.

Languages spoken

Fluent English, understands Spanish


Spending time with family, Helping others, Learning

Dr Louise Barber, BSc (hons), PhD, DClinPsy

Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Areas of expertise

Mood disorders (including, depression, suicidal ideation, bi-polar disorder and self harm) Anxiety disorders (including obsessive compulsive disorders, intrusive thoughts, panic disorder) Anger management Addictions Physical Health Conditions (including CFS/ME, Oncology, COPD, Renal, Dermatology) Weight Management and Bariatric Eating Disorders Gender identity Self Esteem Stress and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Personality Disorders Rape & sexual abuse Bereavement & loss Relationship Difficulties Clinical Supervision

Education and professional training

Sheffield Hallam University University of Wales, Bangor NHS, Open University

Professional Qualifications, Associations & Accomplishments

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) Qualified Mindfulness Practitioner Qualified Yoga Teacher NHS Leadership and Management Qualifications Advanced Clinical Supervision training Member of BPS & HCPC

Professional experience

Having initially trained as a nursery nurse in 1998 and working with children with special needs, in various schools in Yorkshire, I trained as a counsellor in 2001 and worked in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre whilst at university studying to become a clinical psychologist. After qualifying n 2004 I worked in the North Wales adult mental health services for number of years before moving to Salford Royal Hospital NHS Trust in Manchester in 2011 where I was employed to develop a psychological oncology service. As a consultant psychologist, my role extended beyond the original brief and I became responsible for leading psychological services in dermatology, oncology, CFS/ME and weight management / bariatric surgery. I specialized in individual group work combined with cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness. As a team we provided an on-call service for a range of physical health conditions for the hospitals in-patients. Over the years I have been honored to have been invited to teach on a number of post graduate psychology doctorate programs at the Universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Wrexham and Bangor (Wales). I have published several academic papers and presented at numerous academic conferences. I left the UK in 2018 to take up a position at the Ocean Views mental health facility in Gibraltar. Whilst there I set up a gender identity service. This contract ended in 2021 and since then I have been working as a consultant clinical psychologist for an NHS London Trust providing a mood and personality service via on-line consultations.

Languages spoken



In my spare time I love cycling, skiing, dancing, hiking, badminton, swimming and reading. I also really enjoy learning Spanish and spending as much time as I can with my 3 grandsons.