UNC Eating Disorders Program Expands Services

The University of North Carolina Eating Disorders Program is pleased to announce the expansion of services. We will immediately be offering comprehensive assessments and expanded outpatient services at the UNC Neurosciences outpatient location and at two off-campus locations as part of the UNC Mental Health Specialists community-based private practice.

Our Locations

UNC Outpatient Eating Disorder Program
1st Floor Neuroscience Hospital
101 Manning Drive, Chapel Hill


UNC Mental Health Specialists
110 Conner Drive, Suite 4
(across the road from the Dillard’s side of University Mall)


UNC Mental Health Specialists
4414 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 509
(located on the Rex Hospital Campus)

For more information about any of the services offered by the UNC Eating Disorders Program, please call our intake coordinator Tori Toles, RN at (919) 966-7012.

Introducing Our New Team Members

Jennifer Richards, MD, MBA

Dr. Richards is a graduate of the joint MD/MBA program at the University at Buffalo. She completed the General Psychiatry residency training program at UNC Hospitals in 2009, and graduated from the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at UNC Hospitals in 2010.  Dr. Richards is eager to join the eating disorders program at UNC in September 2010 as the inpatient eating disorders attending physician. Dr. Richards’ areas of interest include eating disorders, psychotherapy, developmental disabilities, and PTSD.  Although she hails from Buffalo, NY, she and her family consider themselves at home in North Carolina.

Michelle Scotton Franklin, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC, FNP-BC

Ms. Franklin completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing at UNC Chapel Hill and has dual certification as both a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner.  She provides care for patients at all the levels of care within our eating disorder program.  Her role includes completing initial psychiatric and medical diagnostic evaluations within both the inpatient and Partial Hospitalization patient populations and continuing care until their discharge as well as maintaining an outpatient practice.  She provides complete psychiatric diagnostic evaluations for intakes into the eating disorder program and performs physical assessments for the research participants in the active research studies being conducted here at UNC for eating disorders.  Michelle is passionate about working with individuals with eating disorders as she particularly enjoys partnering with each individual working to assist them with achieving improved health and happiness.

Sara Lotchin, LCSW

Sarah Lotchin, LCSW is a Clinical Instructor with the Department of Psychiatry’s Eating Disorders Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Sarah received a BA in psychology from UNC in 1996 and her MSW from Syracuse University in 1998.  Sarah has over 10 years of experience working with children and families in crisis.  She has developed cognitive behavioral therapy groups in residential settings, provided outpatient counseling services to military members and their families, and worked in a variety of inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.  Most recently, Sarah was the Director of a self-contained elementary school in Washington, D.C. for children with severe emotional and behavioral disabilities.   At UNC, Sarah’s primary focus is providing both individual and family therapy in the Eating Disorder Outpatient Clinic.  Sarah’s uses a combination of Solution Focused, Cognitive-Behavioral and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy approaches in individual sessions.  Family therapy is centered around the Family Based Treatment (FBT) or the Maudsley approach when working with caregivers, siblings and significant others, all who play an important role in the recovery process.

Millie Maxwell, PhD

Millie Maxwell, PhD is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the UNC Eating Disorders Program. She works individually with patients who struggle with a range of eating disorders and who often suffer from depression, anxiety, and other difficulties.  Her education includes a post-doctoral fellowship with the UNC Eating Disorders Program, a PhD in counseling from NCSU, an MA in English from NCSU, and a BA in English from Wake Forest University. She also recently completed a 9 month extramural training program in cognitive therapy with the Beck Institute in PA. She has taught every level of student—from graduate students to kindergartners–and now loves helping patients develop lifelong skills to improve their self-awareness, relationships, and overall quality of life. She especially enjoys leading behavioral weight control groups and looks forward to helping develop and implement additional groups to support patients with eating disorders. Her research interests primarily lie in the prevention and early intervention of eating problems. She aided in the creation of PACE, an online prevention program for college students, and DADS, a program to educate fathers of middle school girls.

Introducing Our New and Continuing Services

In addition to our inpatient and partial hospitalization programs, we are pleased to be offering these new and continuing outpatient services. A variety of services are available both through our outpatient program as well as via a number of federally funded clinical research trials. Current and upcoming outpatient services are listed below. More information is available at www.unceatingdisorders.org.

New service. Group Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Binge Eating Disorder.

Starting in September, we will be providing group CBT for binge eating disorder. These groups will teach evidence-based CBT principles for the treatment of BED using guidelines from the book “Crave: Why You Binge Eat and How to Stop” with additional support from a CD-ROM based program POWER: Preventing Overweight through Exercise and Reasoning. Groups are planned in Chapel Hill and Raleigh.

Continuing service. Behavioral weight loss groups.

Weight loss is a gradual process. Speedy diets may work in the short-run but typically do not result in long-term weight maintenance. Long-term behavioral weight control programs usually result in a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week, depending on several factors (e.g., initial body weight, adhering to the lifestyle change). Based on the evidence, the UNC Eating Disorders Program offers a 5-month (20-week) Behavioral Weight Control Program which incorporates the important behaviors associated with long-term weight control. This program focuses on BEHAVIORAL strategies for weight control and HEALTHY NUTRITION. Groups contain 10-12 participants who meet for one-hour per week from 12:00-1:00 pm OR 5:15-6:15 pm (days vary) to learn several skills and strategies to produce a permanent lifestyle change. All groups are facilitated by Dr. Millie Maxwell, Clinical Assistant Professor.

New service. Motivational enhancement groups.

Making the decision to seek treatment for an eating disorder is a difficult one. Many people find themselves paralyzed by the decision as the eating disorder may seem like the only solution in a world filled with problems. This special group will assist individuals unsure about initiating treatment and those who have had difficulties fully engaging in treatment to work through the important issue of treatment motivation. Using cognitive-behavioral and supportive principles, this group will help patients progress through stages of change in order to support and enhance recovery and quality of life.

Continuing service. Couples therapy for anorexia nervosa (UCAN) (clinical research trial)

UCAN is a research program funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and is part of the UNC Eating Disorders Program. UCAN aims to help couples work together in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. Couples participate in UCAN over a period of six months and return for follow-up treatment three months after the end of the original six-month period. Your participation in UCAN can help you gain new confidence in facing anorexia as a team and can help us understand how best to involve partners in the treatment of eating disorders. During their participation in UCAN, couples will be randomly assigned (like a coin flip) to receive 20 sessions of either:

  • Couples Therapy
  • Family Supportive Therapy

In addition, the patient also receives comprehensive treatment for anorexia nervosa from the UNC Eating Disorders Program at no additional cost, including:

  • Individual Psychotherapy
  • Psychiatry Consultations
  • Nutritional Counseling

Continuing service. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for bulimia nervosa (clinical research trial comparing face to face group therapy with on-line chat based therapy)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Bulimia Nervosa (CBT4BN) is a research study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, and is a collaborative project between the UNC Eating Disorders Program, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center with technical support from the University of Heidelberg’s Center for Psychotherapy Research. CBT4BN compares two types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is the evidence-based treatment of choice for bulimia nervosa: face-to-face CBT; and internet-based CBT, delivered through www.cbt4bn.org. Participation in CBT4BN takes place over a five-month time period. Participants return after initial treatment for 3, 6, and 12 month follow-ups. During their participation in CBT4BN participants will be randomly assigned (like a coin flip) to receive 20 sessions of either:

  • Face-to-face group therapy
  • Internet-delivered group therapy

In addition, participants will also receive comprehensive treatment for bulimia nervosa at no additional cost, including:

  • Psychiatric consultations
  • Nutrition counseling

Continuing service. NURTURE (parenting program for mothers with histories of eating and weight concerns)

Nurture is a collaborative pilot study for mothers of children under the age of 3 who have suffered from disordered eating in the past. It is coordinated by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University and Virginia Commonwealth University and sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health. Nurture hopes to promote confident parenting and a positive feeding environment.

During their participation in Nurture, mothers participate in 16 group sessions. Topics include:

  • Parenting styles
  • Behavior management
  • Managing your child’s feeding and eating
  • Genetics of eating disorders
  • Cultivating a positive body image in your child

Through the discussion of the above topics during the course of the 16 group sessions, the Nurture intervention hopes to teach mothers how to:

  • Create a healthy mealtime environment
  • Buffer children from unrealistic weight & shape expectations
  • Model healthy body acceptance

For more information about any of the services offered by the UNC Eating Disorders Program, please call our intake coordinator Tori Toles, RN at (919) 966 7012.