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Eating Disorders

Dr. Jan Mark Burte - Eating Disorders



Within his private practice over the past twenty-five years, Dr. Burte has worked with a diverse range of eating disorders. He is a past Associate Director of at the Hofstra Health Dome in Uniondale, New York, where he focused on treating obesity. He has, in his private practice, worked with individuals experiencing excess weight gain, obesity, bulimia, anorexia nervosa and food phobias. He completed a one-year post–doctoral practicum at the Renfrew Treatment Center where he focused on eating disorders. Other than in situations where underlying medical conditions or medications cause weight gain, obesity is not a symptom, it is an outcome of maladaptive thoughts and behaviors. Individuals overeat or make poor food choices for a diverse range of reasons. For some, overeating is a coping or protective mechanism. For others, it is a way of life. Still others use it to compensate for deficits in their life, past or present. Often, physical and emotional pain can lead to changes in eating habits and consequent weight gain.




Dr. Burte’s approach to weight management is through uncovering the mechanisms, which are maintaining the excessive weight and addressing the behaviors and thoughts that are the self-definition of the person. His philosophy is that from the moment we are born our minds and bodies know how to take care of us. We naturally strive for health, balance and homeostasis. However, when emotional issues and life events impact upon us we move away from letting our mind and body take care of us.


The goal of therapy is to “de-hypnotize” the patient away from the issues which unnaturally maintain the weight. The concept is that is one consciously understands the harmful effects of excess weight or poor food choices then one must be utilizing very powerful negative suggestions to allow themselves to override the mind and bodies desire for maximum health. The individual patient learns the triggers and inert messages which keep them overweight. Through psychotherapy, education, hypnosis, imagery and adaptive choices, the patient gradually evolves into an individual who simply and comfortable lives a lifestyle resulting in weight-loss.


For patients with medical conditions which require dietary changes (e.g., diabetes, hyperlipidemia), nutritional guidance alone may be insufficient to lead to behavioral change. Psychotherapy and or hypnotherapy may provide the insight and support needed for the individual to embrace the changes necessary to achieve health benefits.


Bulimia is a cycle of compulsive binging, typically followed by the need to purge as a means to control weight. Left untreated, serious medical and dental consequences can occur. Anorexia is often viewed as an extreme desire for thinness. However, the disorder should be better viewed as a struggle for control in combination with a hypercritical sense of self. It is manifested through limiting of food intake and/or the use of excessive exercise or laxatives toward the goal of achieving increasing thinness. It is associated with a body dysmorphia in which the patient perceives themselves as overweight regardless of their level of emaciation. Anorexia is a potentially fatal disorder, which, if left untreated, can result in organ damage or death.