Eating Disorder Traits in Recovery: Temperament Informed Treatment for Eating Disorders

Hardwired for Both an Eating Disorder and Recovery:  Is it Possible?

PRESENTER: Tamara Pryor, PhD, FAED and Caroline Neumann, PsyD

DESCRIPTION: This presentation will focus upon temperament traits that may be viewed as risk factors for the development and maintenance of Eating Disorders (EDs), but also facilitate positive outcomes for recovery.  Temperament and character has been shown to be important in the onset and in the treatment of eating disorders.  Recently new information has emerged suggesting that people who develop EDs often have traits, such as perfectionism, reward dependence, avoidance, inhibition, and hypervigilance.  This workshop will conclude with a discussion about the implications for the de-stigmatization of EDs and developing trait-based treatments.


At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss how to identify and measure temperament traits in EDs.

  2. Identify specific ED traits which can be utilized as strengths in recovery.

  3. Discuss treatments that have been developed to constructively utilize the ED traits.

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Dr. Tamara Pryor, PhD, FAED

Dr. Tamara Pryor has been privileged to work in the field of eating disorders for the past 30 years. She spent 16 years as an Associate Professor and Director of the Eating Disorder Program at the University of Kansas – School of Medicine, four years as Co-director of the PATH Eating Disorders Clinic, and three years at Wichita Psychiatric Consultants as the Director of eating disorder services before coming to Eating Disorder Center of Denver.


Dr. Pryor conducts research and has published articles examining personality disorders, substance abuse, multi-impulsive behavior, sexual functioning, and cognitive rigidity in the eating disordered individual. She has presented both nationally and internationally, and she co-authored a prevention curriculum and textbook as well as co-authored 3 chapters in a textbook on Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse. Dr. Pryor is a founding member of the Eating Disorder Research Society, a Fellow of the Academy of Eating Disorders and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Eating Disorders Association. She has a MSW from Wayne State University, a MA in Rehabilitation Counseling, as well as a PhD in Psychology from Southern Illinois University. She completed a fellowship in child psychiatry and a fellowship in eating disorders at the University of Kansas – School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine



Caroline Neumann, PsyD

Caroline Neumann graduated from the University of Mississippi with a BA in Psychology. She later attended Reformed Theological Seminary and received her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling. After living in Malawi, Africa, teaching college-level counseling courses and providing mental health services, she returned to the states and earned her PsyD at Rosemead School of Psychology in La Mirada, CA. She then completed her Pre-doctoral Internship at the University of Northern Colorado with a focus in eating disorders and her Post-doctoral fellowship at EDCare.


Following her training, Dr. Neumann served as a primary therapist for 5 years and is now the Regional Director of Clinical Services.  She is an advocate for the discovery of each individual patient separate from their eating disorder by the exploration of past and present experiences, creation of new emotional experiences, and the empowerment of the patient towards behavioral change. She also enjoys public speaking and has done numerous presentations across the country.  Dr. Neumann is a licensed psychologist in the state of Colorado.