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Hi, I'm Kristen Ales I'm a therapist who specialized in disordered eating and negative body image. My passion for this work comes from years of disordered eating myself. After losing a significant amount of weight as a teenager and receiving praise and validation from friends, family, and even teachers, I became hyper-focused on my body. For me this looked like constantly body checking, spending thousands of dollars on clothes, going to the gym twice a day, weighing myself daily, and thinking about food 24/7.
This also looked like periods of bingeing that would sometimes last days, weeks, or months. For me, this looked like, “I’ll eat a ton because the diet starts Monday”. The cycle of bingeing and restricting had become so normal for me that I wasn’t even aware of how disordered my relationship with food was. My weight went up and down, rapidly. I was the queen of the crash diet, always on a quest to receive more praise and validation.
I began my work as a therapist through working as a guide in the outdoors. I have worked in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Yosemite, Colorado, Hawaii, the Grand Canyon to name a few. When I was in these places all of a sudden, my appearance wasn’t the only thing I cared about. I started to seek out adventure rather than restriction. I began to develop a relationship with my body that was accepting and more appreciative. The people around me started to celebrate my personality and not my pants size. I felt the weight of my disordered eating and negative body image start to dissipate.
Since then I have received my master’s degree in Wilderness Therapy, and have dedicated my practice in helping women navigate their way towards building accepting and compassionate relationships with their bodies. I work from the lens of building trust within your body and unlearning the messages and beliefs that have been fed to us through media and years of patriarchal socialization. I currently work with womxn virtually in the state of Oregon.