EATING DISORDERS: Assessment and Treatment

Madeline Altabe, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and Eating Disorders Specialist

As seen on a Sussex Directories Inc site“My practice is a warm, inviting and safe place for clients to work towards their goals, develop stable, happy, and calmer emotions and be more effective in their work and relationships. Much of my focus is on how people are doing now in their lives and what they want for their future. I prefer a collaborative approach using the knowledge and skills of psychology, to help people reach their individual goals.”

 “I came upon my eating disorders specialty out of an interest in the interplay between personal, biological, family and cultural influences. I think of an eating disorder as a place people get stuck along the way towards greater growth, understanding and relating. I enjoy helping people reach a better place.

Why should I have a psychological assessment before bariatric surgery?  read  the Answer

Clinical Expertise

Dr. Altabe’s clinical expertise is widely known in the treatment of adolescents and adults with eating disorders, compulsive overeating, post-bariatric surgery counseling, depression, anxiety and illness coping. She provides assessment for eating disorders, clearance for bariatric surgery and diagnosis and treatment for chronic pain. Dr. Altabe also provides Alpha-Stim Therapy and Couples Counseling using Gottman Therapy.

Consultation and Peer Supervision

Dr. Altabe provides consultation and peer supervision for eating disordered clients and community-focused mental health awareness.

Scholarly Presentations

Altabe, M. (2013, September). Teaching Scientific Inquiry in Applied Professional Programs – Online. Keynote Presentation, University of the Rockies Academic Conference.

Gordon, K., & Altabe, M. (2013, January). Case Study: Anorexia Nervosa. Presentation for the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals – Tampa Bay Chapter.

Altabe, M., Takagishi, S.C., & Kaly, P. (2004, April). Assessment of social desirability in pre-bariatric surgery patients: Use of the Paulhus Deception Scale. Poster Presented at the International Meeting of the Academy of Eating Disorders: Orlando, FL.

Sterling, S. & Altabe, M. (2003, October). Teaching foundation courses for applied graduate students. Poster presented at the Argosy University Academic Conference: Alexandria, VA.

Altabe, M. (2001, November). Eating Well: Promoting healthy behavior change in a client-centered, culturally-sensitive manner. Workshop presented for the Tampa Bay Association for Women in Psychotherapy, Tampa, FL.

Altabe, M., Wood, K., & Thompson, J.K. (2000, June). The CIS: A test and a task for measuring body schema activation. Poster presented at the 12th annual convention of the American Psychological Society, Miami Beach, FL.

Altabe, M., Powers, P., Cross,, T., Lazega, B., & Thompson, J.E. (1998, November). Thinking smart about negative body image: An investigation into the accessibility of negative body image cognition. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eating Disorders Research Society, Cambridge, MA.

Altabe, M. & Sanocki, T. (1996, November). Body image and visual search. Poster presented at the 30th Annual Convention of the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, New York, NY.

Altabe, M. (1996, June). Cultural aspects of eating disorders and body image. Workshop presented at the 49th Summer Metting of the Florida Psychological Assocation, Palm Beach, FL.

Altabe, M., & Thompson, J.K. (1995, November). Co-Chairpersons. Cogntive Processing in Body Image and Eating Disorders. Symposium presented at the 29th Annual Convention of the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, Washington, DC.

Altabe, M., Winfield, C., Akridge, S., & Thompson, J.K. (1995, March). Cultural diversity in body image assessment: Qualitative and quantitative analysis. Poster presented at Southeastern Psychological Association Convention, Savannah, GA.

Altabe, M. (1993, November). The subjective view of body image: Multicultural Application of a Cognitive Schema Assessment Method. Paper presented at the 27th Annual Convention of the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, Atlanta, GA.

Altabe, M. (1993, June). Issues in the Assessment of Body Image. Paper presented at the West Coast Chapter meeting of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals. Seminole, Florida

Altabe, M. & Thompson, J.K. (1993, March). Body image schema and body image disturbance. Paper presented at the Southeastern Psychological Association Convention, Atlanta, GA.

Altabe, M., & Thompson, J.K. (1992, November). A cognitive schema approach to body image. Poster presented at the 26th Annual Convention of the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, Boston, MA.

Altabe, M., Thompson, J.K., & Rothfield, M. (1991, March). Cognitive aspects of body image: Is there a body schema? Paper presented at the Southeastern Psychological Association Convention, New Orleans, LA.

Altabe, M.N., & Jenkins, J.J. (1990, April). Beverage categorization by dieters, nondieters and those with eating disturbances. Paper presented at the Southeastern Psychological Association Convention, Atlanta, GA.

Penner, L., & Altabe, M., (1990, April). The effects of empathy on professional and nonprofessional helping. Paper presented at the Southeastern Psychological Convention, Atlanta, GA.

Penner, L.A., & Altabe, M.N. (1989, May). Determinants of psychological helping. Paper presented at the Third International Conference on Prosocial Behavior, Nagstead, NC.

Levine, B., Altabe, M., Reed, D., Shealy, S., & Sacco, W.P. (1988, June). The condom attitude survey: An initial investigation. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Florida Psychological Association, Key West, FL. 

Altabe, M.N., & Levy, C.L. (1987, March). Some social aspects of body image. Poster presented at the Southeastern Psychological Association Convention, Atlanta, GA.


Altabe, M. (unpublished manuscript). A.. Therapist, her Clients and the Web: An Exploration of Social Comparison, Professional Boundaries and Positive Action in the Age of the Internet.

Altabe, M. (2014). Coping with chronic illness and the “Just World Hypothesis.” In (no editor) Transform Your Life. Clearwater, FL: Transformation Publishing.

Altabe, M., Wood, K., Herbozo, S., & Thompson, J.K. (2004). The Physical Appearance Ambiguous Feedback Scale (PAAFS): A measure for indexing body image related cognitive bias. Body Image. 1(3), 299-304.

Altabe, M. & O’Garo, K-G. N. (2002). Hispanic Body Images. In T.F. Cash & T. Pruzinsky (Eds.) Handbook of Body Image. New York: Guilford Publications. 

Altabe, M.N. (2001). Issues in the assessment and treatment of body image disturbance in culturally diverse populations. In J.K. Thompson (Ed.) Body image, eating disorders, and obesity: An integrative guide for assessment and treatment. Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association. 

Thompson, J.K, Heinberg, L.J., Altabe, M., & Tantleff-Dunn, S. (1999). Exacting beauty: Theories of body image disturbance. American Psychological Association Books: Washington DC.

Altabe, M. (1998). Ethnicity and body image: Quantitative and qualitative analysis. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 23, 153-159.

Altabe, M. (1996). Issues in the assessment and treatment of body image disturbance in culturally diverse populations. In J.K. Thompson (Ed.). Eating Disorders, Obesity, and Body Image: A Practical Guide to Assessment and Treatment. Washington D.C.: American Psychological Association Books.

Altabe, M. & Thompson, J.K. (1996). Body image: A cognitive self-schema construct? Cognitive Therapy and Research, 20:2, 173-195.

Altabe, M., & Thompson, J.K. (1995). Advances in the assessment of body image disturbance: Implications for treatment strategies. In L. Vandercreek (Ed.). Innovations in Clinical Practice, Volume 14. Sarasota, Florida: Professional Resource Press.

Altabe, M. & Thompson, J.K. (1994). Body image. In Encyclopedia of Human Behavior. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Thompson, J.K., Altabe, M., Johnson, S., & Stormer, S.M. (1994). Factor analysis of multiple measures of body image disturbance: Are we all measuring the same construct?. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 16, 311-315.

Altabe, M. & Thompson, J.K.. (1993). Body image changes during early adulthood. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 13:3, 323-328.

Altabe, M., & Thompson, J.K. (1992) Size estimation vs. figural ratings of body image disturbance: Relation to body dissatisfaction and eating dysfunction. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 11:4, 397-402.

Otten, C.A., Penner, L.A., & Altabe, M.N. (1991). An examination of therapists and college students’ willingness to help a psychologically distressed person. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 10, 102-120.

Thompson, J.K., Fabian, L.J., Moulten, D.O., Dunn, M.E., & Altabe, M.N. (1991). Development and validation of the physical appearance related teasing scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 56, 513-521.

Thompson, J.K., & Altabe, M.N. (1991). Psychometric properties of the figure rating scale. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 10:5, 15-19.

Altabe, M.N., & Thompson, J.K. (1990). Menstrual cycle, body image and eating disturbance. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 9:4, 395-401.

Thompson, J.K., Penner, L.A., & Altabe, M.N. (1990). Procedures, problems, and progress in the assessment of body images. In T.F. Cash & T. Pruzinsky (Eds.), Body images: Development, deviance and change. New York: Guilford.

Altabe, M., & Thompson, J.K. (1990). Book review: Unlocking the family door. Journal of Integrative and Eclectic Psychotherapy.

Professional Affiliations

American Psychological Association
Florida Psychological Association
National Eating Disorders Organization
International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals – Tampa Bay Chapter.

Contact Information

For appointments, call The Kovner Center for Behavioral Health and Psychological Testing   (770) 729-0123


3965 Holcomb Bridge Road, Suite 102, Norcross, Georgia 30092

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