I’m Melissa Gerson, the Founder and Clinical Director of Columbus Park. I started Columbus Park [Collaborative], the first private eating disorder day-treatment program in NYC, in 2008. Since then, Columbus Park has evolved and refined its role in the eating disorder community and I’m proud to say that we’re the only feedback-informed (FIT)*, evidence-based outpatient eating disorder treatment center in Manhattan.
A bit about my background: I’m a native New Yorker who transplanted to Miami, Florida at age 18 to dance with the Miami City Ballet. After seven years, touring with the MCB company, I retired from ballet and came back to my NY roots to attend Columbia University as a Psychology major. I went on to earn a master's degree in social work at New York University. I soon started a private therapy practice, developing more and more of an interest and expertise in disordered eating. I benefited from years of individual case consultation and supervision, working with experts like Judith Brisman, PhD, Julie Goldfein, PhD and faculty from NYU Psychoanalytic Institute, William Alanson White Institute and NY State Psychiatric Institute. I completed the two-year post-graduate training program in psychodynamic psychotherapy at NYU's Psychoanalytic Institute. I also completed trainings in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy at the Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia, NYC and the Eating Disorders, Compulsions and Addictions program at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis & Psychology.
I am a Certified Family-Based Treatment Therapist, having completed advanced training and extensive consultation in Family-Based Treatment ("Maudsley) through the Training Institute for Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders. Without a doubt, FBT certification is among my proudest achievements. FBT is the gold-standard treatment for childhood and adolescent eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia; I am thrilled to be able to support families so effectively in beating these potentially devastating illnesses.
In Columbus Park, I’ve created a true center of excellence, with a robust team of skilled and engaging clinicians. I’m grateful for the impact we’ve had on so many lives thus far… and look forward to continuing to make a powerful mark in the field for many years to come.
*Feedback informed treatment involves routinely and formally soliciting feedback from clients so that the therapist can respond promptly and accordingly to better meet the client’s needs.