Hello! My name is Azhar and I am the Program Director for the LGTC Eating Disorder IOP.
I got my undergraduate degree from UC Santa Barbara and after a brief detour at Stanford, where I was exploring an option to become a researcher, I got my Masters in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University. Even though I love science, I realized that I love working with people directly so much more.
During my first internship I worked at an Eating Disorder treatment center and I loved it so much, that I continued developing my specialty in treating Eating disorders ever since. My passion for treating EDs comes from personal experience of being a woman in a weight-focused society. I believe that it is a human right and a basic necessity to feel at peace with one’s body and food. I really enjoy helping my clients to break free from ED thoughts, stop the negative cycle of restricting-binging-purging and find their strength and authenticity.
In my work I utilize a variety of evidence-based approaches, including Family Based Treatment (FBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). I am currently in training for Emotionally Focused Family Therapy (EFFT). I also work towards getting the CEDS (Certified Eating Disorder Specialist) designation from IAEDP (International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals).
Over the years being a therapist I continue to marvel at the resilience that people have. I am constantly inspired by how people have a capacity to go on despite many internal and external roadblocks. For me, the most important lesson has been to trust people’s process, their inner wisdom and empower them to take reigns into their own hands.