About MTK

MTK is directed by Marian Tanofsky-Kraff, PhD


Dr. Tanofsky-Kraff is a Professor and Researcher based in Bethesda, Maryland. She currently directs two clinical research laboratories focused on the prevention of excess weight gain and disordered eating.

Dr. Tanofsky-Kraff’s program is focused on the intersection of high weight and eating disorders. Her research addresses questions about the risks, protective factors, maintenance, consequences, and prevention of excess weight gain, with a particular focus on psychological factors that promote unhealthful weight. Her work has emphasized the assessment of eating behaviors with the goal of endophenotyping pediatric eating patterns that promote excess weight gain. She has directed large-scale intervention trials aimed at preventing obesity and eating disorders in adulthood among at-risk populations. As a result, she is considered an international expert in the clinical assessment of child and adolescent disordered eating and psychological and behavioral aspects associated with high weight.

Dr. Tanofsky-Kraff has published over 230 peer-reviewed papers and chapters, has been awarded research funding from highly competitive agencies. She has also served as a mentor for 18 training grants for doctoral students in clinical psychology and early career psychologists. As a part of her independent research efforts, she collaborates with the foremost experts in the fields of eating and weight disorders.

She is the recipient of numerous awards for her research excellence and impact. She is Fellow and Past Council Member of The Obesity Society, Fellow and Past Board Member of the Academy for Eating Disorders, and is Past President and Board Member of the Eating Disorders Research Society.

Dr. Tanofsky-Kraff began her career as a Research Associate at the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders. She then pursued her PhD in clinical psychology, during which time she trained at the Children’s National Medical Center and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health, where she also pursued her post-Doctoral fellowship.

Dr. Tanofsky-Kraff is currently a tenured Professor of Medical & Clinical Psychology and Medicine, and an adjunct Professor of Pediatrics. She has collaborated with and mentored researchers at numerous medical schools including Columbia, Brown and Harvard.

Dr. Tanofsky-Kraff has briefed congressional staff on high weight and eating disorders in pediatric and high-risk populations. Grateful to have been trained by the leaders in her field, she has since committed decades to training the future leaders in eating disorder and obesity research and prevention.

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1 Mission: Helping your adolescent

Our Treatment Team of Specialized Clinical Psychologists

Lisa Ranzenhofer, PhD

Training:

  • Columbia University Medical Center, Post-Doctoral Fellowship
  • Brown University Alpert Medical School of Medicine, Residency & Post-Doctoral Fellowship
  • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, PhD
  • National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health & Human Development), Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellowship
  • Cornell University, BS

Dr. Lisa Ranzenhofer is an Assistant Professor and Researcher in New York City. She received her PhD in Medical and Clinical Psychology from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. She also received specialty training in eating and weight disorders at Brown University’s Weight and Diabetes Research Center and the Center for Eating Disorders at Columbia University Medical Center. She currently conducts research examining the psychosocial and biological underpinnings of eating and weight disorders. Dr. Ranzenhofer is also developing technological approaches to improve problematic behaviors outside of the therapeutic environment. Specifically, she is testing the use of smartphones and biosensors to study how stress and emotions relate to disordered eating behaviors. Dr. Ranzenhofer has over a decade of experience treating eating and weight problems in children, teens, adults, and families. She has expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, behavior strategies, parent coaching/training, and family-based therapy depending on the needs of the individual or family.

Natasha L. Burke, PhD

Training:

  • National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health & Human Development), Post-Doctoral Research Collaborator
  • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Post-Doctoral Fellowship
  • Brown University Alpert Medical School of Medicine, Residency
  • University of South Florida, PhD
  • New York University, BS, MA

Dr. Natasha L. Burke is an Assistant Professor in New York City where she is engaged in research, teaching, and clinical supervision. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of South Florida. She received specialty training in eating and weight disorders during her doctoral and post-doctoral studies and during her residency at Brown University. Her research focuses on psychosocial and environmental risk factors of eating and weight disorders in children, adolescents, and emerging adults. She has a particular interest in the intersection of one’s social identities (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status) on risk and treatment for eating and weight disorders. Dr. Burke teaches graduate and undergraduate classes on child psychotherapy, psychopathology across the lifespan, and health psychology. She provides clinical supervision to advanced clinical psychology doctoral trainees seeing child and adolescent clients. She is also Associate Editor at the International Journal of Eating Disorders, the field’s flagship eating disorder journal. Dr. Burke has over a decade of experience treating eating and weight concerns in children, teens, and adults. She has expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, behavioral strategies, and parent coaching/training in individual and group settings.

Natasha Schvey, PhD

Training:

  • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Yale School of Medicine, Predoctoral Fellowship
  • Yale University, Department of Psychology, MS, MPhil, PhD
  • National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health & Human Development) & Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Research Assistant
  • Northwestern University, BA

Dr. Natasha Schvey is an Associate Professor in Bethesda, MD. She received her BA from Northwestern University and her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Yale University. She completed her predoctoral fellowship in Behavioral Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine/Yale New Haven Hospital and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. She has an active line of research investigating stigma, eating behaviors, and health among individuals with high body weight as well those identifying as LGBTQ+. Dr. Schvey has received funding for her work from the American Psychological Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Defense, and has published over 75 papers and chapters. Her research has been featured in media outlets such as the New York Times, NPR, NBC News, Forbes, BBC Newsday, and People Magazine. She has been invited to speak to community, scientific, and academic audiences around the country. Dr. Schvey is deeply committed to reducing weight-based stigma and promoting size-inclusive approaches to health in both her research as well as her clinical practice. She has nearly 15 years of experience helping children, adolescents, and adults navigate challenges with their eating, weight, and mood. Taking a collaborative, client-centered approach, she draws from cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, and behavioral frameworks.

Omni Cassidy, PhD

Training:

  • NYU Grossman School of Medicine, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Clinical Residency
  • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, PhD
  • Uniformed Services University and National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health & Human Development), Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellowship
  • Washington University in St. Louis, BA

Dr. Omni Cassidy, PhD, is an Assistant Professor and Researcher in New York City. She received her PhD in 2019 in Medical and Clinical Psychology from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and completed her clinical residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Cassidy completed her postdoctoral fellowship at NYU Grossman School of Medicine in the T32 Population Health Science Scholars Program. Dr. Cassidy’s research is at the intersection of food, culture, and technology. She received an F31 training award sponsored by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to examine the effect of racially-targeted television food ads and food-related attentional biases on eating behaviors in Black adolescent girls. Her current work focuses on leveraging innovative technologies to assess the physical and digital food environments and equip communities with navigating unhealthy food environments. Dr. Cassidy has nearly 10 years of experience treating eating and weight problems in children, teens, and families. She has expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, behavior strategies, parent training, and family-based therapy. Dr. Cassidy is ultimately committed to promoting higher quality food environments for the planet and people, particularly high priority populations.

MTK is a Resource for Specialist Approaches for the Treatment and Prevention of Eating Disorders and Unhealthful Weight.

Providers often seek our guidance in diagnosis and recommendations for early intervention possibilities.

We work closely with medical and psychological practices to help families identify issues and work towards solutions.

Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter to get updates on the latest research on Pediatric Disordered Eating and High Weight


© Copyright 2022 Marian Tanofsky-Kraff Psychology PLLC. All Rights Reserved.

From the desk of:    Marian Tanofsky-Kraff, PhD

A Message for Parents…

Dear Parents,

I know first-hand that parenting is tough work. And, parenting a child with health or psychological challenges can be overwhelming – particularly with issues that have few clear answers…

When your child fractures a finger in soccer or Little League, it will heal – and there is one specialist your pediatrician may refer you to – an orthopedist. Likewise, antibiotics will clear up strep throat. Unfortunately, reducing unhealthful weight gain or disordered eating are less clear.

For nearly 30 years, I have observed the frustration that parents experience when their child is rapidly gaining weight or showing signs of disordered eating. Given that there are so many factors involved, parents often feel overwhelmed and occasionally unheard when they express their concerns.

And that’s why I built this assessment practice for pre-adolescents and adolescents with eating and high weight concerns. It is so important that a path is cleared for families that would benefit from my experience during what can be a difficult and uncertain time.

My time available for clinical assessments is very limited. I remain deeply dedicated to moving research forward with my colleagues around the world. For me, this is a ‘weekend-only’ practice based in New York City and Bethesda, MD. However, I am fortunate to be joined by several highly talented clinical psychologists whom I have helped train over the years – many of whom are also available during the week for therapy, if indicated.

Weight and eating are sensitive topics – and often involve an expansive process to determine the best approach for intervention. Thus, a key part of my role is to serve as a “quarterback” for your family as you manage the many possibilities.

My approach is similar to a neuropsychological assessment, but for eating and weight. I conduct eating disorder and general psychiatric interviews, as well as interviews to understand sleep patterns, relationships and social functioning, and family health history. I also assess eating behaviors and psychological traits that have been linked to disordered eating and high weight. In concert with health information from primary care providers, I develop a conceptualization in a report that provides near, medium and long-term recommendations. After the assessment, I provide potential referrals.

As scientists and healthcare providers know, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Indeed, preventing eating disorders and the health problems associated with high weight can be easier than treatment. And, youth are very often more responsive to intervention than adults. In fact, many families even report reduced tension and greater optimism just from having made the decision to reach out to our practice.

Wishing you and your family the best,

Dr. Marian Tanofsky-Kraff

Dr. Marian Tanofsky-Kraff

Let's talk.

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