As a teenager, Patricia Pitts journeyed through a very dark and lonely time in her life. Feeling a combination of teenage angst, confusion and loss of control, she sought to exert power over the thing closest to her: her body. “If I successfully restricted what I ate, I would feel better, knowing that I had exerted command and control over my impulses. My thin body was a reinforcing outcome to that cycle.” And it soon led her to a host of negative outcomes, thought patterns and loss of health.
She plunged into a battle with anorexia nervosa that was to last four years. As her passion to explore her own inner world led her to a career in psychology, she was able to apply her sharp intellect to her own thought patterns and start her road to recovery from the grips of the insidious mental disorder. Initially during her training, she pulled away from specializing in eating disorders, wishing to apply her talent to other areas of counseling.
As a post-graduate, when she learned about current treatment models for eating disorders, often based on other addiction treatment modalities, she immediately recognized the fallacies, inaccurate assumptions and limitations they presented. Having been on the journey herself, she knew she could guide patients through the labyrinth to wellness in a very effective and personal way. Because it was a journey she herself had experienced.
Today, Dr. Patricia Pitts is a national eating disorders expert who pioneered a comprehensive approach to wellness that has been employed at her highly successful treatment centers for nearly 30 years.
As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (Ph.D), she has counseled thousands of patients struggling with eating disorders. She brings this special insight to patients who courageously undertake the challenge to a fuller, richer, more fulfilled life. It’s her life’s passion.
Now Dr. Pitts understands that her personal challenge to reach wellness and wholeness was preparing her for something greater. Her journey was laying the foundation to fulfill her life’s purpose and passion – to provide an environment where hope, empowerment and healing are restored for those who are fraught with illness, yet who yearn to live a beautiful life.
Her journey has led her to an extensive and career developing, directing, and consulting innovative eating disorder programs for inpatient, outpatient, and private group therapy practices. In 1985, she established The Bella Vita Eating Disorder Program. This first treatment center would be the threshold for her purpose and passion for healing to begin. Currently, as founder and CEO, she has nurtured and expanded The Bella Vita’s treatment programs to offer healing and wellness in residential, day treatment, intensive outpatient, and outpatient services locations in Los Angeles, La Canada Flintridge, Woodland Hills, and Thousand Oaks.
Keeping a keen focus on the goal of providing a trusted and superior eating disorder treatment center, she prudently selects her clinical and medical staff to ensure each one of The Bella Vita’s patients receives the finest insight, education, and the skills they need to once again live a full life. In an approach that is comprehensive, compassionate and personalized.
Dr. Pitts’ expertise has led her to be recognized for her contributions to the field of eating disorders, mental health, and business. She was chosen as the Weight Control & Eating Disorder Specialist of the Year in 1999 and accepted honors to be listed in the Who’s Who National Directory of Executives and Professionals and awarded the Program of the Year by the Adult Psychiatric Program. Her numerous broadcast appearances include Good Morning America, CBS’ The Doctors and news programs such as KCAL, CBS and MSNBC, among others. Her radio broadcast appearances include segments on KRLA, KABC, and others. She was featured in the aired documentary “Prisoners of The Flesh”. She was also a columnist for Choice Magazine.
Dr. Patricia Pitts holds a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Cambridge Graduate School of Psychology. Also she holds a Master’s degree in Theology from Fuller Seminary along with being a licensed Marriage, Family and Child Therapist.
Dr. Patricia Pitts’ Professional Profile
1989 – Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology – Cambridge Graduate School of Psychology, Los Angeles, CA
1982 – Master’s Degree, Theology – Fuller Seminary, Pasadena CA
1979 – Bachelor’s Degree, Speech Communication – Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL
Clinical Psychologist; Marriage and Family Therapist
Memberships and Affiliations
California Psychological Association
American Association of Marriage, Family & Child Therapist
California Association of Marriage, Family & Child Therapist
International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals
National Eating Disorders Association
Academy for Eating Disorders
Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
Binge Eating Disorder Association
Industry & Media Recognition
Renowned Speaker at national and international eating disorders conferences & workshops
Eating Disorder & Weight Control Specialist of the Year, 1999
Covington Who’s Who V.I.P.
Who’s Who National Director of Executives and Professionals
Recipient of the National Program of the Year (CPC Psychiatric Hospitals)
Featured on ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’ The Doctors NBC’s Woman to Woman, NBC’s Extra, Leeza Gibbons Show, Charles Grodin Show
Featured on news networks KCAL, CBS and MSNBC
Columnist for Choice Magazine
Editorial Blogger for BlogHer.com
Forum Expert at MedHelp.com