Clinical Psychologist in Private Practice, Assistant Clinical Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry, UCSD School of Medicine
Dr. Joy Jacobs is a clinical psychologist, assistant clinical professor at UCSD School of Medicine, and published author who provides individual, family and group therapy for adults, adolescents, and children with eating disorders (including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder), food addiction and weight management concerns. She has trained in multiple treatment modalities, including family-based therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and interpersonal psychotherapy. Dr. Jacobs is one of the few officially certified providers of family-based treatment for eating disorders nationwide and internationally.

Dr. Jacobs was  Director of Behavioral Interventions for Jenny Craig, helping hundreds of thousands of people struggling to live healthier lifestyles. She continues to consult for both large, international corporations and individuals worldwide.

Dr. Jacobs regularly appears on various media outlets, including The Doctors, Fox 5 San Diego and has been an expert cited in many national publications, including Elle, US News and World Report, the Today Show and more, on the issues of eating disorders, body image, food addiction, weight management and related topics. Joy is the author of a blog sponsored by Psychology Today and Gurze books, titled One More Bite.

Dr. Jacobs helped develop an innovative intensive family therapy program at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and was its lead family therapist. She was on the founding team of the clinic, where she completed a postdoctoral fellowship under the mentorship of internationally renowned eating disorders expert, Dr. Walter Kaye. Dr. Jacobs designed the DBT program for the UCSD Intensive Outpatient Eating Disorder Program and facilitates group skills training groups as well as providing individual and family-based psychotherapy. Dr. Jacobs has extensive experience in utilizing family-based treatments for adolescent anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, as well as for pediatric overweight and obesity. In addition, she has facilitated internet-based discussion groups for college-age women at high risk for the development of eating disorders.

Dr. Jacobs serves on the Professional Advisory Panel for Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders (F.E.A.S.T). She served on the panel of expert advisers for the Beacon Street Girls, a content company shaped by leading experts in adolescent development and current research on how to positively impact girls’ self-esteem. She is a member of the Academy for Eating Disorders and serves on its Media Affairs Committee. Dr. Jacobs also supports the American Dietetic Association, the Eating Disorders Coalition, and the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

Dr. Jacobs obtained her PhD in clinical psychology at the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. She completed her undergraduate work at Duke University, graduating summa cum laude and completed her JD at Harvard Law School. Among her activities prior to pursuing a career in psychology, Dr. Jacobs worked in New York as an intellectual property attorney and on the editorial staff of Vogue magazine.


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