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Frances Weiss

  • ASSOCIATE CLINICAL PROFESSOR Preventive Medicine
  • LECTURER Psychiatry
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Education

  • B.S., Kent State University

  • M.S.W., Hunter College School of Social Work

Biography

    Fran Weiss is an expert clinician with twenty-five years of experience in the treatment of weight regulation and body image among the obese and disordered eating populations. She has a private psychotherapy practice, individual and group, for adults and young adults with neurotic, affective, mood, adjustment, and character disorders, as well as weight regulation issues. Her sub-specialty, the clinical area where she started her career 34 years ago, is in the special needs of gynecological oncology patients and their families. She also treats the emotional ramifications of infertility and menopause. She devotes time to clinical research at the New York Obesity Research Center (ORC), St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center, University Hospital of Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, NYC, working in collaboration with Xavier PiSunyer, M.D., Director.

    Fran Weiss belongs to a number of professional societies including American Group Psychotherapy Association, Academy for Eating Disorders, Eastern Group Psychotherapy Association, and the National Association of Social Workers, Private Section. She holds Board Certified Diplomates in psychotherapy from the former American Board of Psychotherapy, in Clinical Social Work from the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work and from the National Association of Social Workers. She is also a certified group psychotherapist through the American Group Psychotherapy Association.

    Fran Weiss is a leader in the field of body image and weight regulation, and has made important contributions to our understanding of the childhood and adult-traumatic origins of symptomatic (psychogenic) obesity. She has written extensively, and lectured to public and professional communities on the etiology and treatment of body image and weight disorders. She has incorporated her innovative treatment methods in her pioneering psychotherapy workshop, BITE: The Body Image Transformation ExperienceTM for patients struggling with these issues.

    Fran Weiss is committed to raising professional and public awareness of the emotional component of life-impairing weight disorders. She specializes in conducting "training of trainers" programs. Recent workshops for professionals include "The Body Image Workshop: An Integrated Group Therapy Model focusing on Distorted Body Image in the Adult Disordered Eating Population" for the American Group Psychotherapy Association, and "Treating Anorexia, Bulimia, and Compulsive Overeating in the Group Setting" offered at the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Conference. The latter workshop was given in collaboration with two other experts in the field. She is a lecturer, supervisor, mentor, staff guide and consultant; a writer and staff book reviewer for the American Journal of Psychotherapy; a faculty member with National Group organizations and guest lecturer nationally and abroad; and a TV resource person for women's health and body image issues.

    Sam Klagsbrun, M.D., mentored Fran Weiss's preliminary work in oncology and hospice care. She began work in weight regulation under Theodore B. VanItallie, M.D., and Henry Jordan, M.D., at the New York Obesity Research Center (ORC). The Research Center is one of the only NIH funded Centers to focus on the study of metabolism, weight regulation, diabetes, and obesity. For over 25 years, she has been the Senior Psychotherapy Consultant for the clinical arm of the (ORC), as well as for the Joslin Clinic. As a member of the clinical research team, she guides and mentors medical, psychiatric, and non-medical staff on the psychological aspects of weight regulation and on group therapy techniques.

    A graduate of Hunter College School of Social Work in 1971, she has completed extensive postgraduate study and training under Henry Spitz, M.D., Bertram Pollens, Ph.D., ABPP, and Franklyn Springfield, PhD., Her work is influenced by Anne Alonso, Ph.D., and David Krueger, M.D.

Research

The psychodynamics of body image and self perception. Weight regulation, obesity, compulsive overeating, and binge eating disorder. Bulimia and anorexia nervosa.

Publications

Weiss F. Body-Image Disturbances among Obese Adults: Evaluation and Treatment. American Journal of Psychotherapy 1986 Oct; 40(4): 521-522.

Weiss F. Private Social Work Practice for Obese Adult Clients. Journal of Independent Social Work 1989; 4(1).

Weiss F. Group Psychotherapy with Obese Disordered-Eating Adults with Body Image Disturbances: An Integrated Model. American Journal of Psychotherapy 2004; 58(3): 281-303.

Weiss F. Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy for the Obese Disordered-Eating Adult: A Contemporary View Special Edition in Eating Disorders. Group 2006 Dec.

Industry Relationships

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Dr.Weiss is not currently required to report Industry relationships.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website at http://icahn.mssm.edu/about-us/services-and-resources/faculty-resources/handbooks-and-policies/faculty-handbook. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.

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