Color Photo of Carolyn Costin


A spirited, engaging individual Carolyn is renown as a clinician, author, and speaker acclaimed for her expertise, passion and accomplishments in the eating disorder field.

In her early twenties, Carolyn recovered from anorexia nervosa, earned two masters degrees, became a teacher and began her career as a psychotherapist.

An impassioned and dedicated educator, Carolyn loved the 8 years she spent as a high school and community college teacher. Teaching remains an important aspect of Carolyn's work as an eating disorder therapist and as a professional trainer and supervisor.

After treating her first eating disorder client in 1979, Carolyn recognized it was her calling. Her successful treatment of those with eating disorders led her to develop and direct several inpatient eating disorder facilities during the period of 1987 to 1996.

One night in the mid-1980s, Carolyn literally had a dream about an eating disorder program she had created in a beautiful mountain setting. In 1996, ten years later, Carolyn's dream became a reality when she walked onto property near Malibu, California known as Monte Nido. Carolyn recognized the property and house from her dream and knew she was destined to turn it into the first licensed, eating disorder residential in a home setting.

Known for bringing "Care of the Soul" to her treatment philosophy and work settings, Carolyn was the first to combine eastern healing modalities, such as yoga and meditation to state of the art eating disorder treatment. She was also the first to openly hire recovered therapists, have staff and clients eat meals together like a family, and provided a unique level system where clients shopped and cooked for themselves prior to discharge.

Carolyn's humanistic, relational approach, her 5 books delineating treatment guidelines and what it takes to become recovered, combined with Monte Nido's highly successful outcome study (www.montenido.com) spurred the growth of Monte Nido, under her leadership, into14 facilities offering a continuum of care, including another first; transitional living. Carolyn left Monte Nido & Affiliates in early 2016 while continuing to be active in the eating disorder field.

Carolyn maintains her outpatient therapy practice, "Community Counseling" and involvement in several professional eating disorder organizations and advocacy groups, continuing to share her clinical insight and wisdom in a variety of ways you can explore through this website.


Click here for Carolyn's full CV



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A personal note  from  Carolyn Costin

To My Friends and Colleagues:

Just over 20-years-ago, I opened Monte Nido, making a longtime dream of mine a reality; a home for people with eating disorders to come together and heal with myself and other recovered staff among those serving as guides.  I took all of the necessary ingredients of a homelike setting surrounded by nature.  It was the first of it’s kind.

Monte Nido was an endeavor of many firsts: first licensed treatment center for eating disorders in a home, first to incorporate yoga and meditation, first to have a recovered female as its sole owner and clinical director, first to require all staff to eat with clients, first to openly use recovered staff, first to conduct a 10-year – and ongoing – outcome study, and first to be able to show significant success rates.  It has been an amazing, magnificent, challenging, rewarding, and spiritual soul journey… providing endless lessons and growth. 

Some of you know about the 3-month sabbatical I took in November to care for my husband, Bruce, after he suffered two hear attacks.  After my sabbatical ended, I made the very difficult decision to not return to Monte Nido.

 My heart and soul will always be with Monte Nido.  A web has been woven there connecting so many people together in a unique, special, and sacred way.  There are no words to describe what Monte Nido has come to stand for in my life and the lives of those who have come there seeking help or seeking to be helpers.  Monte Nido is truly a Soul School for anyone crossing its threshold.  Not to mention the magic that surrounds Monte Nido and the fairy dust that sprinkles itself on all beings who find themselves there.

I love the connections I have made at Monte Nido and through Monte Nido with so many of you….  Relationships remain the most important thing to me.  I am not disappearing, just graduating from Monte Nido, so please know that you can call, text, email, or write me anytime.  Whatever I came here to do, I am not done yet.

In 1996, at the very first Monte Nido staff meeting, before we opened our doors, I discussed my desire to model ourselves after the Great Northern Geese.  It seems fitting to end my official involvement with Monte Nido on the same note:

How do the Great Northern Geese Travel Thousands of Miles…. In Perfect Formation?   As each of the great birds moves its wings, it creates a steady uplift for the bird behind it.  Formation flying is 70 % more efficient than flying alone.  It appears as though one single bird is the guide, winging courageously through the oncoming elements.  However, when the lead bird tires, it rotates back into the formation and another bird becomes leader… When one gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. They then launch out again to join another formation, or catch up with their own flock.
– from "Lessons from the Geese" by Dr. Rober McNeish

I am letting the flock continue on it’s own now,
I bless them and all of you on the miles of journey ahead…

May we all be at peace.
May we know the beauty of our own true nature.
May I we healed.
May I we a source of healing to the world.
-Tibetan prayer

Carolyn Costin
Founder, Monte Nido & Affiliates

Carolyn Costin MA, MEd, LMFT, CEDS, FAED
LMFT#:  13192 (California)   LMFT#: T0535 (Oregon)
Community Counseling for Individuals & Families, Inc.
27162 Sea Vista Drive Malibu, CA 90265 
Website: www.carolyncostin.com
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