Dr. Adler is passionate about the intersection between behavioral health and technology to increase access to care. She is currently an attending Psychologist in the Eating Disorder and Weight Control Clinic and specializes in both research and clinical care for patients with disordered eating behaviors. Dr. Adler is the Author of The DBT Solution for Binge and Emotional Eating, which was originally written and tested for her doctoral dissertation. Dr. Adler currently teaches and supervises students and post-doctoral fellows in evidence based treatments.

Clinical Focus

  • Psychology

Academic Appointments

  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Professional Education

  • Professional Education:PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium (2010) CA
  • Fellowship:Stanford University School of Medicine (2013) CA
  • Internship:VA San Diego Health Care System (2010) CA

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

I am interested in the design and delivery of clinical care using, data and technology. I have focused on disordered eating behaviors and obesity.

Clinical Trials

  • FDA Approved Medication to Reduce Binge Eating and/or Purging Not Recruiting

    This study will demonstrate the efficacy of Qsymia versus placebo in treating bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Debra L Safer, MD, 650-723-7928.

    View full details


All Publications

  • Early Adherence Targeted Therapy (EATT) for Postbariatric Maladaptive Eating Behaviors COGNITIVE AND BEHAVIORAL PRACTICE Robinson, A. H., Adler, S., Darcy, A. M., Osipov, L., Safer, D. L. 2016; 23 (4): 548-560
  • What variables are associated with successful weight loss outcomes for bariatric surgery after 1 year? SURGERY FOR OBESITY AND RELATED DISEASES Robinson, A. H., Adler, S., Stevens, H. B., Darcy, A. M., Morton, J. M., Safer, D. L. 2014; 10 (4): 697-704
  • How smartphone applications may be implemented in the treatment of eating disorders: case reports and case series data Advances in Eating Disorders: Theory, Research and Practice Darcy, A., Adler, S., Miner, A., Lock, J. 2014
  • Group dialectical behavior therapy adapted for obese emotional eaters; a pilot study NUTRICION HOSPITALARIA Roosen, M. A., Safer, D., Adler, S., Cebolla, A., van Strien, T. 2012; 27 (4): 1141-1147


    Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) has been shown to effectively target binge eating disorder (BED). This study pilots the effectiveness of group DBT for obese "emotional eaters" to reduce eating psychopathology and achieve weight maintenance. Thirty-five obese male and female emotional eaters receiving 20 group psychotherapy sessions of DBT adapted for emotional eating were assessed at end-of-treatment and 6 month follow-up for reductions in eating psychopathology and weight maintenance. DBT resulted in significant reductions in emotional eating and other markers of eating psychopathology at the end-of-treatment that were maintained at follow-up. The drop-out rate was very low, with only 1 participant dropping from treatment. Thirty-three (94%) of the sample provided data at every assessment point. Of these, 80% achieved either weight reduction or weight maintenance after treatment and throughout the follow-up period. The effect size for weight reduction was small. This pilot study demonstrates group DBT targeting emotional eating in the obese to be a highly acceptable and effective intervention for reducing eating related psychopathology at both at end-of-treatment and during follow-up. The ability of DBT to limit the upward trajectory of weight gain in obese patients with high degrees of emotional eating suggests that DBT may also help limit the increase or even prevent onset of obesity related morbidity in these patients.

    View details for DOI 10.3305/nh.2012.27.4.5843

    View details for Web of Science ID 000307042300025

    View details for PubMedID 23165554

  • A Prospective Assessment of Psychosocial Factors Among Bariatric Versus Non-bariatric Surgery Candidates OBESITY SURGERY Rutledge, T., Adler, S., Friedman, R. 2011; 21 (10): 1570-1579


    Psychological factors are considered potential contraindicators to bariatric surgery, but inconsistently predict surgical outcomes. We examined biomedical and psychosocial predictors of future bariatric candidacy in a population of veterans enrolling in a multidisciplinary weight management program.Ninety-five obese veterans meeting bariatric surgery eligibility criteria participating in a weight control intake class from 2007 to 2008 completed the MOVE!23 questionnaire to assess biomedical, psychiatric, social, and eating behavior factors. Twenty-five patients from this cohort completed or obtained approval for bariatric surgery during the next 2 years of follow-up.Patients progressing to bariatric candidacy over follow-up differed from non-bariatric patients in multiple areas, including reporting significantly lower rates of depression (28% versus 48.7%, respectively; p?=?0.04) and smoking (4% versus 16%; p?=?0.05), better self-rated health (e.g., 28% versus 10.7% rating themselves as in excellent or very good health), and averaged 50% fewer cardiovascular risk factors (p?=?0.01). Bariatric patients also rated themselves as significantly faster eaters (p?=?.03) and as having higher rates of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD; 28% versus 7%; p?=?0.04). Depression and OCD status predicted patients going on to bariatric candidacy independent of body mass index (BMI), biomedical status, and demographic factors.Our results suggest that many of the commonly cited psychosocial contraindicators to bariatric surgery are already lower in patients considered for surgery relative to BMI equivalent treatment-seeking peers not approved for surgery. These differences may help explain inconsistent relationships between psychosocial factors and bariatric surgery outcomes.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11695-010-0287-8

    View details for Web of Science ID 000295175700014

    View details for PubMedID 20872090

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