I am passionate about helping people of all ages struggling with eating and body image issues.
Indeed, this was one of my driving reasons for returning to university to study Nutrition and Dietetics. While I have completed extensive further training in Eating Disorders (for details see here), I have experienced the journey of recovery within my family, so I understand the challenges and complexity of this field. I also understand first hand the challenges of organising and receiving Multidisciplinary Outpatient Eating Disorders Care – either Public or Private – in a rural setting. This too, was a driving force behind my desire to become a dietitian.
Consequently, I specialise in helping individuals recover from Eating Disorders, disordered eating and chronic dieting. I am a dietitian who is passionate about helping my clients overcome their fear of food and helping them heal their relationship with their body. I use motivational interviewing techniques to work in collaboration with my clients in order to discover each individuals unique motivations towards health and healing. I find this to be a far more productive and therapeutic way to help my clients connect with their own innate wisdom regarding their experiences and knowledge, and it enables me to guide them towards a recovery that they can truly own.
At the same time, Eating disorders are serious conditions, affecting an individual’s medical, psychological, emotional and physical health. It can impact on one’s relationships and social interactions, and cause a person to become withdrawn, lethargic, and overcome with guilt and shame. Because of this, it is important, if not vital, for a person living with an eating disorder to seek treatment from a team of people who can work together to support their recover. This often includes a psychologist, GP, dietitian and psychiatrist. The recent federal government’s announcement to fund better access to treatment for people with severe eating disorders will enable better multidisciplinary care – read more here.
“One day I had to sit down with myself and decide that I loved myself no matter what my body looked like and what other people thought about my body. I got tired of hating myself.”
How does the dietitian help?
My role as an outpatient dietitian in eating disorder recovery is initially to help establish structure and routine in eating, as well as ensure my client is aware of what is a nutritionally adequate amount to be eating each day. Over time, we also work together to expand the amount of variety a person is eating, as often people with eating disorders have “safe” foods and foods they consider “bad”.
This work can be very anxiety provoking and together we talk about the thoughts and feelings that have been stirred up as a result of changing eating behaviour. However, often alot of this work rests with a person’s psychologist or therapist, and for that reason, it is important that I work closely with other medical or allied health professionals on person’s treating team. This enables me to understand other medical and psychological issues more fully and often deal with the eating disorder more effectively.