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My Approach

Having worked with people experiencing disordered eating difficulties for several years now, I am convinced that there is no one type of treatment that will be helpful to everyone.

As a counselling psychologist I have received training in a number of different approaches to psychological therapy, and I have also received post-qualification training in differing ways to help people with disordered eating difficulties.

 

My approach to working with clients experiencing disordered eating issues is to understand the individual factors that have caused the eating difficulty, and that are keeping it going, and to tailor the therapy I offer to each unique person - and always with their views and feedback in mind.

I believe it is essential for clients to feel safe and respected, as well as understood, within their therapy, and I aim to develop a warm and supportive therapeutic relationship which enables this.

I have found that, working like this, clients are often able to make positive changes with regards to their eating and their body image, and in other areas of life too.

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Health at Every Size (HAES)

I take a Health at Every Size stance when working with disordered eating difficulties - and in life generally! In brief, this means that I do not subscribe to the idea that people should aim to diet their way into the so-called "normal" or "healthy" categories of tools such as the BMI.

Partly as a result of this approach, I am unable to encourage or support dieting efforts. I believe that evidence increasingly suggests that dieting is damaging to physical and mental health - more-so than simply living in and looking after a body considered by some to be above the "ideal" BMI. I understand that this is counter-intuitive for a lot of people given the powerful influences of "diet-culture" which surround us, and it is normal for the people I work with to have dieted for a long time, and to struggle with the idea of finding a different way to live. This is something that can be explored in the approach I offer, and I can help with considering new ways of eating - in peace.

 

If a person wishes to improve their health, I strongly believe that there are ways that this can be done without focussing on weight-loss as a goal. In fact, it seems more than ironic that social pressures to look a certain way - apparently as evidence of good health - causes so many people not to engage in behaviours that might otherwise support their physical health and mental wellbeing.

You don't need to know anything about HAES to work with me, but it might help for you to know that I cannot aim to help clients to lower their body weight as a specific goal. Instead, I aim to help people improve their relationships with food, eating and their bodies. I believe this can improve physical and mental health regardless of body weight.

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Body Politics

I am also passionate about helping people to question social pressures, particularly but not exclusively around supposed body "ideals". If appropriate in my work with clients, I might include work relevant to body politics - for example by exploring ideas such as body positivity, body neutrality and fat acceptance.

My training and experience

I qualified as a counselling psychologist from Roehampton University in 2010, with a Counselling Psychology MSc and a PgDip in the Practice of Counselling Psychology. I received a distinction for my MSc research project, which focussed on eating issues and body-image distress.

 

Since then, I have gained lots of experience of working with disordered eating and body image difficulties, both in private practice and within an NHS-funded outpatients service.

 

I regularly engage in further learning on topics relevant to disordered eating. Some selected events/courses I have attended over recent years include:

Body Image & Disordered Eating - NEDDE (Neurodiversity, Eating Disorders & Disordered Eating) (2024)

Nutritional Interventions for Eating Disorders - National Centre for Eating disorders (2023)

Web-based Training for Enhanced CBT (CBT-E) for Eating Disorders - CREDO (2023)

Eating Disorders International Conference - organised by BEAT (2021 & 2022)

Understanding Your Eating - with Professor Julia Buckroyd (completed 2022)

Advanced Certificate in Eating Disorders - with Professor Julia Buckroyd (2021)

I am also part of a small group of practitioners working with disordered eating in private practice, who meet once per month to discuss relevant topics and to increase our knowledge.

In addition:

I am a "Certified Cyber Therapist", having completed the Online Therapy Institute's training in 2021.

I am a qualified supervisor and completed Training by Liberty's "Advanced Practitioner: Supervision" course in 2022.

 

 

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