16 Feb About eating issues and what to expect when you see me for counselling
Eating and body-image issues are prevalent throughout the world, particularly western cultures where there is so much focus on weight and body size. It is common for people to think “I don’t have a diagnosed eating disorder therefore a counsellor won’t see me”. I have experience and work with people with a range of eating issues, including binge-eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, eating disorders not otherwise specified as well as any issues or concerns you have with eating/body image that are impacting on your quality of life and happiness.
I choose to use the word ‘issue’ in recognition of the cultural context of disordered eating and the impact that western culture has on the way people use food and weight to deal with emotional difficulties. There are many other contributing factors to eating and body-image issues and these can vary and differ according to individuals and these can be explored in counselling with me. Not everyone with eating issues has experienced trauma in their lives, however for those who have I am able to work with you sensitively and in an evidence-based way. I have Social Work and Gestalt Psychotherapy qualifications, as well as expressive therapy qualifications and have worked at The Eating Issues Centre in Brisbane with a range of people experiencing eating and body image related difficulties.
What can you expect when you first make contact and see me for counselling?
I really do appreciate how daunting it can be to approach someone for counselling and sometimes it is hard to articulate exactly what it is you need! You are welcome to contact me either via email or phone to make an appointment. I am happy to chat over email or phone initially to get a sense of what you are struggling with and how I can help you. I can also recommend other professionals (such as Dietitans, GP’s or other) who may be able to provide quality care.
I like to keep counselling sessions relaxed, warm and non-threatening. My practices in both Brisbane and Eumundi have a friendly, welcoming atmosphere – places you can take your shoes off (if you so desire!) and feel at home with a cup of tea. In our first session I will need to ask some questions to get a sense of what is happening for you and to get to know you … please feel free to ask me questions also if you need to. I will tailor counselling sessions to your preferences and style. Some people like to use words, others enjoy art modalities (watercolours, crayons, symbols, music) to express themselves, I am happy to go with what works for you. This may be a process of discovery together!
I use Gestalt techniques to help you build awareness of yourself and patterns in your life. I help people to explore the underlying factors that are giving rise to your eating issue, and any other issue you are experiencing. I also use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and expressive therapies. I am really open to feedback and you letting me know what is/isn’t working for you throughout counselling sessions. I am registered with the Australian Association of Social Workers and am an approved Medicare mental health care provider. Medicare can provide up to 10 sessions per calendar year.
I look forward to hearing from you to discuss your needs further.