Eating disorder counselling is tailored to address the specific challenges and psychological aspects of eating disorders. It often involves a more multidisciplinary approach, incorporating nutritional guidance, medical monitoring, and family therapy, alongside traditional psychotherapy. At Joanne Fitzgerald Therapy we take a multi-faceted approach, customised to your individual needs. We use evidence-based therapies, such as Enhanced Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT-E), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), to address the underlying cognitive, emotional, and behavioural aspects of eating disorders.
Eating disorder counsellors provide essential support and guidance throughout the recovery process for eating disorders. They help individuals understand the root causes of their eating disorder, develop healthier coping mechanisms, and rebuild a positive relationship with food and a positive body image.
Red flags include extreme preoccupation with weight and food, drastic changes in eating habits, disordered eating habits, excessive food restriction, excessive or compulsive exercise, withdrawal from social activities, noticeable weight fluctuations, binge eating or significantly reduced food intake. If you recognise any of these signs in yourself or someone else, it might be time to consider professional help.
Eating disorders can significantly impact mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and severe emotional distress. For people with eating disorders, the psychological impact of the eating disorders can be as damaging as the physical consequences, affecting their self-esteem, body image, mental health, relationships, and overall quality of life. If you are struggling with disordered eating or a difficult relationship with food and eating, seeking professional help is important. By contacting a qualified eating disorder therapist and seeking help, you can take a big step towards better health and wellbeing, for both your mental and physical health.
An eating disorder therapist is a mental health professional who has specific training in treating individuals with eating disorders. Eating disorder therapists, also known as eating disorder counsellors or eating disorder specialists, are trained in various therapeutic techniques to address the complex psychological aspects of eating disorders and their impact on mental health.
Both are required to undertake significant formal education and experience, however psychotherapists are focussed on working with their clients on a long term basis. In addition, while psychologists may be interested in a clients formal diagnosis and working to improve symptoms, a psychotherapist believes in a holistic approach to mental wellbeing (taking in the whole picture, rather than looking at a diagnosis), by working collaboratively with their clients.
Many people find it helpful speaking with someone who isn't a family member or friend. During therapy, you will be provided a neutral, non-judgmental space to talk through your concerns. Your therapist will use evidence-based strategies to help you build a toolbox of skills, which will be focussed on assisting you in achieving your goals.
We offer individual therapy sessions for youth and young adults aged 12-30.
It's normal to be feeling a range of emotions leading up to your first session!
If you're under the age of 18, the first 10-15 minutes of our initial session we will need to have a parent or guardian attend. This is to go over confidentiality and consent, and to allow them to provide some information on what might be bringing you to therapy. After that, it will just be you and your therapist having a relaxed conversation so they can get to know you a little better. The first session tends to be a little different, as it's about your therapist gathering information about you, your life, and your mental health concerns. The purpose of this is to develop a deeper understanding of your needs, set your therapy goals and so your therapist can decide on an appropriate plan moving forward.
If you have any questions about therapy, your therapist, or anything else, feel free to ask during this session!
Everything that we talk about during our therapy sessions is kept confidential between you and your therapist. There are, however, some limits to confidentiality, and these are:
- If I feel that you are at risk of hurting yourself, or someone else
- If you or another young person are being harmed by someone else
- If I am required by law to disclose information provided in our sessions
In all instances of the above, we will always endeavour to discuss this with you before we break confidentiality. This can be a tough situation for you to navigate, so we will always involve you in the process where possible, giving you as much control as the situation allows.
This is completely up to you and your therapist. For some young people, they only require a small amount of sessions to build some skills and be pointed in the right direction. For others, they may need long term therapy and ongoing support. This will be discussed in your first session and will be reviewed at the appropriate times. It's important to remember that psychotherapists are slightly different to psychologists, in that long term therapy, where appropriate, is encouraged to ensure a deep understanding of your concerns is established.
If needed and with your consent, we are able to speak with other important parties in order to help you achieve your goals. This may include us speaking to a guidance counsellor at school to develop a plan to assist you in returning to school, or writing a letter outlining recommendations for your care.
Psychotherapists believe in a holistic approach to therapy, looking at the whole picture of mental wellbeing and working with their clients to help them build a happier, healthier life.
This means that we work within a range of therapeutic modalities, depending on your current situation and needs. These include; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Eating Disorders (CBT-E), Dialectic Behavioural Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). During your first few sessions, you therapist will discuss the therapeutic technic they believe will be the most appropriate for your needs.
Ultimately, We believe that you are the expert in your own life, and that you are capable of achieving your goals with your own set of strengths. As your therapist, we are here to guide and work with you, within a client centred approach.
You are not required to obtain a GP referral, and are able to book an appointment with us immediately. However, we are unable to accept Mental Health Care Plans and therefore cannot provide a Medicare rebate.
Where possible we prefer to conduct appointments face to face at my location in Arana Hills. We can, however, offer appointments through Zoom if this is discussed prior. All initial appointments should be conducted face to face to allow for rapport building, particularly for youth under the age of 18.
During times of crisis, it can be difficult to know who to turn to. We are not a crisis service, so we are unable to provide crisis support.
Please find below some helpful numbers:
Lifeline - 13 11 14
Kidshelpline - 1800 55 1800
Parentline - 1300 30 1300
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Let's journey together, turning challenges into opportunities for growth and understanding.