Life is a journey, full of many ups and downs. There are times in our lives when each and every one of us will need some type of emotional assistance and support. This does not mean that we are weak or incompetent but merely human, with genuine feelings and emotions.
Therapy can be beneficial during these times by helping individuals gain new perspectives and insights about themselves, as well as providing various coping strategies for future struggles.
In addition, therapy can be a driving force for change, acceptance, and empowerment.
Therapy for Eating Disorders:
Struggling with an eating disorder can be a very isolating and frustrating experience. Due to the lack of knowledge and understanding of these illnesses, sufferers tend to develop feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. However, as a result of my personal and professional experience, I am determined to bring individuals a sense of hope and help lead them down a road to recovery by providing a safe space to be heard and given a voice.
I understand that eating disorders are complex and sensitive issues that go much deeper than just food and weight. I have learned that an eating disorder is often the symptom of something much deeper, and building a sense of trust and safety in the therapeutic relationship is key.
Since each individual’s struggle is unique, I tailor my therapeutic work to meet individual needs. During an initial session, I will conduct a thorough assessment with the aim of gathering as much relevant information at the beginning of the therapy process in order to determine the best course of action to take. With this said, as is life, I view the therapy process as a journey that can shift and change over time.
At Voices In Recovery, individual therapy is available to anyone over the age of 12 who either self-identifies with an eating disorder or who has previously received a formal diagnosis. However, I believe that eating disorders lie on a continuum and that not everyone meets all of the specific diagnostic criteria.
Disordered eating, including thoughts and behaviours, can be very damaging and harmful if not addressed, so an actual diagnosis is irrelevant to me. What's most important is that each client recognizes they are struggling and has a willingness to accept help. I also provide therapy to individuals struggling with poor body image and low self-esteem, two contributing factors in the development of an eating disorder.
I believe that the key to success in therapy begins with a strong therapeutic relationship between myself and my clients. As such, I make it my priority to make each client feel comfortable, safe, and accepted, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, and/or sexual orientation.
Since eating disorders can pose serious medical and nutritional threats to an individual’s health, I encourage all clients to consider a team approach to care. This means regular medical monitoring by a primary care physician (as necessary) and access to a Registered Dietitian (if possible) who is familiar with eating disorders/disordered eating and their complexities. I am always happy to refer clients to my current network of Registered Dietitian’s who have knowledge and expertise in these areas.
Given that no two individuals share the exact same experience and struggles, there is no particular guideline about the duration and frequency of therapy sessions required. At Voices In Recovery, clients may benefit from short-term therapy (three to eight sessions) or more long-term therapy (eight or more sessions). Therapy sessions can also occur on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Despite the duration and frequency of therapy sessions deemed necessary, all decisions regarding a client’s progress and recovery will be made jointly.
It is important to note that recovery from an eating disorder requires a commitment from both the client and therapist. I strive to treat my clients with a sense of genuineness, compassion, and empathy while recognizing that the recovery process takes time, patience, and a lot of hard work!
If at any point a client feels they would like to stop or take a break from therapy, I will respect this decision and be available to reconvene if desired. While I do not believe that eating disorders can be magically "cured", I do believe that symptoms can be drastically reduced and managed on one's own as a result of the therapy process. I practice from a Health At Every Size® (HAES®) perspective and help move my clients away from mainstream's diet mentality by promoting body positivity, weight inclusivity, and self-compassion. I also incorporate Intuitive Eating principles into my work with clients to help lead them down a path to food freedom. I am a Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor.
Along the therapy journey, I will serve as not only a therapist, but also a mentor and coach who encourages dialogue in between sessions.
I do not believe that therapy for an eating disorder is "one size fits all", so I tend to utilize a variety of therapeutic models including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Family Systems Therapy.
I also encourage the use of journal writing and reflection as a healthy tool to recovery.
Additional Therapy Services:
At Voices In Recovery, individual therapy is also available to individuals ages 12 and over who may be struggling with the following:
Grief & Loss
These are all issues that I have over 15 years of professional experience in and welcome into my practice.
Depending on the nature of the issue and the individual client, I tend to also incorporate elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Family Systems Therapy into my approach. I see my clients as the experts of their own individual lives and my role as your therapist is to share knowledge and insight, offer strategies and coping skills, and offer you a sense of hopefulness and empowerment so that you can live your best and most fulfilling life!
I strive to be client centered and will always go out of my way to ensure that you feel heard and understood.
**Please note that all therapy services are currently being conducted virtually via a secure online video platform. Telephone therapy is also available if preferred.**
The fee for service is $140.00 per therapy session which is required at the end of each scheduled appointment.
An initial session is approximately 1.5 hours in length and follow-up sessions are approximately 1 hour in length.
Accepted methods of payment are cash, cheque, or etransfer, and a receipt will always be provided. There is no HST or GST charged for therapy sessions.
Since I am a Registered Social Worker, full or partial fees may be covered by one's third-party insurance provider through extended health benefits. I do not currently provide any direct billing with insurance companies.
If you would like to book an individual therapy appointment, you may contact me directly via telephone or email. Should you wish to get more information about Voices In Recovery and/or determine whether or not you might benefit from therapy, I am happy to provide a free 15 minute telephone or video consultation.
Confidential Phone Number: (519) 872-6002
*Please note that all sessions are currently being conducted virtually via a secure online platform.*