A wide range of symptoms can indicate one of a number of different eating disorders. Symptoms can include: chronically eating too much or eating too little; binge eating and/or severely restricting food intake; intentional vomiting and/or over-exercising to compensate for eating; distortions in the way that you think you look compared to the way you actually look; spending most of your time thinking about food, diet, weight and shape; being over-weight or underweight, or even of normal weight for your height but with many of the other symptoms listed above.
At PsychSessions we take a multi-disciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders. You will receive a thorough assessment by one of our psychologists, who has special training and experience in eating disorders. The assessment will include your current diet, eating habits, exercise, body image, mental health, and other lifestyle factors. The psychologist will then liaise with your GP and dietician to coordinate other aspects of your diagnosis and treatment, if necessary. All treatment programs are individually tailored according to your specific condition and symptoms.
All psychologists at PsychSessions have some training and experience in eating disorders. However, the following psychologists have a special interest in eating disorders, and have worked or been trained in a specialist eating disorders unit, and where indicated have or are conducting research at a university into eating disorders.
Juanita D'Cruz, M.Psych (Clinical), MAPS
Thesis title: Body Image in Australian Children: a qualitative study
Juanita D’Cruz completed her training in clinical psychology at the University of Canberra. Her Master of Clinical Psychology Thesis examined body image in primary school children. Juanita worked at the Eating Disorders Program (ACT Mental Health, CAMHS) where she first gained her experience providing comprehensive assessment and treatment to adolescents and adults with a primary diagnosis of an Eating Disorder, both in group and individual settings. Juanita has a particular interest in the treatment of eating disorders, and continues private practice with adults who have eating disorders, body image concerns and a wide range of mental health problems. She also works in the public mental health system in Canberra.
PhD thesis title (in progress): Intolerance of uncertainty as a maintenance factor in eating disorder symptomatology.
Alice started as an intern at the ACT Health Eating Disorders Program, and continued as a psychologist once she had completed her training. She is experienced in assessment and treatment of clients with bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and body image concerns, using both individual and family-based therapy.
Dr Abigail Fargher, DPsych(Clin.Psych), MAPS
Senior Clinical Psychologist
Thesis title: The Relationship between Depression and Body Dissatisfaction across Pregnancy and the Postpartum
In addition to mood, anxiety and complex mental health problems, Abigail has an interest in treating individuals with eating disorders. Her doctoral research conducted at La Trobe University investigated the relationship between depression and body dissatisfaction during pregnancy and the first year postpartum. During an internship at the Eating Disorders Service at the Centre for Rural Mental Health in Bendigo she developed skills in providing comprehensive individual treatment with a range of eating disorders and body image concerns.
Peer reviewed publications (published under the name Clark, A.):
Clark, A., Skouteris, H., Wertheim, S., Paxton, S., & Milgrom, J. (2009). The relationship between depression and body dissatisfaction across pregnancy and the postpartum: a prospective study. Journal of Health Psychology, 14, 23-31.
Clark, A., Skouteris, H., Wertheim, S., & Paxton, S. (2009). My baby body: A qualitative insight into women’s body-related experiences and mood during pregnancy and the postpartum. Journal of Infant and Reproductive Psychology, 27, 330-345.
Dr John Brown, PhD(Clin.Psych)
Senior Clinical Psychologist
Dr John Brown actually conducts research into the effects of illicit recreational drugs rather than eating disorders. However he completed part of his initial training as a psychologist in the Throsby Place Eating Disorders Program and has continued to treat eating disorders since then in private practice. While in some respects John is not as specialised in eating disorders as his colleagues above, he is able to bring his other areas of expertise into therapy, especially for clients with a combination of an eating disorder plus a drug and alcohol problem, or a clinically significant sleep problems, or some other complex mental health condition.