I bet you have a lot of questions about what nutrition therapy for eating disorders is like.
Deciding to come to nutrition therapy is an important step in overcoming eating difficulties and stepping into a friendlier relationship with food and your body. If you haven’t already, check out these links:
- About Katherine for more information about how I work.
- Scope of Practice for information about what does and doesn’t happen in nutrition therapy session.
- Do I need a dietitian? to learn what a registered dietitian is, how we work with eating disorders, and what makes this different from psychotherapy.
- Anorexia nervosa, including weight restoration
- Bulimia nervosa
- Binge eating disorder
- Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID, selective or “picky” eating)
- Chronic dieting, food and weight stabilization
- Post-treatment transitions
- Compulsive exercise and exercise resistance
- Chemical dependency support
- Depression, anxiety, and support for other mood-related disorders
Registered dietitians, in general, have in-depth knowledge and practical experience working with a variety of disease states (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, etc.). I can address those needs as well as feeding issues, should they occur together.
My approach combines aspects of self-care, mind-body integration, and committed action to transform your relationship with food, your body, and ultimately yourself. The goal is to learn how to use your body’s feedback to guide your eating decisions so that figuring out what to eat gets a lot easier.
We start by establishing a workable structure to your eating so that you know that you are eating the right amount for your body and that you are getting your basic nutritional needs met without having to micromanage your diet. We’ll do all this while reducing your anxiety around food and food decisions by creating a felt sense of safety in your body through a better understanding of your nervous system response.
You will then be able to let go of old habits that no longer serve you in exchange for new helpful habits that take the overthinking out of your day-to-day eating. Once your body is safe and consistently nourished, it will be easier to tune into your hunger and fullness cues and use them in a meaningful way.
My approach includes the following orientations:
- Mechanical eating and meal plans
- Food-positive, explorative, non-restrictive, non-diet
- Intuitive eating
- Mindful eating
- Embodiment through mind-body therapy practices
- Learn techniques to regulate your nervous system and create safety
- Mindful self-compassion
- Health at every size
- Trauma informed
What’s the first visit like?
The first visit is a time for us to get to know each other. You will have completed a pre-visit questionnaire through the secure on-line portal to give us a head start. I will want to hear your history and gather information about your current patterns. There will be plenty of time for you to ask questions. We will start talking about goals and create a plan. I want you to leave the office with something to work with, especially if you are feeling really stuck. As my client, you are free to email me with questions at any time until the next visit.
What happens next?
If I have your permission, I will contact other providers that might have some helpful information for me. I prefer to work as a team in order to give you the best experience. Depending on your needs, follow-up visits can be 45 or 30 minutes. We may meet weekly or every other week. For most people, it takes an initial period of three-to-six months before the work “clicks” and they begin to start sensing a real change. Sometimes my clients keep food logs or follow a meal plan, sometimes they don’t. We decide that together.
Some things we might do together include:
- Create a meal plan or menu
- Develop a grocery shopping plan or make a master grocery list
- A virtual kitchen walk-through
- Do a virtual grocery shopping trip
- Clean-out and reorganize your fridge and pantry
- Organize your food prep
- Brainstorm new meals, foods, or ingredients
- Eat together, either virtually or in my office
- Guided meditations or mindful self-compassion practices
- Workbooks or reading assignments
- Food challenges or exposures
- Explore food rules, fears, and beliefs
- Strategize for managing food and exercise behaviors
- Nutrition education
How long is this going to take?
Everybody’s process is different. It depends on where you start, what obstacles you encounter along the way, and your ability to follow through. Ideally, we see each other weekly until you are able to meet our initial goals. For most people, it takes an initial period of three-to-six months before they start sensing a real change. This is just the time it takes for the new habits to fully integrate into your body and feel easy and natural.
After that, we might shorten sessions or meet less frequently. Ultimately, I want you to be totally independent, capable of feeding yourself an adequate, balanced, and varied diet, and engaging in physical activity with minimal stress and discomfort. You are always welcome to come back for a tune-up if life starts to get hairy!
Are you going to weigh me?
Maybe. We’ll talk about it.
Will my insurance cover this?
The sad answer is, probably not. Even if I were in-network, the chances that insurance would cover nutrition therapy are slim in the State of California. Many insurance companies require a related diagnosis from another healthcare provider such as a physician or psychotherapist. It’s best if you call your insurance company to see what your benefits are for nutritional counseling. Several of my clients have had good luck getting reimbursed by their insurance companies. I can give you a superbill to submit for reimbursement. A superbill contains all the information your insurance carrier needs to process the reimbursement.
Send me an email and let’s set up a phone call.