As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I provide evidence-based Medical Nutrition Therapy, Nutritional Counseling, and Nutrition Education for a variety of issues related to health and well-being. My breadth of experience working with eating disorders, mental health, and substance use populations qualifies me to work with people whose issues extend beyond basic dietary recommendations for health and disease. I am able to work with people on a more emotional level to uncover and problem-solve the reasons that make eating difficult and provide space for exploring issues of body image and food anxiety. In order to prepare myself beyond mere experience, I have completed a number of certification programs including Mindful Self-Compassion, MindBody Therapy, and Philosophical Counseling. For details on these and my other credentials, click the corresponding links. These additional trainings make me qualified to work on issues beyond the scope of nutrition and relationship to food and body image, although this remains my primary specialty, but within some important limits.
Limits on Scope
I do not diagnose health conditions, but can assess and treat those conditions diagnosed by another medical provider from a nutritional aspect. I do not diagnose, treat, or assess any mental health condition or psychological illness. I will, however, refer you to the appropriate practitioner. I have a robust referral network of psychotherapists and treatment programs to which you will be directed should it become clear that your present issue falls outside my scope of practice.
The kind of counseling I do, in addition to nutritional counseling, is not psychotherapy. It is future-oriented and focused on present-moment, direct experience. Many of my clients come to me primarily for nutritional therapy and are concurrently seeing a psychotherapist for a mental health condition such as an eating disorder, depression, or anxiety. Our work together is there to support your work with the psychotherapist, not compete or conflict with it, just as their work supports mine. If you do not have an active mental health diagnosis or condition, it is perfectly reasonable for us to work together alone on issues pertaining to intuitive eating, general well-being, or philosophical counseling. As always, should this situation change or a previous condition re-occur or worsen, I will refer you to another provider.
Scope of Educational Counseling
I am qualified to provide nutrition education for general health and well-being as well as a variety of nutrition-related diseases. I am able to educate on mind-body techniques for relaxation and stress management, Mindful Self-Compassion, postural yoga, and a diverse range of philosophical ideas from both Western and Eastern traditions.
Scope of Understanding Emotions and Relationship to Self
I will not help you process emotions, as this is the purview of psychotherapy. However, the relationship between food and mood or food and feelings is within my scope and may lead us to uncover thoughts and beliefs that may be causing the kind of distress that makes eating difficult or impacts your physical health and well-being. Through philosophical inquiry, I may help you resolve logical inconsistencies that underlie the mental discomfort that accompanies such internal tension or dissonance, from which you may therefore find relief. I may use philosophical and mind-body techniques to help you relate to yourself in a different way, which can make difficult emotions and body sensations easier to bear. These kinds of feeling states may or may not be directly related to your eating behavior. I come from a compassion-centered and trauma-informed orientation making my approach slow and gentle when necessary. I will always provide the right referral to a different provider should your present issue reflect such a need.