About the Clinic

A caring team of practitioners dedicated to helping people with eating, weight and food concerns.

When issues around food and eating become dominant in a person’s life, it can prevent them from engaging with loved ones in a meaningful way, enjoying life’s pleasures, fulfilling their true potential, and even completing basic day-to-day tasks and routines.

If this sounds like you or someone you are concerned about, Centre for Integrative Health is here to deliver the specialist support, information and treatment needed to overcome concerns about food, exercise, and physical appearance and achieve health and happiness.

Our practitioners are highly skilled in the assessment and treatment of a range of physical and emotional health conditions that affect people of all ages, genders, sizes, and from all walks of life. Our team has a particular interest and specialised training in those conditions concerning food, eating, exercise, and body-image.

It is our commitment to on-going professional development, practice of evidence-based treatments and our dedication to our clients that empowers individuals to overcome the barriers they are experiencing and live a life that is meaningful to them.

Our tailored treatment plans and services, not only support our clients, but also provide their families with peace of mind and clarity throughout the journey.

If you have any queries about how we can help, or any other aspect of the recovery process, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for a free 15-minute phone consultation.

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“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, in her face or in her way of fixing her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the door open to her heart, the source of her love.
The beauty of a woman doesn't lie in her makeup, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the tenderness that gives love, the passion that it expresses.The beauty of a woman grows over the years. ′′ ~ Audrey Hepburn
This week we celebrate 1-year of working alongside our esteemed colleague and valued team member, Psychologist, Audrey Raffelt. 

While Audrey joined the CFIH team with loads of skills and experience in a variety of settings, presentations, and populations, the concepts of 'weight neutral' and 'Health At Every Size (HAES)', were new to her. In her time at CFIH to date, her commitment to not only understand but embody these concepts has been both apparent and inspiring. 

Since commencing with us and passionately committing to getting behind the philosophy and framework that informs everything that we do at CFIH, we have observed Audrey enthusiastically consume everything she can get her hands on about the topic; openly and honestly unpack her own previously ill-informed beliefs; and advocate fiercely for a non-dieting, weight-neutral framework in every conversation she enters into. 

Not only is Audrey a skilled psychologist, a valued team member, and generally good human but she is an absolute custodian of the CFIH values of "we practise what we preach" and "inspire global change". Happy anniversary, Audrey, and congratulations on 12months of such personal and professional growth. We are proud of and inspire by you.
Recovering from an eating disorder doesn’t mean that you won’t ever again have thoughts of dieting or weight loss. To expect this of ourselves in a diet-obsessed society is just another impossible standard to place upon ourselves. 

Recovering from an eating disorder means that when “Ed” pops up in our lives, we don’t have to submit to its commands nor do we have to panic and flee or fight it off. Instead, we can be neutral or indifferent in response. Alternatively, we might even be curious about why it has popped up; seeing its presence as a warning sign that something in our lives is amiss - without having to resort to it as the solution. 

πŸ“· credit: @hannahhillam
One of the many barriers to recovery from an eating disorder is the fact that society normalises the very behaviours that an individual is required to change in order to get better. 

I trust that loved ones mean well when they respond to protests of “But I feel better when I’m smaller” with “You don’t need to gain back ALL of the weight” or “Maybe when you’re a bit better, you can go back to XYZ”. Unfortunately such efforts not only collude with the eating disorder but they maintain the idea that feeling better is best achieved through controlling one’s weight/shape. 

We wouldn’t suggest that an alcoholic could have a few casual beers to feel better after they’d completed rehab. Suggesting that someone can lose weight or go back to dieting after completing eating disorder treatment is just as absurd. A point which was illustrated (albeit facetiously) during a recent client session:
Client: “But I feel better when I’m smaller?”
Me: “Yeh? Well I feel better when I’m drunk but noone’s about to agree that’s a sustainable solution to my problems, are they?”

Once the laughter subsided, I invited my client to explore the issue further by asking “Are you open to exploring some other ways of managing your desire to feel good?” This led to us reflecting on other memories of feeling good and identifying what she could draw upon from those memories in the instances in which she was driven to improve her mood. 

Some of the ideas she came up with included:
- Donating to a worthy cause 
- Giving a thoughtful and unexpected gift 
- Watching a sunset/sunrise 
- Getting her hair/nails done
- Wearing clothes that fit well
- Expressing affection to a loved one
- Going to a float tank session
- Playing with her dog 
- Being physically intimate  
- Exploring somewhere new 
- Leaving a random act of kindness 
- Cleaning or redecorating her bedroom
- Flirting with a stranger 
- Accomplishing something meaningful  

It’s true that weight loss can feel good. It’s also true that being intoxicated can feel good. When either become a means of managing emotions however, the effect can be disastrous. Along with learning to sit with moments of not feeling good, those with eating disorders (and substance abuse issues)  can be supported in finding other means of feeling good.
One of the many challenges my clients face in trying to recover from their eating disorder is the many unwanted and unsolicited comments about their appearance, their exercise behaviour, and their food choices. 

During our sessions together, we practice assertiveness and boundary setting strategies that my clients can use in these situations. For example, communicating "Please don't comment on my weight/shape" in response to remarks about someone's weight loss or weight gain. 

Unfortunately, this doesn't always go as hoped with many clients experiencing pushback in response with counters such as "I'm just worried about your health" or "Why are you so sensitive?".

And so, we then practice reinforcing the original boundary rather than submitting to the pushback or getting caught up in an argument that detracts from the original request. Here are some common scenarios that my clients and I have role played in session - I share them in hope that they also assist you in the event that you are faced with similar scenarios. 

Person A: “Please don't comment on my weight.”
Person B: “I just care about you...
Person A: “Thank you. I'm glad that you do. In this case, the most caring thing you can do is not comment on my weight."

Person C: "Please don't comment on my food choices."
Person D: "I am just trying to help.."
Person C: "You can help by not commenting on my food choices."

Person E: "I don't want to talk about dieting. Can we change the topic?"
Person F: "But...."
Person E: "I don't want to talk about dieting."
Person F: "I didn't mean to..."
Person F: "I don't want to talk about dieting. If we can't change the topic, I am going to leave the conversation."

If all else fails, recall back to your earlier years and reflect on how your parents might have responded to you repeatedly challenging their decisions: "No means no.", "I'm not getting into an argument with you about this.", "This is not up for debate.", and/or "Because I said so.". They were good enough responses for your parents. These are perfectly reasonable responses for you to use with the person who isn't respecting your boundaries.
In his book ‘Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions’, Russell Brand describes ‘recovery’ as “recovering the person that we were intended to be”.  As a psychologist, I completely resonate with this description. Over the years, I have seen it be the case time and time again that the individuals who enter into therapy for eating disorder recovery leave with more than solely the eradication of their illness. 

This was the case for the wonderful individual responsible for the flower arrangement below. In our follow-up session together, my former client disclosed a childhood belief that she was put on this earth to help others. While I could certainly see why (and agree wholeheartedly with) this conviction, hearing her discuss it openly and confidently was (very pleasant) news to me. 

My former client reflected that this dream, not previously voiced out loud, had been suppressed by many years of an eating disorder. Now three months on the other side of successful treatment completion, my former client reported having recovered that lifelong dream, recovered her sense of self, and recovered the voice needed to do the work she felt destined to do. 

We’d love to hear other stories of recovery- other than freedom from your eating disorder (which is monumental in and of itself), who & what did you recover?
I ran out of the house today without putting any makeup on but with the intention of doing so when I got to work. 

Arriving in the clinic, it soon became apparent that there were far greater priorities than how my face looked. Upon reminding myself that make up isn’t what makes me the psychologist that I am, the team member that I am or the human that I am, I made the choice to spend my time & energy elsewhere and let the entire day unfold makeup free. 

Along with saving myself some much-needed time, my inner feminist throughly enjoyed rebelling against the unrealistic expectations placed upon women.
A big thank you to psychologist, Emma, for yesterday’s in-service on clinical perfectionism. The team all took a lot away from the presentation - both for their work with clients and also for themselves.
It’s little wonder that many of us have come to see weight loss as the solution to all of our problems - it is often the only solution that is suggested. 

While losing weight MAY work to help one feel better about oneself, have more confidence, experience a greater sense of control, avoid the negative judgement of others, attain the desired praise or approval, etc etc it is often unachievable, comes at devastating costs, and any benefits are usually short lived. 

Giving up the pursuit of weight loss involves getting more creative with our problem solving and considering what other means we have of accomplishing whatever it is we are hoping weight loss will provide us.  

You want to feel better? Losing weight might be one option. What are some other options? Would treating yourself better and speaking to yourself more kindly also improve how you felt? 

You want to be more confident in the workplace? Losing weight might achieve this but it’s not the only option to be considered. Have you thought of acquiring more expertise in your industry, improving your communications skills, or speaking up more? 

You’re sick of the negative comments from a family member about your weight? Losing weight might appease them sufficiently to stop the commentary. Other options would be to set boundaries with this person, refuse to engage in such conversations, or even distance yourself from this person entirely.

If you’re trying to get off the dieting roller coaster but can’t unshackle from your desire to lose weight, there is no need to feel ashamed. It is likely that there is a problem that you are seeking to solve and that you’re turning to the solution that has always been suggested to you. Before you make the choice to strap back in for another lap of the dieting horror ride, we invite you to consider 1) Exactly, what is the problem that you are seeking to solve? 2) What are ALL the possible ways one might solve this problem? and 3) What are the pros and cons of each of these many options?
During our 3-month follow up session, one of my clients (let’s call her ‘Brianna’ for the purposes of confidentiality) whom has recovered from Anorexia Nervosa shared this pearler with me that was too good to not pass on to you.

Brianna recounted a conversation that she had with a friend of hers (let’s call her ‘Susie’) during which Susie exclaimed “I AM NOW A SIZE XX!!”. Brianna responded to this comment with “You are not an anything size. You bought a shirt today which was a size XX”.
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Brianna went on to add “And if you went to a different store, you likely would have needed a different size. And if you were shopping for pants you’d probably need a different size again. And when it comes to shoes, the size you purchase will change once more. It seems to me that the size of the clothes you purchase says more about the clothing type, range and style than it does anything about you. It seems inaccurate to say that you are a certain size when in fact, it is the clothing that is a certain size and that size can change without anything to do with you”. 
πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ

We’d love to hear any other great reframes you have heard or used in response to peoples’ unhelpful identification with numbers.

Our Staff

Dr Nga Tran – Psychiatrist

Dr Nga Tran – Psychiatrist

Kate Gough (nee Pollard) Senior Dietitian

Kate Gough (nee Pollard) Senior Dietitian

Alina Turgieva – Dietitian

Alina Turgieva – Dietitian

Vera Keatley – Clinical Psychologist

Vera Keatley – Clinical Psychologist

Audrey Rafflet – Psychologist

Audrey Rafflet – Psychologist

Kate Lane – Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Nutritionist

Kate Lane – Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Nutritionist

Ashleigh Olive – Psychologist

Ashleigh Olive – Psychologist

Danica Adolfsson – Clinical Psychologist

Danica Adolfsson – Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Kiera Buchanan – Clinical & Health Psychologist

Dr. Kiera Buchanan – Clinical & Health Psychologist

Emma Reid – Psychologist

Emma Reid – Psychologist

Ashleigh Olive

To be authentic, accepting, and committed to supporting others so that they feel encouraged to share, be heard, and continue to grow in the face of adversity. Read More

Alanah Dobinson

To support people to overcome the barriers preventing them from achieving their full potential. Read More

Kate Pollard

To help others see that appearance does not have to determine their value and worth so that they know that they are not just enough but their uniqueness makes them incredible – just as they are. Read More

Dr Hollie Shannon

To guide and nurture people at their most vulnerable so that they become their intended self sooner and make the most of their life. Read More

Katie Gegg

To offer support to young girls and women to develop their self-worth beyond appearance and to never feel alone in their struggles. Read More

Carly Leverington

To empower and advocate for freedom and healing from diet culture so individuals may come to love and make peace with their true selves. Read More

Dr Andi Alperin

To empower and advocate for freedom and healing from diet culture so individuals may come to love and make peace with their true selves. Read More

Dr Kiera Buchanan

To create a space where people can be understood so that they can become who they want to be. Read More

Our Values

Integrity with every action;
Excellence driven by humility;
To practice what we preach;
To inspire global change;
To recognise that we’re all in it together.

 

Our Vision

A world for everybody.

_

Our Mission

To liberate society from eating
and body image concerns.

 

Embark on your journey towards a happier, healthier you.

If you are referring a client, please contact us.

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