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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Just sayin'...

There are more important things about you than the number on the scales, your fitbit, or that calorie counting app.
To every girl who has ever been called “bossy,” you are a boss! You are creative enough to find novel ways of approaching challenges. You are courageous enough to take the lead. You are ambitious enough to set big goals and determined enough to achieve them. 

The traits that are labelled "bossy" in women, earn men positions of leadership and power. Next time someone attempts to silence you through calling you bossy, reclaim the word and high-five yourself for being a boss!
The question I frequently get asked in lectures following my description of the deleterious effects of weight loss on human beings is “But what if they ’needed’ to lose weight for health reasons?” 

Not only has the diet industry completely distorted our view (and that of health/medical practitioners) of what it means to be ”healthy” but it has inaccurately narrowed ‘health’ down to one single construct - the physical body. 

Health is a more complex and multifaceted than a number on a scale or a reading on a glucometer. Health is made up of and determined by our psychology, the quality of our social relationships, the environment we inhabit, our sense of meaning in life, and our connection with a purpose greater than ourselves. 

At CFIH, we often see people whom have lost weight in the quest to get “healthier”. In the rare instances in which their reductions in weight has served to improve their physiological indicators of health, these individuals often report reductions in mood and life satisfaction, impairments in their jobs/study, fractures to their social lives, and a loss of purpose/meaning. How can we possibly conclude that improvements in one area render these people “healthier”, when their scores on all other domains have drastically worsened?  

Our need for purpose in life, connection with others, and a healthy mindset is highlighted now more than ever in the face of the current pandemic. Our great wish at CFIH is that on the other side of COVID-19, mental health is given the same thought and consideration awarded to our physical bodies in discussing the topics of “health” and “safety”.
Eating disorder awareness week, 2021. 

Comments about bodies, both 'negative' and 'positive', often do more harm than good. While a compliment on someone's physical body might make the person feel good in the moment, such comments tend to have negative effects long-term. For every person I have met whom attributes negative comments about their body to their low self-esteem, I have met another person whom attributes their insecurities to the frequent positive comments they received about their physical appearance. 

Here are some examples of non-appearance compliments to get you thinking of more helpful ways you can show your appreciation for the people in your life. 
"I really love your energy. I always feel good around you."
"You always greet me with an enthusiasm that makes me feel as though you genuinely care about me, thank you."
"I love the way you listen so earnestly when I'm talking to you."
"You have a gift for making those around you feel important."
"I really appreciate the way with which we can share our concerns about one another in such a compassionate and healthy way."
"I am inspired by the passion you have for what you do."

We'd love to hear any suggestions you have for non-appearance compliments. Better yet, if you have an example of a compliment that you've given or received that wasn't based on appearance, we'd love to hear the impact that it had.

#eatingdisorderawarenessweek #morethanmybody #losehatenotweight #healthnotdiets #allbodiesaregoodbodies
During our last session together, whilst wrapping up treatment, I asked my client "What do you attribute the success of your recovery to?". Without a moment's hesitation, she responded "Making the conscious choice to commit to recovery". 

My client (let's refer to her as "Sam") went on to recount what she describes as the most challenging, yet helpful, session we shared together - the session in which I asked her to make a choice. The choice that was sensitively and non-judgementally put to Sam was this: "Would you like to commit to recovery through showing up consistently and doing the between-session tasks or would you like to continue living as you currently are and wrapping up our sessions together?". Sam was reassured that neither choice was "right" nor "wrong" but there needed to be an active and conscious choice made. Sam was also reassured that she would be accepted and respected irrespective of her choice and that she had the right, at any time, to change her mind and make a different choice. 

"Phrased that way, it was an easy choice", she told me. "The thought of recovery terrified me but not nearly as much as the thought of continuing on as I previously had been and giving up on the life of recovery that we had discussed and the support of the person who believed such a reality was possible for me". 

There is always another path. Pretending there isn't doesn't do ourselves or those who are struggling to change any justice. Sometimes the kindest and most courageous thing we can do for ourselves and for others is to point out with kindness & non-judgement this very truth.

*Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality. Consent has been given to share the information above.
Did you know that the name spells out exactly what it is? A carbohydrates are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen (so far, no studies have found hidden evil-ness). 
Here’s a fun science fact: did you know ribose and deoxyribose, which make up an important part of our RNA and DNA, are actually carbohydrates?

So why do so many demonise something that’s literally part of our DNA?
Back in the last century when diets became popular, they had to find a scape goat, a figurative punching bag. At first it was fat and then shortly after, the trend moved towards carbohydrates.

Unfortunately, these myths were perpetuated by an overly simplistic concept of human nutrition and physiology (nothing about it is basic). Sadly, what these diets don’t mention is that water follows carbohydrates closely, so when carbs are cut out of the diet, lots of water follows, which is usually the reason why people see rapid weight loss quickly and then a plateau.

The real truth about carbs according to credible, thorough research, is our body and especially the brain prefer to use glucose (aka sugar) as their source of energy. Unfortunately, the brain can’t store carbohydrates, so it must receive a regular source from our food.
 
Additionally, having a constant source of carbohydrates allows for protein to be used for maintaining muscle (rather than being broken down for fuel), optimising immune function to stay strong and healthy, assisting with hydration and gut health, and finally improving mood, sleep and appetite. 

Did you know carbohydrates are directly linked to increased serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical that is responsible for our mood, regulating sleep cycles and help with regulating fullness signals. This is also a big factor in why we encourage the consumption of carbohydrates at each meal for those undergoing recovery as it improves the ability for clients to regulate mood and have a clearer idea about what are their thoughts and what are the eating disorder thoughts.
I've found myself needing to apologise a lot lately. And, in my genuine desire to approach such a conversation effectively, I decided to do some research on the topic. 

I came across this 2-part conversation between Psychologist, Dr. Harriet Lerner and Brene Brown which I found immensely helpful (link below and in bio). Check it out if you're interested and let me know what you think. 
http://ow.ly/3D7Y50DFLPe

I have also shared the 9 steps (as outlined in her book “Why Won’t You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts") below in case it also aids those of you who share my commitment to fostering more meaningful interactions with others.
Why are we so persistent on the homework tasks?

As practitioners at CFIH, our job will be to support clients for approximately one hour of the week, which means only 0.59% of a person’s week is spent with us. The other 167 hours of the week will solely be up to the individual to take those learnings and become their own therapist in a way.

If the homework tasks aren’t completed, then you’re really only actively treating the eating disorder for 0.59% of the week. It would be an uphill battle to recover, as the eating disorder voice is actively working against treatment every other hour. Being able to bring awareness to eating at every meal, is key to beginning to change our thoughts about food.

These homework tasks may be challenging and anxiety provoking, however, being able to get out of your comfort zone, is where true recovery can begin. 

If you are struggling with the work for any reason, take some time with your therapist to work through these challenges and discuss other strategies that may help.

Treatment can be really hard when it means living so much of your day outside of your comfort zone. We want to remind all of our clients that even getting through the day is an incredible achievement in which you should be proud of. 

#CBT #cognitivebehaviouraltherapy #ED #edtherapist #EDrecovery #eatingdisorderrecovery #recoveryispossible
The DEAR MAN acronym can be utilised in certain situations where you may need to assert and express yourself to someone. This can also be used for conflict management, where you can convey your needs whilst not neglecting the other person’s feelings. Alternatively, this skill can be used to respectfully set boundaries and say no to requests.

For those undergoing treatment for an eating disorder, these skills may be helpful to communicate to loves ones who may unintentionally make triggering comments.

Describe: Start by describing the situation using facts and without asking for anything. The person you are communicating with may not understand or be aware of the situation. 
Express: Tell the person how you’re feeling my using “I” statements. Using the word, I prevents the other person from becoming defensive. Be mindful not to use the “express” to lay blame on others as this will result in the other person becoming defensive and argumentative.
Assert: Depending on the situation, this may be the time to ask for something from the other person, or to say no to the request. This is to “assert” your request so be clear and concise. 
Reinforce: Discuss why they should acknowledge your request and the positive outcomes it will have for both you and the other person. The positive outcome may be as simple as an appreciation and a thank you for understanding. 
Mindful: Take this moment to remember the core reason for the conversation and what you were wanting out of it. It can be easy to get side-tracked, lose focus and end up in disagreements about something else.
Appear: It can be tough if these conversations are unfamiliar or uncomfortable . To appear confident to the other person, think about body language like posture and eye contact.
Negotiate: Finally, be open to negotiation. You may find the other person has some valid points (depending on the situation), so understanding their perspective may be helpful in coming to a solution.
I sat with a client of mine yesterday - whom is towards the end of what we have collaboratively defined as ‘recovery’ for her - while she anguished about how horrible ‘recovery’ is. She spoke of feeling lonely, socially inept, and unable to attract the men she was interested in. Whilst describing her anguish, she proclaimed “If I had of known that recovery would be like THIS, I wouldn’t ever have consented to it!”

After resisting the impulse to pull her into a tight embrace and soothe away her tears, I gently responded with “the pain you are experiencing isn’t the pain of recovering from an eating disorder, it’s the pain of navigating life. Life IS as beautiful and as heartbreaking as you describe. I wonder whether the difficulty here is that - until recovery - you were convinced that all of your problems revolved around your appearance and could be negated by controlling what you ate. Now that your life had broadened to be much bigger and more meaningful than a number on the scales, you have problems that are also more complex (yet more wonderful) than ones that can be solved by a diet or weight-loss plan?”

After some further discussion and reflection, she came to this conclusion: “Recovery and life are not about avoiding problems but about choosing problems that are meaningful and then learning how to suffer well”.

*permission to share this story has been provided.

Our Staff

Dr Nga Tran – Psychiatrist

Dr Nga Tran – Psychiatrist

Marthe Van Iwaarden – Psychologist

Marthe Van Iwaarden – Psychologist

Rebecca Haubner – Psychologist

Rebecca Haubner – Psychologist

Renee Curran – Accredited Practicing Dietitian

Renee Curran – Accredited Practicing Dietitian

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 Raffelt – Psychologist

Audrey Raffelt – 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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