Coming Home To Myself
Eating Disorders Recovery
A holistic approach to eating disorders treatment...
I have extensive experience working with clients with anorexia, body dysmorphia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, exercise addiction, orthorexia and those with an unhelpful relationship to food and their body across all ages and genders.
For three years I was the Art Therapist at the Eating Disorders Unit at The Wesley Mission Hospital running group therapy and working together with a team of psychotherapists, dieticians and eating disorder professionals . My experience working in the eating disorders field has helped me to understand that each client requires a unique and person-centered approach to healing.
I believe treatment needs to be focused on the whole person, and offer a combination of different therapy modalities sessions tailored to the individual and their needs at the various stages of recovery. I work from a trauma-informed, HAES aligned, somatic framework, with empathy, compassion and deep listening underpinning everything I do in my practice.
Eating Disorder Services:
Holistic Therapy for Eating Disorders
Specialising in the holistic treatment of eating disorders and body issues addressing the whole person (mind/body/spirit), rather than focusing only on symptoms or behaviours. We look at the survival role the ED has played in the clients experience and what they need to address to be able to move forward. For highly sensitive people our approach is empathetic and tailored to the individual. Increasingly research shows the value of therapists with lived experiences & the need to tailor therapies styles to suit the personality and needs of each client, understanding that each experience is unique.
Helping people with eating disorders re-establish a healthy routine and relationship with food and hunger is essential for full recovery. In sessions we can address the practical day-to-day aspects of the eating disorder. This may include recognising triggers, beliefs or rules that underpin behaviours and working to understand where and why these thoughts developed. Mentoring options include supported exposure to food within a session eg a morning tea in the studio Together we work on developing new more helpful beliefs and move towards intuitive eating and food freedom.
Art & Somatic Therapies
for Eating Disorders
True and lasting recovery involves befriending and accepting the body. If a client chooses to they can explore using art therapy & somatic movement to bring them in to a healing relationship with their body. In addition to therapy we can offer clients mindfulness, meditation, movement, art and sound therapies if appropriate. These somatic (felt) therapies help to take what has been learnt from head in to the heart so that the person can learn to trust their body and live from a deep sense of their own being.
Specialising in Holistic & Integrative
A tailored approach...
Increasingly research shows that mentors and therapists who have their own recovery story offer a unique and valuable offering to clients, having had an inside experience that can help them to understand what the client is going through, offer hope that full recovery is possible and be a guide on the pathway to achieving recovery.
Elise’s experience of a recovery from an eating disorder in her teens gives her a unique empathy and deep understanding of the client base she serves and the challenges of recovery. Full recovery is possible, and Elise has witnessed this for herself and in the clients she sees.
As well as therapy sessions in a studio setting Elise is available as an eating disorder mentor, which can include; cooking together, shopping planning and supported morning teas. We recognise that both the practicalities of eating need to be addressed as well as the underlying reasons behind the eating disorder.
Frequently asked questions:
Q: How does therapy & coaching complement my treatment plan?
We do not aim to replace the medical model, but to complement it, realising that while many are dragged out of their eating disorder quickly because of immediate health concerns the real underlying issues have not been addressed. We recommend early intervention if possible, and a team treatment plan can be key in keeping people out of intensive in-patient treatment facilities.
Elise has recommendations for dieticians, GPs and other specialist eating disorder health professionals, and can work as part of an integrated treatment team to help you or your loved one on their journey to recovery.
Q: Do you offer Medicare rebates/discounts?
We don't offer rebates, however it is important to us to keep our service accessible. The fee for our services ($120 per hour) is often less that the gap you need to pay for many psychologists who may charge upwards of $240 per hour.
Q: Do I need a therapist who is Eating Disorder trained?
Finding someone with experience in eating disorders means they will be more aware of the complications and intricacies of caring for people with eating disorders. It's important to find a therapist who sees the person, not the 'disorder' and as such tailors treatment to the individual rather than simply following clinical models, as no two eating disorders are the same.
The most important thing when finding a therapist is finding someone you can trust, be open with and develop a strong therapeutic relationship. No two therapists are the same in their approach, just as no two clients are the same. You may prefer a more clinical approach, or a more holistic approach, so explore the options and go with what feels right for you - trust your feelings! Therapists and Eating Disorder coaches who have lived experiences of eating disorders are a valuable addition to the field and increasing recognised as such.
Q: How can art therapy help in recovery from eating disorders?
Working in the Wesley Eating Disorders Unit has shown me how transformative art can be, even patients who say they are not artistic report gaining so much from a space where they are invited to explore and make meaning of their experience in a new way.
Art therapy, meditation and embodied practices helped me to go from surviving to flourishing at a difficult point in my life, where other more traditional/clinical models didn't help, and this is something I would like to offer to others on the road to full recovery.
Q: What is your Professional Experience working with Eating Disorders?
Working in the prevention of eating disorders and advocating for positive body image has been my passion over the last fifteen years.
In London I worked alongside Professor Susie Orbach, psychotherapist and author of Fat is a Feminist Issue for 5 years. On returning to Australia I was on the Board of Endangered Bodies Australia, an advocacy group for eating disorders headed up by Sarah McMahon, founder of BodyMatters Australia.
I have run workshops at The Butterfly Foundation's Conference for Carers and held art-therapy workshops at BodyMatters Australia. I am also the in-house Art Therapist at Wesley Mission Hospital in their Eating Disorders Unit two days per week.
Clients with diagnosed eating disorders are required to be under the care of a GP and if necessary have a meal plan in place.
Q: I am the carer of someone with an eating disorder and I would like
support & advice on how to best help them?
Elise is available to support and offer advice to carers of people with eating disorders. Eating disorders are a misunderstood illness, so being able to speak to someone who has recovered from an eating disorder can offer insight and hope in to the complexities of eating disorders in their various forms. Sessions are a space for yourself to talk through with what is coming up for you personally and relationship challenges. You may seek advice on how to best support your loved one, including eating disorder education and help with meal preparation & supervision and your role and boundaries as a carer. Sessions allow the time and space for carers to nurture and inform themselves about eating disorders and prevent burn out and misunderstandings.
I'd like to know more?
Click on the 'Contact' section of this website above to make an enquiry or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your individual needs. Sessions are available in our Chatswood studio on online via Zoom.