I am a registered Clinical Mental Health Social Worker currently working two days per week at the Royal Children’s Hospital Specialist Eating Disorder Clinic, Melbourne, and the remainder of my time is devoted to supporting parents undertaking Family Based Treatment (FBT) and supporting clinicians delivering the treatment through training and supervision.
My interest in Eating Disorders commenced in 2005 and in 2007 I joined the Eating Disorder Team that established the Royal Children’s Hospital Specialist Eating Disorders Program. Since the program commenced I have provided FBT to hundreds of adolescents and their families and now hope to share that knowledge with you.
While working in the program, I became the lead FBT therapist in a Randomized Controlled Trial comparing the efficacy of two treatments for adolescent Anorexia Nervosa – Family Based Therapy and Parent Focused Therapy under the guidance of Prof. Daniel LeGrange and Dr Katharine Lobe both international experts in the field of eating disorders.
In 2014 I was accepted as a faculty member of the Training Institute for Child & Adolescent Eating Disorders, Chicago, USA. I am also an accredited FBT therapist,FBT supervisor and trainer having fulfilled the Institute requirements. For further information (www.train2treat4ed.com/faculty/). My supervisory and training skills have been further enhanced by the completion of a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Teaching and Supervision at Melbourne University.
I have also completed a Graduate Certificate in Nutrition at Deakin University in order to assist parents understand every aspect of nutrition and refeeding during FBT.
Given my extensive experience working with families I truly understand the devastating impact of anorexia nervosa on an adolescent and their family. I have witnessed the conflict and distress experienced by parents as their adolescent fights their efforts to help them get better. The pain and struggle I see in every family I have been involved with makes me more committed to ensuring that every family and adolescent have the best chance of success.
My commitment to families has led me to write a book “Survive FBT” which outlines all the information and strategies parents need to help their child through FBT. I also developed and run a monthly FBT Skills Based Workshop for parents at the Royal Children’s Hospital based on the information contained in my book.
I gained a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work followed by a Masters in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at Monash University. For the past twenty years I have worked exclusively with children, adolescents and their families in both child and adult mental health services. I have held the positions of Team Leader in a Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service, Travancore, and Department Head of Child Psychotherapy at Royal Children’s Hospital.
I also have a Graduate Diploma in Family Law Mediation and have worked at the Family Court of Australia, and have conducted Child Death Inquires for the Commission for Children and Young People.