Have you tried to change, but found yourself falling into old habits, such as:
If so, you’re not alone; many people struggle with disordered eating (e.g. Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating, Emotional Eating, Overeating). Although eating issues come in different forms, what they have in common is that they negatively impact your quality of life.
You’ve likely made numerous attempts to change, but for reasons that may not be clear to you, something keeps getting in the way.
Why you feel stuck
We understand that there are good reasons why you are stuck in a cycle of disordered eating.
Given that people often experience both costs and benefits from the same behaviors, it’s normal to sometimes feel ambivalent about change. This may be a source of tension with people in your life; they may only see the costs of the behavior and get frustrated when change is slow or doesn’t happen or when you slip back into old habits.
Fortunately, we provide effective psychological and dietary treatment to help you make lasting changes.
Our Treatment Team Can Help You:
Dr. Ternowski is a Registered Psychologist (#1672). He has a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Simon Fraser University and also completed an American Psychological Association accredited internship at Vanderbilt University, TN, USA.
His clinical experience includes working as a psychologist at the Eating Disorder Program at St. Paul’s Hospital from 2004 until 2009. He now works exclusively in private practice, treating adults with disordered eating, anxiety, depression, and relationship problems. He also runs groups for individuals struggling with disordered eating. Dr. Ternowski’s clinical research has included the evaluation of the impact of exercise on psychological well being, and research into the effectiveness of a large provincial forensic psychotherapy treatment program.
Dr. Erin Dunn Wallden is a Registered Psychologist (#1637). She completed both her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and an American Psychological Association accredited internship at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. She also completed a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Dunn Wallden’s clinical experience includes working as a psychologist at the Eating Disorder Program at St. Paul’s Hospital from 2004 until 2011.
She treats adults with disordered eating, depression, anxiety, and substance use problems. Dr. Dunn Wallden’s research focuses on the applications of readiness and motivational models to the assessment and treatment of eating disorders, substance use, and health behavior change. She is currently supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Ali Eberhardt is a Registered Dietitian who holds a Bachelor of Science, Food Nutrition Health degree with Honors from the University of British Columbia. She has been working in the Provincial Adult Tertiary Specialized Eating Disorders Program since 2011 as well as with the Looking Glass organization since 2011. Ali believes in collaborating with clients to help achieve their goals through a caring & compassionate approach. Ali is passionate about helping clients find a healthy relationship with food & body.
Bev Gorden is a registered social worker with a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of British Columbia. She is a skilled couples and family therapist with training through the Pacific Coast Family Therapy Training Institute in Vancouver.
Bev has been a family therapist with the St. Paul’s Hospital Eating Disorders Program since 2001. She works with individuals, couples and families in addressing difficult relationship patterns, building connection and developing a collaborative approach to support the process of healing and recovery. She is now in private practice in addition to her position at the hospital.
Although many treatment providers express an interest in helping people who struggle with eating problems, we are unique because we actually have extensive training and experience treating mild, moderate, and severe eating issues.
Each member of our interdisciplinary team has worked in specialized eating disorder treatment settings (inpatient, outpatient, and residential programs within the St. Paul’s Hospital Eating Disorder Program). Collectively, we have over 25 years experience working with people who are struggling with problematic eating (i.e. Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, emotional eating).
We have experience working with people who need a lot of support to make changes, as well as those who just need a bit of advice on how to get started or how to maintain changes they have already made.
We are genuinely motivated to help you get better. We regularly review clinical research to ensure that we offer the best treatment we can. Further, as part of our practice, we work with you to track your progress so that you get treatment focused on your specific needs and problem areas.
Finally, we are a caring and compassionate group of clinicians. We understand the complexities related to these issues, appreciate the ambivalence that people often feel about change, and recognize that change is difficult. Because of this, we find it easy to be non-judgmental in our work supporting our clients.
YOUR FIRST APPOINTMENT
Prior to your first appointment you will be asked to complete a series of forms (registration form, consent form, fee agreement) and questionnaires asking about your current symptoms and overall quality of life.
At the beginning of the first appointment we will review these forms to ensure that you understand what you have read and to allow you to ask questions so that you are comfortable with and informed about the treatment arrangement.
We will then ask you what you would like help with and look at specific examples of the problem(s). In the process, we will together get a picture of what is causing your concerns, and develop a plan on how to make things better.
It is important that you feel like your therapist is a good match for you. So, after the initial session you can choose how you’d like to proceed with treatment, if at all.
The reasons why your eating issues started and/or continue are personal and specific, so treatment is tailored to your specific needs.
However, there are often some common themes in treatment. You might be wondering what kinds of things people talk about in their sessions. Here are some examples:
○ For some people this includes strained relationships, low self esteem, not knowing how to cope with stressful events or strong emotions (e.g. grief, anger), or being bothered by past difficult life experiences.
○ Well-researched treatment approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) help people to identify when they are distressed and give them the tools to cope differently. These skills teach you how to be more mindful of feelings, work with feelings more skillfully, and become more effective in relationships.
○ People often express a desire to improve their overall quality of life. Focusing on fostering meaningful experiences in a variety of areas (e.g., work, school, relationships, leisure) can be crucial for long-lasting change.
○ For some this includes gradually loosening rigid rules about good/bad foods and adopting a more balanced relationship with food. The benefit is that when we don’t end up feeling deprived, we aren’t as vulnerable to making bad food choices. Often, meeting with a dietitian with specialized experience in this area is extremely important in getting better.