In an attempt to gain just a little credibility, I thought maybe some background information might prove useful.
My name is Andy and I have been a Registered Mental Health Nurse for twenty years, and for the last seven or eight, a Clinical Nurse Specialist in eating disorders.
After a stint as manager of an NHS Eating Disorder Day and Outpatient Service, I joined a large private healthcare company as one of the lead clinicians, in what is the UK’s only nurse led residential treatment service. The value of this is immediately evident, with no psychiatrist at the head, you are not stuck with the medical model of enforced weight restoration first, and everything else later, hopefully.
This allows for working collaboratively, with infinite creative possibilities, pulling together in making the changes necessary for progression toward a life not bound by the constraints of an eating disorder, a life that allows the good stuff in too.
Beyond the nursing, I am also a Certified Personal Trainer, and have further qualifications in counselling and nutrition. This has proved so useful in working with eating disorder clients. Weight gain doesn’t have to be just about body fat, it can be about functional muscle too; an over-exercising bulimia sufferer can can learn to work out and benefit their health, rather than damage it. The right exercise programme can improve cardiac function in a chronic anorexic, and halt or even begin to reverse osteoporosis.
I’ve often found that exercise, used correctly, and effectively, can really support and indeed aid to motivate a client in their fight against the psychological aspects of their illness. Retaining control of their bodies, but moving toward health, and life. Learning and truly knowing that weight can be managed effectively through appropriate diet and exercise, can often allow a recovering client to “take a chance” in challenging their illness, and the patterns of behaviour that maintain it.
Recently I have undertaken further training to become a Licensed Practitioner of an emotional eating programme, “Understanding Your Eating”, created by Professor Julia Buckroyd, a foremost authority on the subject in both the UK and beyond. It is from this experience that I have made the decision to create fit2change, in the hope of offering a wider group of clients the opportunity to benefit from a more creative and holistic approach to recovery. You can read more on this site.
And, for me? The best thing about working in eating disorders? It’s the shared journey I take with a client. I consider it a privilege when someone allows me to join them for a time in their journey through life. It’s hard, and has many ups and downs, but they all, every one of them, prove of immense value, furthering real personal growth.
So, please do get in touch, and quite possibly, by working together, we can move you closer to the life you would prefer for yourself.