Casey Bonano RD, LD, CEDRD
Practice Website: wwww.dallasnutritionalcounseling.com
Ebook Website: www.thefoodfreedomguide.com
What is your current position?
I am the sole owner of a private practice in Dallas, Texas called Dallas Nutritional Counseling where I provide outpatient services to those struggling with eating disorders and disordered eating.
How did you get started in your career?
For as long as I can remember I knew what I wanted to do and it had nothing to do with nutrition. I entered college with a completely different major and I quickly because disinterested and restless. I browsed the different colleges and available majors. I knew I wanted to do something in the sciences, most likely something within healthcare, but I had no idea what. That is when I stumbled across nutrition and the idea of becoming a Registered Dietitian, which I knew nothing about. I talked to the head of the department, and decided to change my major second semester sophomore year. I began my coursework, applied to the coordinated program, and was accepted. During my internship I hated just about every rotation. I was wondering if I had made a terrible mistake, and I was questioning whether or not I really wanted to be a dietitian. Then I interned with a private practice dietitian specializing in eating disorders, Intuitive Eating, and Health at Every Size. Over the couple of months of my last rotation, everything became clear. This was exactly what I wanted to do. After graduation I spent a couple years in clinical dietetics, but I knew my passion was working with eating disorders. I began working part time, nights and weekends, at a residential eating disorder treatment center. I eventually left clinical dietetics to work full time for the eating disorder treatment center. After a couple of years, I transitioned to another treatment center where I was working 30 hours a week and officially opened my own private practice. After several years of doing both, I left higher levels of care to focus solely on private practice and outpatient care.
What advice would you give to someone new to the field?
If you are trying to get into the field, but continue to find road blocks due to lack of experience, try to get experience in non-employment avenues. Reach out to local eating disorder dietitians and see if they have any part-time, volunteer, or shadowing opportunities. Become a member of the local and/or national eating disorder organizations such as IFEDD (international federation of eating disorder dietitians) and iaedp (international association of eating disorder professionals) and make connections with those currently in the field. Let everyone who will listen know that you are looking to get into the field. Paid experience is not the only experience of value. If you are new to the field, learn as much as you can and never assume you know enough about the treatment of eating disorders. Attend any and every educational opportunity about eating disorders even if it is not specifically geared towards dietitians. Make sure you are receiving adequate supervision and if you are not seek it out from a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian Supervisor.