Liz Motta

Liz Motta, MSEd, LMHC

www.allianceforeatingdisorders.com

www.findEDhelp.com

What is your current position? And how did you get started in your career?

The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness (“The Alliance”) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing programs and activities aimed at outreach, education, early intervention, and advocacy for all eating disorders. Founded in October 2000, The Alliance has worked tirelessly to raise awareness; eliminate secrecy and stigma; promote access to care; and support those susceptible to, currently struggling with, and recovered from eating disorders.

As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with background in treating eating disorders at the residential level of care, I came to work for The Alliance in June 2017 as their Program Coordinator. Through my experience working with underserved populations in community mental health agencies and seeing firsthand the lack of eating disorder education provided in master’s level clinical programs, I felt strongly connected to the mission of The Alliance and the need to give back. As the Program Coordinator, I regularly speak with individuals and loved ones to offer support and connect them to eating disorder treatment nationwide. Ultimately, I strive to advocate for individuals on their path to recovery while providing education on the importance of eating disorder awareness, early intervention and the promotion of positive body image.

What advice would you give to someone new to the field?

If you are considering a career in the mental health field, specifically in the treatment of eating disorders, I would highlight the importance of incorporating self-care into your daily routine. While working in the mental health field is a fulfilling and rewarding experience, it can also lead to burnout and compassion fatigue without setting appropriate boundaries. Self-care looks different for each person; therefore, it is important to figure out what work-life balance looks like for you. 

Instagram: @allianceforeda

Twitter: @AllianceforEDA

Leslie Schilling

Leslie Schilling, MA, RDN, CSCS, CEDRD-S

Website: www.LeslieSchilling.com

What is your current position? 

  • Owner/Sport Dietitian/Nutrition Therapist/Speaker at Schilling Nutrition LLC
  • Performance Nutrition Consultant for Cirque du Soleil
  • Creator & Coauthor, Born To Eat

How did you get started in your career?

I started my career in sport and pediatric research. Sport nutrition was all I wanted to do and I had a very big blind spot about eating disorders in sport (& in general). One day I had a mom call me and say her daughter was an athlete and seeing me for sports nutrition may be the only way to get her attention about her eating disorder. I overnighted every ED book I knew of and got on the phone with this young woman’s therapist right away. How naive I had been to think I wasn’t going to work with those who suffered from EDs. This therapist, along with a few others with ED specialties, took me under their wings and trained me to work with people struggling with EDs. I like to say “I was brought up in this field by therapists.” Don’t forget about the power of interdisciplinary training along with the supervision of seasoned RDs.

What advice would you give to someone new to the field?

There’s so much more training and supervision available now than when I was “growing up” in the field. If you can afford it, go to multidisciplinary conferences, specialty trainings, and get supervision across the disciplines. With little funds (but extraordinary value), you can learn a tremendous amount on the IFEDD listserv; I learn there every day.

Born to Eat: Whole, Healthy Foods from Baby’s First Bite

Purchase Here

Emily Murray

Emily Murray, RD, LDN

Blog: emilymurrayrd.com

Instagram: @foodfreedomdietitian

What is your current position?

I currently hold a position at The Renfrew Center of Nashville! I work with clients who are enrolled in our day treatment and intensive outpatient programs.  

How did you get started in your career?

I received my Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology with a concentration in Nutrition and Dietetics from Tennessee Technological University, and I completed my Dietetic Internship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. During my time at Vanderbilt, I competed my capstone rotation with the Adolescent Medicine Team at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, where I worked in multiple levels of care, including inpatient hospitalization and outpatient. I got my start in my career working with an outpatient private practice group of psychiatrists and therapists in Nashville! In that position, about 90-95% of the clientele I worked with had clinically diagnosable eating disorders, while the other 5-10% usually had some form of mental illness that was impacting their nutrition status in some way.

What advice would you give to someone new to the field?

A few things come to mind when I think of advice for individuals who want to work in the eating disorders field: First, if you have a history of an eating disorder / disordered eating yourself, make sure you have done the work for yourself first before jumping in to helping others. This boundary will not only protect your own mental health, but also your future clients. Second, if you know you want to work with individuals with eating disorders before/during your internship, do your best to apply for programs that either have a special eating disorders rotation, or where you will have the opportunity to choose an “area of specialty” and get some experience that way. Third, network! I landed my first job without having to fill out a job application for that position! I met one of my co-workers at an eating disorders training event, networked, and the rest was history. Fourth, seek supervision! Reba Sloan, RD/LDN, MPH, FAED has been my supervisor from day one, and her advice and expertise has been invaluable! Fifth, if you want to treat eating disorders (and not just dip your toe in intuitive eating and some disordered eating), I highly recommend working in a higher level of care if possible. It’s not to say that you can’t do it without the higher level of care experience (I did) but you learn so much and see so much in those higher levels, that it can really enhance your knowledge and skills as a practitioner.

Diana Wright

Diana Wright, MS, RD, CEDRD

Founder and Owner: Life Inspired Nutrition

Website: www.lifeinspirednutrition.com

Instagram: @Life_Inspired_Nutrition

Facebook: Life Inspired Nutrition

What is your current position?

I am the founder and owner of Life Inspired Nutrition, a private practice offering individualized nutritional consultations focused on helping clients recover from disordered eating and heal their relationship with food. We work from a non-diet, weight-inclusive approach routed in Health At Every Size Principles. 

How did you get started in your career?

I began my career during my combined Master’s of Clinical Nutrition at NYU and dietetic internship at the Bronx Veterans Medical Center. As I completed my rotations, I felt especially connected with nutrition counseling and one of my preceptors connected me with Melainie Rogers, MS, RD, CEDRD-S, founder of Melainie Rogers Nutrition and Balance Eating Disorder Treatment Center in NYC. Melainie and the incredible staff members became my mentors, providing me with further education and guidance on nutrition therapy for eating disorder treatment. I worked my way up from a recovery coach to the nutrition team leader and program coordinator for both the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) as well as the Day Treatment Program (DTP). I then relocated to San Diego and furthered my skill set as the West Coast Director of Nutrition for Eating Disorder Recovery Specialists (EDRS), an adjunct service providing transitional and supplemental support for individuals struggling with eating disorders. These positions allowed me to grow not only my experience with eating disorder treatment, but also my management skills. Since graduating from my Master’s program, I always had a small private practice and in 2017, I decided to focus primarily on my private practice. I then was able to hire an additional registered dietitian to the practice 1 year ago and we are expecting continued growth. 

What advice would you give to someone new to the field?

I would recommend attending the amazing webinars, conferences and presentations that the field offers. I learned so much from these experiences! They allowed me to meet and brainstorm with wonderful professionals. Since the field is always changing and growing, I have found being a part of local and global professional networks is essential to expanding your knowledge. The IFEDD listserv in particular is immensely valuable! In addition, resources through the International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP), Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – Behavioral Health Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group (AND-BHN DPG), and the National Association of Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). There are also a plethora of amazing websites, books, podcasts, and social media accounts that provide valuable information to support your clients (There are too many to list but feel free to email if you’d like recommendations: Diana@lifeinspirednutrition.com). In summary, get involved in the field, meet other professionals and stay connected via organizations, listservs and social media. We all learn from and support one another!

Catie Lynch

eating-disorder-jobs-catie-lynch

Catie Lynch, LCSW

Website: www.catielynchlcsw.com

Instagram: @catielynchlcsw

What is your current position?

I’m currently in private practice seeing clients virtually and in person. I specialize in eating disorders and body image. I’ve currently been in private practice for a little over two years.

How did you get started in your career?

I had a bunch of different jobs after I finished my masters program. I worked in addiction recovery, with chronic mental illness and then at a university setting. I saw A LOT and learned a ton from each position. After reaching out for help with my own eating disorder, I decided it was the specialty I wanted to pursue.

What advice would you give to someone new to the field?

I would tell any new therapist that it takes time to feel comfortable and to be okay with asking for help. No one is perfect and we all need mentors, colleagues and supervisors to help us along the way. I would say to be persistent in pursuing what you want. I would also say that social work and counseling is very emotionally draining if you aren’t taking care of yourself. As practitioners, we must model good self care and self love by putting our needs first. 

Erica Leon

eating-disorder-jobs-erica-leon

Erica Leon, MS, RDN, CEDRD

Website: ericaleon.com

Facebook: @erica.leon.nutrition

Instagram: @ericaleonnutrition

Twitter: @EricaLeonRDN

Pinterest: EricaLeonRD

What is your current position?

I am the owner of Erica Leon Nutrition, a group nutrition practice that specializes in eating disorder treatment and prevention. We use a non-diet, Health at Every Size ® approach to help chronic dieters re-connect with their natural, internal signals of hunger, fullness, and satisfaction. We work with clients with all types of eating concerns. We also have group meal support, cooking programs, and in-person and online intuitive eating and nutrition workshops. 

How did you get started in your career?

I enjoyed my nutrition coursework in college, so I decided to do a dietetic internship and work in a hospital. I loved doing that work, but I was young and impatient, so I tried my hand at several other nutrition careers. I worked in sales and marketing for a formula company. Next, I worked in public relations for some big-name products like Optifast and Sweet and Low. I found I missed working directly with patients, so I eventually started my private practice. 

What advice would you give to someone new to the field?

a) Experiment with different nutrition jobs. I found my way to eating disorder treatment through trial and error. That’s how I learned which career excited me and was the best fit for my needs and skill set. How can a young person know which job is right for them until they are out in the field? 

b) Network. Go to events and talk to people. I learned about every one of my jobs through connections I had made at various dietetic association meetings. 

c) Have supervision if you do direct patient care. Particularly with patients who suffer from eating disorders, make sure you have guidance. Supervision was not readily available when I first started seeing patients. I had to rely on wisdom from the therapists who were working with my patients. Nowadays, supervision is a prerequisite to becoming certified as an eating disorder specialist.

Lastly, I do have a book in the works but it’s too soon to announce it! I will just say that there are recipes in it, and it’s anti-diet culture. That’s all I can say right now!