Diana Dugan Richards

Diana Dugan Richards, RDN LDN is the owner of Namaste Nutrition, a private practice in Watertown, Massachusetts, a registered dietitian and nutrition therapist focusing on eating disorders, digestive health, and vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. She counsels using the evidence-based therapeutic technique of Internal Family Systems and includes the conceptual frameworks and practices of Intuitive Eating and weight-inclusivity.

What is your current position?

I’ve been a sole practitioner in private practice since 2007, previously, in the area of weight loss via very-low-calorie diets, prescription weight loss medications and surgical intervention in two academic medical institutions. It was clearly not the right path for me. When I was financially able, I created my own genre. As an Anusara yoga teacher, I taught group and private yoga classes, and created a Yoga for Mindful Eating series that ran for years. Marrying yoga philosophy to a deeper and more satisfying perspective of healing through Internal Family Systems (IFS), the foundation of my practice is solid and I haven’t looked back since my first training in 2011.

How did you get started in your career? 

I’ve been a maven for nutrition and exercise since I was 12 years old yet first worked as a legal assistant, then academic administrator at a College of Nursing, and finally successfully as a registered dietitian two weeks before my 40th birthday. My first position was as Corporate Wellness Director at a large, non-profit hospital in Little Rock, AR, then a move required I find new work in the metro Boston area. In Boston, I served on a DASH for Health website for 10 years and became a consultant for www.GoodMeasures.com. Amidst all that, a second job of teaching group exercise, personal training, and yoga kept me moving.

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

  • Plant seeds – lots of them, then harvest what feels exactly right to you.
  • Connect – with local practitioners who think like you do, into professional organizations, to what lights you up. Be open and curious.
  • Share – once established, give away all that you’ve developed. There is enough of it all to go around.
  • Embrace mentors in all fields to have access to as much as you can in all aspects of your career.
  • Keep learning! Branch out into areas of interest that can help you create your own special niche.
  • Move toward your passion with vigor and tenacity.

Learn more about Diana:

Website: www.NamasteNutrition.net

Phone: (617) 678-0607

Email: dianaduganrichards@gmail.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dianaduganrichards/

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/dianaduganrichards

Twitter: @dianarichards

Upcoming events:

 

 

 

 

Virgie Tovar

Virgie Tovar is an author, educator, podcaster and fat activist

What is your current position? 

I work for myself, and nowadays I primarily identify as an author, educator and podcaster.

How did you get started in your career? 

My career started in 2011 when I was in graduate school doing research on the intersections of body size, race and gender. I learned about fat activism and fat studies, and it really changed my life. At the time, there were very few people working in that area – and even fewer who took into account race/racism when it came to studying body image, weight-based discrimination, and the relationship to food. I decided to pitch the idea of an anthology of fat women’s writing to a trade (non-academic) press as I was finishing up my MA. By that point I knew I didn’t want to stay in academia because it was eating away at my sanity, my power and my dignity. I wanted to help women know there was a different life that was possible: one where we never dieted again. The book was acquired, and it became Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion. Before the book came out, I started getting booked for lectures at some local universities. I think people were ready to have the conversation about how weight-obsessed our culture is. I think there was a lot of luck and a few very supportive members of the queer community involved in the start of my career. I think it helped that I had an academic background, which allowed me to know this subject very well from a cultural/sociological perspective, and that I was an irreverent activist who lived in a fat brown body, which allowed me to speak from first-hand experience. I’ve always been committed to bridging the value of a scholarly approach with people’s lived reality, synthesizing the theoretical and the tactical.

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

The ED professional world needs critical approaches. It needs queer people, BIPOC, disabled people, fat people, working class people, trans and NB people. The ED space isn’t just clinicians. It’s podcasters, it’s educators who teach people how to create environments that don’t trigger people, it’s writers, it’s editors, it’s influencers, it’s parenting experts, it’s entrepreneurs. So, trust your gut, figure out how to incorporate ED into what you’re good at and what you love, expect pushback when you’re onto something powerful, be an early adopter, shake things up and follow the need not the rules. I remember being in grad school and my advisor saying that pursuing a career centered around fat people was “career suicide.” I’ve published three books and speak all over the country on this topic. Wow, was she wrong. There is so much room for innovation in the ED space! I think about the fact that the ED world is just beginning to understand that disordered eating is connected to weight stigma. This is so mind blowingly obvious, and yet it took decades to get here because the right people either weren’t in the room or they weren’t speaking their minds. The world of ED treatment has the potential to look totally different within a few decades. Be part of that shift. Listen to your intuition when you think about what’s working and what’s not, and instead of giving up or giving in, find the allies and the resources you need to make changes that help people.

Virgie’s Projects

Rebel Eaters Club podcast

You Have the Right to Remain Fat audiobook:

The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color

Babecamp: Break Up with Diet Culture E-Course

You can find Virgie on Instagram at: @virgietovar

 

Fatmah H. Al-Qadfan

Fatmah H. Al-Qadfan, Registered Drama Therapist

What is your current position? 

I am currently back in graduate school! I was working as a registered drama therapist for a few years in Kuwait, predominantly serving individuals in treatment for eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image issues. Right now, I’m a first year doctoral student in counseling psychology at Auburn University.

How did you get started in your career? 

I was a drama therapy student when I attended a workshop by Dr. Laura Wood on embodying compassion. This workshop opened my eyes to eating behaviors and body image concerns in a way that I had not considered before. I was suddenly aware of how bodies are policed, judged, shaped, weighed, elevated, and restricted, and how much of that was not in alignment with my beliefs around diversity, equity and connection. From there I pursued learning opportunities and training to expand my knowledge on social justice and eating disorders.

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

It can be very intimidating to go against the grain, once you start unpacking weight stigma — especially when so many educational institutions and health service providers do not practice in ways that respect and protect all bodies. So be that person who speaks up. Set boundaries. Have difficult conversations and have them unapologetically. You will get better at it with time.

See more on instagram at @dramatherapykuwait

Laurie Dunham

Laurie Dunham, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD-S is the owner of Laurie Dunham Nutrition and an outpatient RD on a multidisciplinary Eating Disorder Treatment team.

What is your current position?  
I work on a multidisciplinary Eating Disorder Treatment Team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, primarily as an outpatient dietitian. I provide nutrition therapy & education for adolescents & young adults, along with their families, who come to our program at any stage of their eating disorder. Occasionally, I work with the inpatient team on the eating disorder medical stabilization unit. Working in a large teaching hospital, I have many opportunities to educate medical students, residents, fellows, and dietetic interns. I specifically enjoy mentoring RDs who are interested in eating disorders & just learning about health at every size (HAES). This year I started offering Body Positive groups via telehealth and this has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in my over 20 years as a dietitian.

I also have a private practice, Laurie Dunham Nutrition, where I see adults with all forms of disordered eating. In addition to providing one-on-one nutrition therapy from a HAES lens, I offer Intuitive Eating & Body Acceptance groups. I am passionate about teaching others and spend part of my time in this position supervising & consulting with other RDs who are interested in eating disorders. I love the flexibility and creativity this position offers.

 

How did you get started in your career? 

I started working as an outpatient dietitian at a weight loss clinic (apologies) a few months after my internship ended. Due to random circumstances, I became the nutrition manager of one of the offices. Marketing, training a small number of employees, and other managerial tasks were added to my nutrition counseling responsibilities. I loved the outpatient aspect but quickly realized I was involved in an area that did not align with my values. Less than a year later when a position became available in Adolescent Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, I jumped on the opportunity. I was trained by another RD to work with adolescents who had a variety of nutrition needs, including eating disorders. About a year later, an official Eating Disorder Team was formed in our division and, aside from the year I stepped away to stay at home with my kids, I have worked as part of this team in some capacity or another since it began. When I started working at the hospital, I was fortunate that my Division encouraged & funded my attendance at various eating disorder conferences and trainings. I spent much of my spare time reading anything and everything on the topic of eating disorders. I was quickly immersed in a specialty area and I haven’t looked back.

 

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

Shadow, observe & talk to dietitians and mental health therapists who are working in the eating disorder field. Ask questions about their day-to-day work; what they love and what they wish they could change. Learn as much as possible by listening to podcasts & webinars, reading books & journal articles, and attending conferences if feasible. Many trainings are now offered virtually which helps keep the cost down; you can share the cost with a colleague if CEUs aren’t an issue. Find a mentor or supervisor to help you with challenging patient/client situations- this is invaluable. Talk to Eating disorder professionals who are in a completely different setting than you may see yourself in. For example, if you think you want to work at the residential level, talk to a researcher and an outpatient dietitian too.  The RDs I’ve trained and/or mentored over the years always have one thing in common: passion. When passion is present, the rest will fall into place. You may know immediately that you have a strong desire to help those with eating disorders, but there is a good possibility you may not discover how exactly to use that passion for a number of years to come; be patient. Be open to new ideas and never stop learning!

 

Learn more about Laurie at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaurieDunhamNutrition

Website: https://lauriednutrition.wixsite.com/nutrition

Jessica Setnick

Jessica Setnick, MS, RD, CEDRD-S, founder of EatingDisorderJobs.com, the International Federation of Eating Disorders and much more. Jessica teaches Eating Disorders Bootcamp and strives to teach health professionals how to properly help those with eating disorders.

What is your current position?
I work for myself and love it. My mission is to educate current and future health professionals how to identify, assess, help and refer individuals with eating disorders in their care. I also hope to change the way the eating disorder field treats individuals with eating issues and work against the stereotypes that prevent people in need from accessing treatment. In this branch of my career, I teach Eating Disorders Boot Camp and have written The Eating Disorders Clinical Pocket Guide, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Pocket Guide to Eating Disorders and continue to provide private trainings to hospitals and other treatment teams. I provide presentations related to eating disorders to college students, primary care health professionals and eating disorder specialists, particularly dietitians. I also coach dietitians through their challenging patient care and professional situations, and supervise dietitians who are working toward their Eating Disorder Specialist Certification. And I run a non-profit, the International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians that brings together eating disorder dietitians and future dietitians for community, collaboration and advocacy.

How did you get started in your career?

My first job was in a children’s hospital that was starting an eating disorder program. I was assigned half-time to the psychiatry service, where the eating disorder program was based, and half-time to the endocrinology service, and eventually moved full-time into the eating disorder program. It was an amazing learning experience, but I left two years later for private practice when I realized that the program was never going to run to the level of excellence I expected. I practiced for 13 wonderful years, during which time I started teaching Eating Disorders Boot Camp and presenting at conferences. I closed my practice to focus my attention on education and training, and worked as a spokesperson for several eating disorder treatment programs. In 2016, I decided it was time to go back to work for myself.

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

Every job is an opportunity to learn – even if what you learn is you don’t want to work there anymore. In other words, take what you can from each job, nothing is beneath you, but know that when you go out on your own, you don’thave to do things the way others do. Remember the things that infuriate you so you don’t recreate those situations later. Take risks and try not to let your worry of what others think hold you back. Apply for any job that
interests you, even if you don’t have the requested years of experience. Sometimes enthusiasm overrides those requirements. And please, please, please find someone you can talk to about your own issues, history and internal reactions. Whether it’s a professional supervisor, therapist, professional support group, or someone in your personal support system, it’s so crucial to your mental health to have a safe place to vent and explore your personal reactions to what you’re experiencing at work.

You can find more about Jessica at:

Website: https://www.understandingnutrition.com

Instagram: @understandingnutrition

 

Stefanie Ginsburg

Stefanie Ginsburg, RD, CEDRD is the Owner of UNRESTRICTED NUTRITION Counseling and Consulting LLC and bases her practice on the principles of Intuitive Eating, Health at Every Size and Body Kindness.

 

What is your current position? 

Owner/Dietitian at UNRESTRICTED NUTRITION Counseling and Consulting, LLC since May 2020. She confidently treats the gamut of eating disorders and specializes in the treatment of ARFID, both for individual clients and also conducts trainings for clinicians so that they can feel more competent treating the newest eating disorder on the block.

How did you get started in your career? 

One of my dietetic internship rotations was at Princeton’s Eating Disorder Program and my preceptor was moving onto a different job when I was beginning my job search and I was able to take her position, despite it being a specialty area of practice.  I spent three years working at Princeton’s ED Program and then went into the Peace Corps and returned to the field of eating disorders upon returning to the US, getting a job at Eating Recovery Center’s Child & Adolescent Program, where I worked for eight years before beginning my private practice.

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

Find your specialty and run with it!  Don’t be afraid to take a bunch of jobs to find your niche and then use your innate skill set to hone your place within a dietetics specialty area. You will become competent and confident in everything that you do – just be patient with yourself as the steep learning curve takes place.

 

For more information on Stefanie and her practice:

Phone: (720)-541-8684

Email: unrestrictednutrition@gmail.com

Website:www.unrestrictednutrition.com

Stefanie also has a PDF document available for purchase called ARFID: Further Assessing Your ‘Selective Eating’ Patients/Clients. This document will help hone in on background information that can better prepare you to treatment plan for a restrictive, aversive or avoidant ARFID case. The document can be downloaded here https://rd2rd.com/downloads/avoidant-restrictive-food-intake-disorder-further-assessing-your-selective-eating-patients-clients/