WHAT WE OFFER
- Psychological Therapy
- Other – emotion regulation skills, peer support, meal support
WHO IS THERAPY FOR?
The Swan Centre offers integrated evidence-based treatment for individuals who have eating disorders such as: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder (BED), Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED), and Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID).
We also offer treatment and support in relation to body image issues (e.g. body dysmorphia), disordered eating, chronic dieting, orthorexia, gastric surgery support (pre/post), compulsive exercise and food phobias.
We provide evidence-based treatments to individuals (10 years +) and their families, and can provide support and guidance to parents/carers of younger children (< 10 years).
Treatment is usually face-to-face, however our clinicians also offer telehealth consultations.
WHAT DOES THERAPY INVOLVE?
The evidence suggests that eating disorder treatment works best when we draw on expertise from a number of health professionals. Therefore at the Swan Centre we treat as an integrated, multi-disciplinary team. This means that your treatment plan may incorporate services from dietetics, clinical psychology, psychiatry and other allied health professions.
When you first contact the clinic, you will be asked to fill out an intake questionnaire. We recommend that you see your GP for a referral and/or care plan. A referral from your GP is not required to access our services, but we advise that you see your GP for regular medical monitoring and support. A care plan from your GP may also allow you to access Medicare rebates for your treatment.
We will then offer you a wait list assessment with one of our experienced clinicians, to discuss whether our clinic can meet your needs, as well as provide you with resources and recommendations of what to do while you wait for ongoing therapy. You are not obligated to have a wait list assessment, but we recommend them as it allows timely access to a one-off consultation with an eating disorder expert. It enables us to determine whether our clinic is a good fit for your needs, allows the provision of more personalised information, and helps us to provide a more well-informed plan for while you wait.
Eating disorder therapy usually involves attending between 10 and 40+ sessions over a period of 3-12 months. The duration of therapy will, of course, depend on the severity of an individual’s difficulties and other factors. It will usually involve a combination of dietetic, psychological, other allied health and/or psychiatric support.
Your clinician(s) will work with you to provide therapy that is evidence-based, but individually tailored to meet your particular concerns and difficulties. Therapy is commonly delivered in a one-on-one format, but can also involve family and loved ones, and we also offer treatments in a group format. Therapies are delivered by our experienced team of clinicians who are professional, warm, supportive and understanding.
EATING DISORDER THERAPY
The therapeutic approaches and interventions provided at The Swan Centre are evidence-based, and are recommended as first line treatments for eating disorders in the clinical guidelines.
The main aim of therapy is to alleviate the core symptoms of eating disorders by assisting people to make lasting changes to their eating with the eventual goal of achieving a functional approach to eating, weight and shape.
This treatment is suitable for adults and older adolescents with any type of eating disorder, including bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and binge eating disorder. It was developed at Oxford University by Professor Christopher Fairburn and his internationally renowned research team. CBT-E is based on the understanding that there are factors common across all forms of eating disorders that keep people ‘stuck’ in an unhelpful and distressing eating disorder cycle. As the name suggests, in CBT-E we try to help patients to change both unhelpful eating behaviours and the eating disorder mindset. This treatment focuses on modifying the core symptoms of eating disorders including the intense preoccupation with control over eating, weight and shape, strict dieting and other unhealthy weight loss behaviours (such as excessive exercising), low weight and the associated ‘starvation syndrome’ and binge eating and purging.
This treatment is suitable for adults and older adolescents with anorexia nervosa and was designed at the Maudsley Hospital, London, by Professors Ulrike Schmidt and Janet Treasure. It has been developed by combining current knowledge of the psychological, biological and neuropsychological factors that impact on anorexia nervosa. Treatment is individually tailored to match the patient’s clinical symptoms and neuropsychological profile. MANTRA targets factors such as the person’s thinking style, responses to difficult emotions and relationship patterns and beliefs about the usefulness of anorexia nervosa in his/her/their life. The treatment often involves close others and is accompanied by a comprehensive patient workbook.
SSCM is suitable for adults and older adolescents and was developed by Dr Gini McIntosh in New Zealand for the treatment of anorexia nervosa. This approach is based on a general supportive psychotherapeutic approach to mental health problems, with sound clinical management of the eating disorder. Clinical management involves providing high quality education, information and advice about anorexia nervosa, eating and weight, as well as expert care and support. Supportive psychotherapy aims to assist the patient by providing a positive and non judgemental therapeutic context, within which the patient is encouraged the make changes, explore issues that promote change and address any other issues that may be relevant to the eating disorder as identified by the patient.
This approach is often referred to as ‘The Maudsley Method’ and is suitable for children and adolescents with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. It is most helpful when the sufferer has only had the eating disorder for a relatively short period of time (e.g., less than 3 years). Current national and international clinical guidelines recognise FBT as having the greatest evidence-base for the treatment of anorexia nervosa in adolescents. FBT was originally developed in the late 1970s by a team of researchers led by Christopher Dare and Ivan Eisler at the Institute of Psychiatry and the Maudsley Hospital in London. The overall philosophy of FBT is developmentally driven, recognising that a child/adolescent’s primary attachments are in their family and that the eating disorder interferes with normal development, robbing the adolescent of his/her/their capacity to make appropriate decisions regarding food and eating. Thus, family involvement is critical to treatment success.
The primary goal of FBT is to facilitate a return to a normal developmental trajectory for the unwell child/adolescent. FBT harnesses parents as a resource, empowering them to bring about recovery in their child/adolescent by initially taking the necessary practical steps to ensure the adolescent eats appropriately. After nutritional recovery has occurred, other relevant adolescent issues are addressed to ensure that the patient returns to a normal developmental pathway and remains free of the eating disorder.
This approach is suitable for the treatment of food phobias and ARFID (avoidant restrictive food intake disorder). Both food phobias and ARFID involve anxiety and the avoidance of particular foods and can result in any of significant weight loss (or failure to appropriately gain weight), nutritional deficiencies and psychosocial problems. Cognitive behavioural therapy is used to help patients to modify their beliefs about and responses to the problematic foods and eating difficulties. Impairing levels of anxiety and other co-morbidities are common and are addressed progressively. Graded exposure techniques are used to help patients to manage anxiety around the necessary gradual introduction of avoided foods, in order to increase dietary variety and flexibility. Where appropriate, treatment will aim to restore weight and address nutritional deficiencies.
We offer both evidence-based group therapy, as well as groups for the purpose of education and support. The types of groups we run include:
- Binge Eating Therapy
- Dialectic Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Skills
- Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) Parent Group
This group therapy program is designed to help adults living with binge eating disorder (BED). Within the framework of a weight neutral approach, it aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of binge eating, specialised dietetic information, support and guidance. The group runs for 3 x 2-hour sessions over consecutive weeks. For more information, or to register you interest, please fill out the enquiry form below.
This group therapy program is designed to provide individuals with skills to improve key areas such as distress tolerance, emotion regulation and effective communication. This group runs for 8 x 2-hour sessions over consecutive weeks. For more information or to register your interest please fill out the enquiry form below.
This group is designed for attendance by parents/carers of individuals with a diagnosis of Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). It aims to provide parents and/or support people with education about avoidant restrictive eaters, as well as introduce strategies relating to developing more helpful eating patterns and introducing dietary variety. It runs for 2 x 2 hour sessions over consecutive weeks. For more information or to register your interest, please fill out the enquiry form below.
Make an enquiry
We are currently in the process of developing our group programme for the upcoming year. If you are interested in attending any of our groups, please fill out the adjacent enquiry form and someone will be in touch with you as soon as possible.
The Swan Centre is passionate about providing training for health professionals for the purpose of gaining knowledge and confidence in the screening, treatment and management of individuals with eating disorders.
We have a number of trained clinical supervisors who can provide professional guidance and advice for psychologists, dietitians and other mental health practitioners, in either a one-on-one or group format. We are able to offer online, onsite or offsite formats depending on your needs and availability.
ABOUT CLINICAL SUPERVISION
Supervision is a confidential space for clinicians to foster reflective practice, increase confidence and competency, and promote personal and professional development to enhance quality of care.
The supervision space is somewhere for clinicians to reflect, share and learn new skills and strengthen confidence. Supervision is tailored to meet individual needs, however topics which may be explored include; counselling skills, ethical questions, scope of practice, professional boundaries, clinical practice skills, resources available, local services and frameworks of care, as well as working through specific cases.
It is important that supervision is provided by an experienced practitioner, and for dietitians and psychology registrars, supervisors are required to have also completed specific supervisor training courses. Our Principal Dietitian, Kate Fleming, is available to provide professional supervision for APDs working with clients with eating disorders or other mental health concerns. Kate has completed supervision training approved by the Psychology Board of Australia. We currently have two AHPRA approved clinical psychologist supervisors – Dr Sue Byrne and Dr Emma Dove. Any of our clinicians are available to provide general supervision and case consultations. Fees are typically charged at the supervisor’s hourly consulting rate.
Clinical supervision at The Swan Centre might be sought for the following:
- Ongoing professional development activities and peer supervision requirements
- Mental health practitioners wishing to further develop their skills in:
- Psychological assessment and treatment of eating disorders
- Cognitive behavioural therapy for eating disorders
- MANTRA and
- Specialist Supportive Clinical Management (SSCM) therapy
Make an enquiry
If you are interested in arranging clinical supervision, please contact us by completing the enquiry form provided.
Interested in Supervision?
WORKSHOPS + PRESENTATIONS
At the Swan Centre we want to be able to share our knowledge and expertise with fellow health professionals and others who might benefit from it, e.g. school students, teachers, parents, sports teams, workplaces etc.
Some examples of specific workshops, training and intervention we offer/facilitate:
- Basics of Eating Disorders – a 1-day workshop presented by a clinical psychologist and dietitian outlining essential information and skills for working with clients with eating disorders
- CBT-E for Eating Disorders – a practical and skills-based 1-day workshop presented by a clinical psychologist outlining a transdiagnostic approach to the treatment of eating disorders (Basics of Eating Disorders or equivalent is a prerequisite for this workshop)
- MANTRA for Anorexia Nervosa – a practical and skills-based 2-day workshop presented by a clinical psychologist outlining Maudsley Anorexia Nervosa Treatment for Adults (MANTRA)
- Media Smart – an evidence-based intervention for school-aged children (https://www.nedc.com.au/support-and-services/organization/86/media-smart).
- Confident Body Confident Child (https://www.confidentbody.net/)
- Group aimed at parents of children aged 3-7 years, but can also be tailored for child health nurses/school nurses
- Focuses on developing positive body image and provides information on nutrition requirements for children
- Two sessions, with a free online information book.
Make an enquiry
If you are interested in organising a presentation, workshop or similar please fill out an enquiry form and we will be in touch with you soon.