What made you want to become an Eating Psychology Coach?
As a woman in recovery from bulimia for 20 years and a soul-centred psychotherapist for over 15 years – I specialize in working with women who suffer with food, weight and body image concerns.
Over the years, I have often despaired at the state of treatment for people who suffer with these issues as many programs are solely weight, disease, illness and medically orientated.
I was so inspired when I first started following The Institute for the Psychology of Eating on Facebook. I loved the forward thinking, hopeful and positive approach. The language Marc David and Emily Rosen used for food, weight and body image concerns was non-pathologizing and soulful. The program wasn’t just focused on symptom reduction or weight loss; rather, it was going much deeper than this, exploring the gifts and messages underlying the symptoms.
At that time, I was looking to expand and diversify my practice through coaching and group programs. I felt such a deep connection with Marc and Emily’s work; I knew this was the coaching training for me. I also needed some upskilling and thought that my clients would benefit from the mind-body nutritional aspects included in the Eating Psychology Coach certification.
What do you love about being an Eating Psychology Coach?
Ask most women and they will tell a similar story; they can’t go anywhere without being bombarded by fat and diet talk, body hate and body shame; it’s become a global epidemic. Behaviours and attitudes historically associated with diagnosable eating disorders have crept their way into everyday women’s lives and culture.
Because of these internalised messages, women believe they are broken, or that something is terribly wrong with them and the only answer to this is to look a certain way, to lose weight and to be thin.
This training provided me with such a creative way to help women see that their food, weight and body image challenges are a call to awaken to something deeper within themselves; at the core – they are whole and unbroken, they are worthy of love and worthy of living a life full of pleasure regardless of their body size!
I see it as a blessing to be invited into someone’s soul journey and bear witness as they blossom and awaken to their true self. Through my coaching practice, I am also part of a growing movement to shift the way our culture views these issues – this work is full of value, meaning and purpose!
What does your practice look like?
I work in private practice from my home office as a soul-centred psychotherapist + eating psychology coach on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia. I specialise in working with women suffering with eating disorders and other food, weight and body image concerns. The women I see range in age from 18 to 75 and come from all sorts of backgrounds.
I am also a stay-at-home mother to two small children so my practice is currently part-time. I’ve been full for over a year and have 70+ people on a notification list. Including Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind-Body Nutrition has really appealed to prospective clients.
I am in the process of creating an individual and group program based on my training at the IPE as well as my learnings from the many women’s workshops that I have participated in over the years.
How did your education at the Institute prepare you to work successfully with clients?
Prior to the training, I had never participated in an online course and I’ll be honest, I was sceptical about the level of depth it would be able to go to. But….I was proven wrong!
Professionally, the training provided such a depth of understanding regarding the issues that people struggle with around food, weight and body image as well as a great foundation in practical coaching skills.
Personally, it helped me to challenge, work through and shift some of my own mindsets and behaviours.
In conjunction with the above, the support in the private Facebook group from IPE staff and other trainees was invaluable in terms of preparation for working with clients.
What was your favorite aspect of the Training?
I loved everything about this training!
From the start, it was evident that the whole team at Institute for the Psychology of Eating were leading the way in how to work with food, weight and body image difficulties. Throughout every interaction, whether it was via audio, video or discussions within the Facebook group – the team were authentic, empathic, knowledgeable and masters at their craft.
I was relieved to come away from the training ready to practice; the handouts and resources were all there ready to go.
How has being an Eating Psychology Coach impacted your professional life/financial well-being?
Training as an Eating Psychology Coach has turned my practice and work/life balance around.
As soon as I was qualified, I diversified my long-term psychotherapy practice into a more eclectic practice where I now see a handful of long-term therapy clients and a mix of short and medium-term eating psychology coaching clients.
Although I have always worked with food, weight and body image concerns, the depth of the training gave me the confidence to niche in this field. With this specialization, I am now seen as the ‘go-to’ professional in my area.
This has brought magazine and other media opportunities. Just last week I was interviewed for the Women in Depth Podcast because they had seen, and loved, one of the Eating Psychology quotes on my website.
How has being an Eating Psychology Coach impacted you personally?
Although it wasn’t a requirement of the Training, I felt that it was important for me to have a lived experience as a client with my own Eating Psychology Coach. I consider myself a wounded healer – I wouldn’t be the psychotherapist and eating psychology coach that I am without having been through my own eating, weight and body image difficulties.
Participating in the training and delving deep with my own coach, I have a renewed sense of hope and I have experienced major changes in the what, how, when and why of how I eat. In addition, I am raising two children and it’s important to me that I can now teach them how to have a wholesome and balanced relationship with food, body and soul.
What do you see for yourself in your future as an Eating Psychology Coach – where is your work evolving towards?
I am so excited about the evolution of my practice! My new website is currently being built and it will feature more prominently, my new eating psychology programs for individuals and groups. I am the Disordered Eating Consultant for Nungkari Treatment Centre in Byron Bay and I am currently designing a workshop for their staff based on my eating psychology training.
I have just started writing two books – the first one is an eBook about Befriending the Body which will be available for free when my new website goes live. Anyone on my current mailing list will also receive a copy. The other book is a longer term project about food, weight and body image.
Why Would You Recommend the Training to Others?
Over the last 20 years, I have trained in many approaches for food, weight and body image difficulties – the training at the IPE is without a doubt leading the way in this field. The soul has largely been neglected in modern psychology – this is soul work at its best!
Whether a trainee is starting out green to this field, or like me, someone who is already working with people with food, weight and body concerns, this training will definitely add value both personally and professionally.
It’s really great being a part of the graduate community and because the Training has members from all over the world, I have made some wonderful connections with people who are as passionate about this work as I am.
NAME: Jodie Gale
BUSINESS: Soul-Centered Women
BIO: Soul-centred Psychotherapist + Eating Psychology Coach, Jodie Gale, is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and wellbeing. She is the Disordered Eating Consultant for Nungkari Treatment Centre in Byron Bay, and works in private practice on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia. Jodie treats eating disorders as well as other food, weight and body image concerns. You can sign-up for Jodie’s latest news and follow her at Soul-Centred Women on Facebook.
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