“It’s become increasingly rare to find health professionals who are genuinely compassionate and put integrity before profit and self-interest. Lydia and Sarah are the real thing.”
Dr. Abigail Bray, Author of ‘BodyTalk
The BodyMatters Approach
BodyMatters Australasia is an innovative clinic that provides a range of services for the prevention and treatment of eating disorders and unhealthy weight-loss practices. Taking an educational, clinical and community-oriented approach, we offer our expertise in counselling, education, consultancy and advocacy.
Our aim at BodyMatters is to change the cultural influences that contribute to our epidemic of eating disorders and unhealthy weight-loss behaviours, while assisting those who are already affected by them. We take a non-judgemental approach and aim to restore each client’s sense of dignity and self-worth. Fostering a healthy relationship with food, we view health as an ongoing process, involving emotional, physical, psychological, intellectual and social aspects. We are excited to announce that as of March 2012, BodyMatters launched Endangered Bodies Australia – a non profit grassroots activist movement dedicated to challenging visual culture and the harmful multi-billion dollar diet industry. Endangered Bodies Australia is part of a global initiative, with branches in New York, London, Dublin, Sao Paolo, and Buenos Aires. We will be waging campaigns to create a healthier culture for every body. Keep your eyes peeled for our blog posts and media updates – we’d love to have you on board and keep you ‘in the know’!
Meet the BodyMatters Team
LYDIA TURNER Joint Managing Director &
Manager of Advocacy, Education & Social Health
Lydia Turner is a psychologist and freelance writer specialising in eating disorders and unhealthy weight loss behaviours. A staunch critic against the diet industry, Lydia regularly presents at conferences across Australia, New Zealand, and the US, and recently became the Vice President International for the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH).
Lydia is currently part of an international research team exploring the shift in health paradigms. Aware of how dieting contributes to increasing rates of disordered eating and weight gain, she is passionate about taking a ‘first, do no harm’ approach to public health. Lydia also champions the need for tighter regulation against the diet, fashion, and food industries. She believes in promoting physical activity that is joyful and teaches intuitive eating, which involves balancing nutritional knowledge with feelings of hunger, satiety and pleasure.
Concerned about the increasing normalization of bodily anxiety, Lydia has been a vocal critic of the cultural context in which ‘body terrorism’ is justified under the guise of health. Positioning body politics as a matter of social justice, Lydia regularly delivers workshops and presentations to educate community groups, schools and tertiary institutes about health and weight issues.
As a psychologist Lydia draws from a wide range of therapeutic approaches and carefully tailors each treatment plan according to her client’s needs. Her clients range from age 14-75. In addition to eating disorders, Lydia has experience assisting those affected by bariatric surgery, ‘obesity’, sexual assault, trauma, and gender-related difficulties. She has also facilitated support groups for those with eating disorders, and provided treatment in both private and public hospitals.
Lydia is regularly quoted and interviewed in the media and has featured on Sunrise, The Morning Show, National Nine News, Seven News Melbourne, Today Tonight, The Sun Herald, The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, ABC News Radio, 2UE, Triple J Hack, SBS Radio, Girlfriend Magazine, Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine. Her work has been published in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The National Times, The Drum, and Online Opinion.
SARAH McMAHON Joint Managing Director &
Manager of Clinical & Consultancy Services
Sarah McMahon manages Clinical and Consultancy services at BodyMatters and is the joint Managing Director. Sarah is a psychologist who specialises in delivering both individual treatment and Maudsley Family Therapy for eating disorders. Her treatment approach is eclectic and fully customised based on the presenting issues of the client.
Sarah has spent the last 10 years counselling people affected by disordered eating behaviours, facilitating eating disorder support groups & educating the community about eating pathology. This has been in settings that include corporations, public hospitals, non-government organisations and private practice.
Sarah is also experienced in providing treatment for the many “comorbid” issues that typically present with an eating disorder, including depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder. Typically her clients are aged from 13 to 30 and she is a keen advocate for involving families in treatment, believing that they are a tremendous resource for recovery. Sarah also holds a Masters of Public Health and has a passion for educating the community about disordered eating. She has featured in a range of media, including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph, Body+Soul, Cleo, Cosmopolitan, Madison, 2UE, Triple J and National 9 News.
KELLIE HODDER Psychologist
Kellie is a warm, empathic and patient therapist whose approach to therapy is one which emphasises the holistic well being of the client. She works in a collaborative manner with the client, family members and relevant health care professionals to ensure that the client receives the necessary support outside of the therapy room. Kellie is also interested in working with family members, siblings and partners of clients with eating disorders to help support them through their loved one’s recovery journey.
Kellie is a psychologist with experience in treating a range of mental health disorders. She completed her undergraduate degree, honours degree and Master of Psychology (Health) at the University of Adelaide. Her honours thesis which looked at the link between a mother’s dietary intake and her daughter’s subsequent eating patterns, has since been published in the journal, Appetite. Kellie’s Masters thesis also focused on body image where she looked at an under-researched area, the body image experience of female burns patients in relation to social support. After completing her masters thesis, Kellie worked at an Adelaide health clinic where she began her clinical work with eating disorder clients. This led Kellie to develop a passion and interest in the eating disorder field, an interest which she followed all the way to Sydney here at BodyMatters Australasia! While Kellie’s main treatment method is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, she also utilises Family Based Therapy, Acceptance & Committment Therapy, Dialetical Behaviour Therapy and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. You can join Kellie’s facebook fan page here.
DR AMEERAH MATTAR Clinical Psychologist
Dr Ameerah is a compassionate and committed clinical psychologist who is passionate about helping clients and their families build up their skills and resilience to overcome their difficulties. She enjoys working with people of all backgrounds, and strives to create a safe and comfortable therapeutic space for clients. She also believes strongly in adopting a non-judgmental, flexible and client-centred approach that encompasses all aspects of the client’s life.
Ameerah utilises evidence-based psychological treatments including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness-based strategies, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Schema Therapy, and aims to tailor these techniques to best meet the individual needs and goals of each client.
Ameerah’s qualifications are a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Psychology and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Her doctoral research examined the influence of mood, food cues and individual differences in eating style, personality and hedonic hunger on eating expectancies and responses. Ameerah has gained experience in assessing and treating clients with a range of mental health conditions, and is passionate about the field of eating disorders. She also has a keen interest in the areas of restrictive eating (including its relationship with co-morbid organic health problems such as food allergies and intolerances), compulsive exercise, and eating disorders in athletes. Ameerah would love to see greater provision of support and treatment options for individuals and families affected by disordered eating and body image disturbances, as well as efforts towards the education and prevention of such issues. You can join Ameerah’s facebook fan page here.
CHRISTIE LOMAS Family Therapist
Christie is a Family Therapist who has been working with individuals, children, adolescents and their families since 1996.
Prior to working with Body Matters, Christie was employed as a Clinical Psychologist in both child/adolescent and adult community mental health settings. In particular, she worked for several years in the Department of Psychological Medicine at the Children’s Hospital, Westmead. At the Childrens Hospital she specialised in the treatment of eating disorders: working both individually with children/adolescents admitted as inpatients to the hospital; and with the whole family following discharge utilising the Maudsley Family Therapy approach. Further, she treated a diverse range of other problems including self-harm, depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and behavioural difficulties.
When working with eating difficulties, Christie assesses each presentation carefully to determine which treatment approach will best suit the client. She specialises in evidence-based treatments such as the Maudsley Family Based Therapy Approach and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. She believes strongly in the power of the family unit in helping a loved one recover from an eating disorder. Christie also brings with her, experience from the modelling industry and first hand exposure to the extreme pressure and body image issues this industry creates.
Christie is well qualified to treat every aspect of eating disorders. She holds a Master of Psychology (Clinical & Health), a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) and a Graduate Diploma of Family Therapy. She is also a full member of the Australian Psychological Society. Christie has recently returned to work following some time out of the workforce to raise her own family. Accordingly, she is working towards regaining her title as a Clinical Psychologist.
KASSSANDRA BOTTALICO Practice Manager
Kassie is a Provisional Psychologist who is undertaking an internship at BodyMatters as part of the final stages of becoming fully registered. She holds a Bachelor of Psychology and has completed multiple courses and workshops on eating disorders & counselling, including intensive training at Lifeline.
Kassie’s interest in eating disorders stemmed from personal exposure to eating disorders- not only from personal challenges throughout her teenage years but also watching people she knew and cared about struggle with eating disorders. The combination of her personal experience and her love of psychology resulted in a drive to work with eating disorders in attempt to make a difference in people’s lives.
Kassie is the frontline contact for BodyMatters. She provides excellent counsel about eating disorders and treatment options either for sufferers or their loved ones particularly via her fully customised parent consultations. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to provide low cost treatment for people who otherwise cannot access treatment as she understands that there are limited resources for those with eating disorders and she is keen to help make a difference.
Kassie has developed our ‘Kid’s Corner’ which consists of a number of resources aimed at children to help break down complicated concepts into language they can better understand. She is currently designing a dynamic “intuitive eating” group therapy program, which we will be implementing in 2013.