Andrea is a psychotherapist with a passion to help people break free from diet culture. She is warm and compassionate, and has a collaborative approach that she uses with her clients in their journey of self-discovery, healing and personal growth. Andrea grew up in Chile in the 80s and 90s, the height of diet culture. Fad diets, crazy exercise routines and longing for the thin ideal was an everyday experience. From a young age she internalised the idea that she was ‘wrong’ because her body was ‘wrong’, and that the only way to change this was by dieting. After years and years of futile diet attempts, she discovered the body and fat liberation movements, Health at Every Size , and the non-diet approach to health and wellbeing. Her world turned upside down, a veil was lifted and she could finally see the water (AKA diet culture) she had been swimming in all along.
Andrea’s experience of living in a large body, and her own recovery journey from a life-long disordered relationship with food, exercise and her body, fostered the passion she now feels for working with people with similar struggles. Her work is influenced by psychodynamic, feminist and humanistic theories. She is interested in knowing her clients’ stories, so that together they can unpack the core beliefs that were developed early in life, make sense of them, create new meanings, and understand the sneaky ways in which the unconscious shows up.
Andrea aligns with the belief that every person is born with unique strengths, inner wisdom, kindness, compassion and clarity. But ‘life happens’ and the connection to this inner self is lost. In her work, she uses a blend of therapeutic approaches to restore this connection, including narrative therapy, Jungian therapy, and approaches that work with parts of the self, specifically Internal Family Systems Therapy. The Health at Every Size, body acceptance and body positivity movements have deeply influenced the way she practices psychotherapy. Andrea recognises and condemns the damaging effects fatphobia and weight stigma has in people’s lives. She believes we all have the birthright to fully experience our unique body and live a fulfilling life.
Andrea holds a Bachelor of Biology, a Graduate Diploma of Counselling and a Masters in Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy. She is a member of the Psychotherapy & Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA), the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH), Health at Every Size® Australia, and the National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC).
Read more about Andrea here.