My 17 year old son was referred to Anna having been diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Anxiety.
Recognising he was also suffering from Anorexia, Anna was quick to put him at ease. He felt comfortable talking with her and with regular meetings and realistic meal plans, he was on the road to recovery in a relatively short period of time.
I am very grateful for the help she has given him. I have seen a real difference in his confidence.
Anna is a kind, caring and very knowledgeable specialist dietician who, as a family, we can’t thank enough. In the depths of an eating disorder, life is very hard and lonely but Anna supported our daughter and us throughout.
I saw Anna when my life had reached a very low ebb. I was comfort eating all day and sometimes secretly during the night. Continually eating sugary snacks, I had piled on two stones, become much less active and was feeling lethargic and low despite the birth of my beautiful first grandchild.
Anna is very professional and so easy to open up to. She helped me to understand how two very close bereavements in the past 12/18 months and a current major lifestyle change had affected my relationship with food. Following the guidance and strategies Anna devised with me, I’m happy to say I’ve regained my confidence and a sense of equilibrium. I am getting out of the house to walk and find time for myself as well as for my partner and family. I am now eating healthily and losing weight steadily. I cannot thank Anna enough for her empathy and support.
Anna has been a gift to my daughter who has been battling with anorexia. At 16 she was very reluctant to open up and share her problems with anyone, never mind a stranger. Anna worked with my vulnerable daughter for 18 months, and in the very first session she was able to feel comfortable and at ease to openly share personal details about herself. Anna offered N, not only nutritional advice but gave her emotional support. She has helped N. regain control of what was an emotional an physical turmoil.
She has gained in confidence and self belief and has been given the tools she needs to maintain control now and if things were to become difficult in the future. I can’t thank Anna enough for how much of herself she puts into her work. She also helped me as the parent to learn to support my daughter in the best way, and was a godsend when I felt helpless. I am eternally grateful … you got our beautiful, confident girl back to us … thank you. xxxx
My thirteen year old daughter had a short course of counselling with Anna regarding issues around not eating properly and controlling her diet. Understandably nervous, Anna put her at ease straightaway and was easy to talk to in a relaxed and informal way. Anna listened and with gentle encouragement mapped out a plan of action. This focused on small, attainable goals, clearly set out, with the aim of taking gradual,manageable steps towards a solution without feeling pressurised or overwhelmed. Anna helped my daughter to rethink some of her issues and provided helpful guidance to dealing with the problems.
Anna is a calm, thoughtful, knowledgeable and kind lady who knows how to reach into dark areas and bring the light.
The first time we met her with our daughter, it was all so alien. She taught our daughter to recognise that there was a problem and to acknowledge it as something she was going to have to deal with. Even when we could not get to the centre our daughter would speak to Anna on the telephone and we enjoyed that flexibility. Anna guided her through the dark places and was often the calming voice to assist in the bad moments.
As a parent you feel concerned, confused, guilt-laden and sometimes a bit angry. Yet the sessions were for our daughter and often there were sad times and tears. Slowly there were breakthroughs and we had to learn new things.
We do recommend Anna to anyone needing assistance with diets and particularly eating disorders. It is so important to be able to give a family member in distress the tools to deal with the challenge. Having got those tools, the person needs to learn to keep them near, know that they are to assist and not defeat her and as a parent we feel that Anna can equip people with those tools.
Its a skill she has and so call her.
“Protect your space and energy.” –Warsan Shire
When I first saw Anna I was scared, confused, freezing. The journey to where I am now was harder than anything I had ever done before but Anna’s support during my recovery is a reason why I managed it. She helped me realise the truth about my eating disorder and its effects upon my body, my life and my soul – where before there was only denial. Thanks to her help my relationship with food and my body continues to improve every day.
Anna quickly connected with my daughter and compassionately guided her through a personal journey to recovery. Thank you!
Anna really got alongside us as a family. She clearly has a wealth of expertise and this was delivered with kindness and empathy so it felt like we were partners in my son’s recovery. She always had time for us and listened to our concerns. I can’t recommend her highly enough.
Anna was instrumental in providing the best possible start to a successful recovery. Her knowledge and empathy of the subject are vital to those who wish to be free of this illness.
“It is hard to wait around for something you know might never happen, but it is even harder to give up when you know it is everything you have ever wanted!”
This had always been my favourite saying, although somewhere along the way my eating disorder had made me loose sight of it.
The idea of speaking to a stranger about such an intimate aspect of my life that even I myself didn’t fully understand seemed draughting, and honestly I was dreading it!! But Anna was able to voice some of what I was feeling almost instantly and for the first time in a long time I didn’t feel so alone.
When I first went to see Anna I was indescribably sad, even if I didn’t admit it to myself at the time. ED has this crazy way of convincing you that it is your friend and that you somehow need it, and so the though of letting it go and living without it seems like an impossibility.
Anna helped me to realise that even though I felt like I was in control of everything I ate, it was in fact the food controlling me. She reassured me that my disorder did not define me! That I was more than just my eating disorder; I was a daughter, a sister, a performer, a friend, a singer, an animal lover, a loud laugher, a hard worker, a person.
Anna educated me about nutrition and the physical effects of what I was doing to my body, but without ever making me feel remotely judged or guilty. I gradually gained an understanding which really helped me because I felt that I wasn’t so lost and unsure anymore. Anna has a real love for what she does and this is clear to see. Since that first visit I have never thought of her as my “dietitian” or “therapist” but rather as my friend.
Together we found my own personal motivators. For me it was aways my one and only love … performing! I desperately dream of being onstage and Anna and I both knew that if I was not in good physical health this would not be an option. She reminded me of something to hold onto and strive for when I felt like giving up.
We would continually set short term goals and achievable aims specifically for me which were motivating and satisfied my need to be goal orientated and perfectionistic.
Anna has a very therapeutic approach which helps you feel at ease. She is a remarkable person who has undoubtably played a hugely influential role in my life. I owe so much to this brilliant lady who has utterly turned my life around. I look back at that person and wich I could reassure them “you can do this, it will be okay in the end”; although I never would have believed it at the time.
I am no longer the lonely, isolated and sad person that I used to be. I can socialise again, I can dance again, I can laugh again, I can even love myself again.
Take that Anorexia!
I guess that’s what happens when Ana meets Anna.
Anna supported my daughter Charlotte in her road to recovery from her eating disorder. Her calm but strong approach enabled Charlotte to understand what she was doing to her body and mind; and with a weekly diet plan she gained strength and courage with Anna to be able to recovery and be able to attend school and see her family and friends again.