Dr A Stephan MB ChB, MHPE, FRANZCP
What I do
I provide psychiatric assessment, evidenced-based psychotherapeutic and pharmacological treatment for adolescents and adults with eating, shape, and weight concerns.
I treat people with mild symptoms all the way through to people with difficulties that meet diagnostic criteria for eating disorders such as Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa, Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), Binge eating disorder, or Other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED).
There is clear research evidence that specialist treatment for early symptoms of an eating disorder can prevent the development of a more serious or life-threatening eating disorder. Treatment responses are usually quicker, long-term consequences are avoided and life can return to normal with less disruption.
Early Signs to look out for
Skipping meals – may be finding excuses not to eat with the family
Reduction in the amount or types of food eaten, e.g. dieting or extreme healthy eating
Unexplained weight loss
Increased concern about body size, weight or shape
Eating large amounts of food quickly
Abdominal or digestive problems
I like to take time to listen and enjoy working in a warm, collaborative way. I have my clinical experience and expert knowledge about treatment, however, you are the expert on your situation and what is likely to work best for you. For this reason, I think a shared decision-making process is likely to arrive at the best treatment for you.
- What I do in more detail -
I offer specialist psychiatric assessments, consultative treatment reviews, and treatment recommendations for adolescents and adults across a broad range of weight and shape concerns; from those with mild symptoms to those that meeting diagnostic criteria for severe eating disorders such as Anorexia nervosa or Bulimia nervosa.
My treatment recommendations are based on sharing with you my knowledge about eating disorders including the underpinning science. It can be helpful to understand how eating disorders work and to know what the options are.
My approach typically balances psychological therapy, supportive interventions for behavioural change, and sometimes medication. I see my role as talking things through with you and whenever possible your family/whanau and supporting your informed treatment decisions.
I offer specialist psychotherapy for adults and older adolescents with eating disorders or early symptoms.
In early intervention, an assessment and a few sessions may be all that is needed to get back on track for some people. Othertimes more intensive treatment is needed.
I am skilled in working with a number of different evidence-based psychological treatments for eating disorders. Eating disorder therapies, which I use include cognitive behaviour therapy for eating disorders (CBTe), specialist supportive clinical management for eating disorders (SSCM), adolescent focused therapy (AFT), mentalization-based treatment (MBT), and psychodynamic psychotherapy.
Oftentimes eating disorders occur intertwined with other problems. I take a holistic approach with therapy also addressing the other coexisting problems that often pair with eating disorders such as anxiety, depression, difficulty with life transitions, perfectionism, or difficulty managing emotions.
Although psychological interventions are the mainstay of eating disorder treatment, medications can sometimes assist with eating difficulties and may also be used to treat coexisting disorders such as anxiety or depression. I am happy to make recommendations or to work with you to stabilise you on suitable medication.