Meet the Eating Disorder Associate: Arianna

Arianna joined Orri’s London eating disorder clinic, coming from an eating disorder department based in Italy. She works as an Eating Disorder Associate and supports clients daily with their recovery. Read more about her role in our blog.

Can you take a moment to introduce yourself?

Arianna (she/hers). My background includes clinical psychology, analysis of nonverbal behaviour and neuroscience. Currently, I am training to become a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. I left Venice (Italy) to be part of this outstanding clinic and from the beginning, I felt welcomed and included. No matter where you’re from or what is your native language, being part of Orri’s team feels like being part of a family.

How long have you been an Eating Disorder Associate (EDA) for and what were you doing before Orri?

I recently started at Orri. I was previously working as an assistant psychologist in a private clinic in the eating disorder department in Bologna (Italy) where I had the opportunity to lead therapeutic and support groups related to eating disorders, anxiety, depression and addictions. I also worked as a research assistant in neuroscience at Middlesex University, where I took part in research related to the beneficial effects of music therapy on mild cognitive impairment. I also started volunteering at Portugal Prints where I led art therapy groups with clients who suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

How would you describe your role to people outside Orri?

Our role as an EDA is unique and consists in supporting clients during their recovery journey with enthusiasm and passion in order to make them feel listened to and heard. We are here to heal the whole person and embrace their uniqueness.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

To have the honour to witness clients during their recovery journey and let them express their feelings within the community by being there for them with empathy. The most rewarding aspect is when they process their emotions and return home empowered and feeling understood.

What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of your role?

The most challenging aspect of this job is to have to witness clients struggle with emotions such as pain, sadness and frustration and want to rescue or save them from this. I have learnt there is great power in just being there and present with them, making them feel less lonely through the journey.

What do you feel is most unique about Orri?

I truly value Orri’s stepped and person-centred approach. There isn’t an only way to experience an eating disorder and here we adapt each recovery journey according to the clients’ individual needs, desires and goals. I share and support the approach of healing the whole person by embracing the beauty and the uniqueness of each client’s personal experience.

Outside of work, what do you do for your own mental wellbeing?

Outside of work, for my own well-being, I like running and be in contact with the nature.

Writing novels is my biggest passion and allows me to express my emotions, it is my blank safe space where I can paint the world with my own feelings.

I also want to thank my friends who always give me inspiration and a good laugh.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

“Faber est suae quisque fortunae” – it’s a Latin quote which means, “everyone is the architect of their own fate”.

It expresses that our lives are not governed by fortune/luck but by our own actions and implies we are always in power to change.

Do you have a mental health hero?

I didn’t find my mental health hero in all the psychological books I’ve read but in my real life: it’s my father who just won a battle against cancer. Since I was a child he taught me the power of resilience through adversities and to be always creative, painting outside of the lines.

Why did you decide to work in mental health?

During my last year of high school, I saw people close to me go through very difficult stages in their life, which massively impacted their mental health. Assisting them through this helped me discover my natural passion and want to support others. Alongside this, my friends, family and professors made me realise that my curiosity and desire to listen to others with an open heart and without judgement gave me the tools needed to really help those struggling with mental health. Since then, every day I become more grateful and passionate about my job.

If you had one piece of advice for a therapy-seeker, what would it be?

There is nothing to be scared of in seeking help, being aware of our own problems and personal experiences is a powerful tool and require courage. Do this for yourself and start loving who you are day by day.

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