Dr Thea Werkhoven
PhD, APD AN
Dr Thea Werkhoven practices dietetics with a holistic approach, supporting clients to habituate healthy eating practices and overcome barriers to change.
Thea’s approach to dietetics is client-centred and moves beyond one-size-fits all therapies. With more than ten years experience helping a wide variety of people with chronic health conditions, new diagnoses, disordered eating patterns and setbacks from injuries, Thea draws on an evidence-based approach to listen to a client’s needs and co-create incremental goals relating to diet, physical activity and lifestyle.
A specialty of Thea’s approach is her knowledge, commitment and ability to recognise that health is not dependent on size, shape or classical restrictive eating patterns. Instead, Thea coaches her clients to move towards intuitive and mindful eating practices, focusing on normalising eating patterns to suit metabolic rate, lifestyle and health goals. Sustainability of new nutrition habits and eating patterns is a focus that Thea is passionate about, not only prescribing nutrition therapy to clients but matching it with education so each person understands the rationale behind the changes and apply the bespoke recommendations with increased motivation.
Thea’s drive to help people saw her enrol in a PhD at the University of Sydney, taking up a position lecturing in nutrition at the same time. She has educated thousands of young students in healthy eating practices, focusing on delivering an education that stimulates each student to walk away from her courses with accurate knowledge that empowers them to make positive changes to their own nutrition habits. Students have gone on to transfer degrees and take up dietetics after discovering the joy of helping someone through the transfer of knowledge under Thea’s tutelage.Her research has investigated ways to improve the higher education provided to future health and nutrition professionals who often lack an understanding of the complex aetiologies of obesity and how to educate and treat people at a higher weight in a neutral an unbiased way. The thesis that Thea submitted published a novel intervention that achieved her goal of improving nutrition knowledge and decreasing weight bias and she has gone on to publish peer reviewed articles in scholarly journals, book chapters and present at international conferences.
An initial session with Thea will provide you with the opportunity to lay out your current nutrition habits and eating practices in a supportive and judgement-free environment. Thea will collect relevant biochemical data from blood tests and your referring doctor if you have one and construct a plan to get you on your way. Subsequent follow-up appointments provide you with the chance to relay what you have been able to achieve from the negotiated goals and work around barriers that may have arisen in the meantime. Setbacks are never source of shame in Thea’s care, rather they demonstrate effort and the need for a different pathway. Book in to see Thea now, all appointments are welcome including care plans, doctor’s referrals or on a whim.