Personal Statement of Evangelos Zoumbaneas, Nutritionist & Master Practitioner in Eating Disorders and Obesity
I have been working as a nutritionist in Greece since 1995. As I matured professionally, I became aware of the many difficulties – at times, even extreme – that clients of mine encountered with their diet.
Attending the training of the National Center for Eating Disorders, UK , was an eye opener for me. The training in Eds completely changed my work style and focus and three issues became apparent to me: First, the importance of working together with psychotherapists who would help my client on issues regarding food, eating, and body image; Second, that other health professionals had a significant influence on my clients’ struggles, like the fitness expert with whom they worked out, the physician they saw, the nurse they trusted, etc. These health professionals were, at the time, working individually with the clients, without joining forces with other experts; Third, we lacked in Greece the “common language” and understanding of the EDs. The two existing settings, a unit in children’s hospital and a therapy offering NGO in Athens are a drop in the ocean for the many in need.
I decided to bring the training in EDs in Greece: I wanted more of my associates and other health professionals to become aware of the particular needs of people with EDs and understand how the specialized professionals could work collaboratively in creating a supporting therapeutic net for our clients. Along with a few other professionals who also attended the same training in the UK, we organized the Center for educational and Treatment for Eating Disorders (KEADD) in Greece in 2007.
KEADD calls all health professionals to become educated in EDs and become part of our nation-wide network. We are now counting 114 members in all over Greece and about 8 in Cyprus, where we are planning on bringing out training in the near future. KEADD organizes annual meetings, in both Athens and Thessaloniki, for existing and perspective network members where new research and empirical knowledge is presented. KEADD organizes supervision meetings for all members and offers a referral forum between members of different disciplines.
Participating in your conference, will give KEADD a better ground to stand on. Our recent participation at the international conference in Croatia on Anorexia Nervosa and Exercising (www.bsoe.eu) showed the growing understanding that the inter-disciplinary approach is a key element in treating EDs. We wish to connect globally with specialists on Eds, enter fruitful dialogues, show our work in Greece, learn more and bring this learning back to Greece.
With your support, a team of three professionals, Dr Margarita Schina, clinical psychologist, scientific director of KEADD, Mr Theodore Simadis, physical education professor and current university student of physiotherapy, instructor of KEADD, and myself, as the founder of KEADD, we will be delighted to achieve the fore-mentioned goals. Your financial assistance is necessary as we will be paying privately for our journey. The recession we have been undergoing as a country in the last few years still weighs heavily on us.
Nutritionist, Master Practitioner in Eating Disorders and Obesity
Director of Center for Education and Treatment for Eating Disorders, Greece