Isobel is Orri’s Lead Eating Disorder Associate. She manages a team of passionate Eating Disorder Associates who come alongside our clients during their days in treatment at Orri.
Working in the eating disorder sector is both rewarding and challenging at times. Here, Isobel walks us through her role and what led her here…
Can you take a moment to introduce yourself?
Hi, I am Isobel Phillips, Lead Eating Disorder Associate at Orri.
How long have you been an Eating Disorder Associate (EDA) for and what were you doing before Orri?
I have been an EDA since Orri opened in 2019. I became Lead EDA in September of last year. I had a brief break from Orri to begin my degree, and since completing my degree, have been with Orri full time. Before working at Orri, I studied a law degree at university and worked in various legal settings.
How would you describe your role to people outside Orri?
An EDAs role is to be the first point of support for our clients. We are around all day every day to provide our clients with a holistic support system and offer holding spaces to assist our clients in regulating, grounding and processing any difficult emotions that may have arisen throughout their day. I view the EDA role as supporting clients throughout their therapeutic journey at Orri.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I’d say the thing I love most about my role is after a client has been with us for a period of time, we really start to get to know the client separately from their eating disorder, and I feel that we start to meet their authentic self. No matter how many days are challenging for us within our role, it is those moments where we see the client start to believe recovery is possible, that makes all the difficult days more than worth it.
What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of your role?
Sometimes watching how much distress a client is in can be difficult, as it is never nice to experience someone upset but I would always rather be there to support them rather then them experiencing this distress by themselves.
What do you feel is most unique about Orri?
I think it is our approach. I have never heard of somewhere that provides specific spaces to process feelings around the food. Also, Orri doesn’t treat eating disorders, it treats individuals. One of the most empowering parts of Orri, is that we tailor your treatment to you because we recognise that no two people are the same, and therefore our approach should never be standardised.
Outside of work, what do you do for your own mental wellbeing?
I love to travel, Especially skiing! I really enjoy going back to my roots and visit the countryside often. I love to cook, and read and spend time with my friends and family.
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
“Even when you think you can’t, you have already survived 100% of your bad days.”
Why did you decide to work in mental health?
It has always been a passion of mine, and I was always preparing to enter into mental health law. When I began this role, it felt very natural for me. Both my grandma and my mum are qualified psychotherapists and are incredible at what they do. Hearing the impact that they made on peoples lives, inspired me to develop my skills within this field.
If you had one piece of advice for a therapy-seeker, what would it be?
I know how scary it can feel to seek out extra support, especially for an eating disorder, but just trust that the possibility of recovery is always worth the anxiety or the worry you may feel before entering into treatment.