My career in eating disorders began during my childhood in suburban Chicago. Growing up fat and being raised by a chronic dieter sensitized me at a very young age to be concerned about what I ate and what I looked like. By the time I got to high school, I had already been on Weight Watchers more than once, and was well on my way to being a chronic dieter. When I was a senior, a very good friend of mine became anorexic. I talked to her for hours, day after day, desperately trying to talk her out of her illness. Unfortunately, my attempts were unsuccessful. My friend needed professional help, more than what I would have been be able to provide at that time.
My interest in psychology flourished in college, as did my weight fluctuation. I lost and gained the same 20 pounds over and over again. The summer before my senior year, I worked at a local psychiatric hospital, doing research for inpatient programming. One of the topics I studied was eating disorders. Remembering my high school friend, I realized that while I wasn’t able to help her, I could pursue a career helping others like her. After graduating college I was hired as a research assistant, and soon I was analyzing the very same research data I had read about only a year before.
I worked in this capacity for the two years before starting graduate school, and during the following four years of my graduate training at Northwestern University Medical School. I developed as the quintessential scientist/practitioner. I was intimately involved in research while learning how to combine symptom management with insight-oriented psychotherapy in the treatment of eating disorders. I learned a few personal lessons, as well. The team would have a
research meeting every Wednesday morning over breakfast at a local diner. Still hanging onto the illusion that I could one day achieve and maintain an unrealistically thin weight, my breakfast often consisted of cereal with skim milk, or cottage cheese and fruit, and the overuse of margarine and Sweet n’ Low. Several months into these meetings my colleagues challenged me to use real sugar and butter, thus opening up my eyes to the wisdom of intuitive eating. The Health At All Sizes activist was born that day in the diner.
Three years later, I moved to the Milwaukee area and joined a group private practice doing individual, family and group psychotherapy, as well as supervision and consultation.
In 2016 I became Clinical Faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. As the director of the Psychology Clinic, I oversee this training clinic and supervise the clinical psychology graduate students. I started the Eating Disorder Specialty clinic there, and supervise the trainees in the treatment of eating disorders.
In March of 2018 I opened my own practice, Nye Psychotherapy, and continue to provide quality services to adolescents and adults in the greater Milwaukee community.
I pride myself in my ability to utilize evidence-based psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy with compassion and insight. I am a strident advocate of the Health at all Sizes approach, teaching the virtues of intuitive eating, positive body image, holistic health and the joys of movement. I also incorporate principles of Mindfulness and Acceptance-based therapies as a way to increase resilience, move beyond illness and expand meaning and purpose.