Emma

I treat a wide range of individuals, including:

  • Teens and adults with Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, ARFID, and OSFED. (Note: even if you have not been “formally” diagnosed by a medical provider, your eating disorder is still valid)
  • People who have disordered eating and body image concerns who want to break free from diet culture and have a better relationship to food and their body.
  • People with Diabetes or other chronic illnesses who want to learn to manage their condition in a way that is body inclusive and not informed by rigid diet rules.
  • Neurodivergent individuals who would like support in feeding that honors their sensory experiences, without forced food exposures or moralization of foods and eating styles.

Emma Leister

MS, RDN, LDN

(she/her/hers)

I am a fat positive, anti-diet dietitian. My counseling style is relational, collaborative and trauma-informed. I pull from the frameworks of Intuitive Eating, Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility in Feeding, and Family-Based Treatment. I also understand that each of these frameworks has limitations, and I ultimately take an individualized approach to nutrition therapy. Plenty of people who enter treatment have had stigmatizing experiences in healthcare where they do not feel heard or believed. It is my goal to make sure that your concerns are taken seriously and you are offered endless compassion and understanding through your work with me.

My understanding of eating disorders is rooted in social justice. I am Health at Every Size (HAES)-aligned and learn from the lived experiences of people in marginalized identities. I am white, cisgender, currently able-bodied, and I live in a straight-sized body. I believe that in order to understand the complexity of eating disorders, providers must continuously unlearn racism, anti-fat bias, ableism, and transphobia that exists in our world.

Beyond individual counselings, I am also the Social Media Manager at Beyond! Follow us on Instagram where I rant about topics ranging from diet culture, ED treatment, body image, and weight stigma, to the harms of healthism, ableism, and discrimination in healthcare.

As your provider, I will not treat you as though I am the “authority” over your eating. I will let you be in the driver's seat of your treatment, offering insights and guidance along the way. That also means that I will not give you an “ultimatum” when you do not take my recommendations, and I will not coerce you into residential treatment. I will not be the “food police”, forcing you to send me food logs or track your food in any way. The ultimate goal is for you to feel empowered to make decisions around food and your body with your own needs in mind. Once you tune out the noise of diet culture and anti-fat bias that surrounds you, you can relearn how to listen to your own body’s cues.

More About Emma

My educational background includes a Bachelor’s of Science in Nutritional Sciences from Penn State University and a Masters in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I completed my Dietetic Internship through UW Health in Madison, WI. I have worked in a partial hospitalization eating disorder treatment center where I was first introduced to the concept of Health at Every Size (HAES). In my subsequent role in a nonprofit setting, I worked with a variety of people with chronic illnesses, including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and HIV. Many of these individuals also experienced food insecurity. I quickly learned how harmful and inappropriate it is to offer nutrition counseling around the small nuances of nutrition with people who didn’t have access to enough food. When I started my role at Beyond Therapy and Nutrition Center, I realized how important it is to be surrounded by like-minded providers who share the same values. I hope that outside of my [virtual] counseling office, you also find a like-minded, fat-positive community to support your healing from the harms of diet culture.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my rescue brindle Chihuahua Mix, Chip. I love exploring coffee shops (team iced coffee all year round!), being in nature, reading, listening to music, and giving myself unconditional permission to rest as an anti-capitalist act. I proudly own the fact that in elementary school, I came in last in the mile run, and I received “Participant” in the problematic Presidential Physical Fitness Test. (I am still confused as to why George W. Bush wanted to know whether I could touch my toes or do a pull-up in the 2000s.) Over the years, I have unlearned the idea that a person’s physical ability and athletic ability is tied to their morality. I am originally from New Jersey and I recently moved up the Hudson Valley in New York.

Let’s Work Together!

If you’re looking for nutrition therapy and want an anti-oppressive, weight-inclusive approach, please feel free to reach out. We serve clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Colorado, Texas, California, Connecticut, Arizona and Florida. We can see clients in-person in our Newtown, Pennsylvania office or virtually in other states.

We look forward to meeting you!