Nutritional Therapy

What is nutrition counselling?

Nutrition counselling addresses both what we eat and also how we feel about food and our bodies.


There are many reasons why our eating habits can become convoluted and bound up with negative emotions like guilt, anxiety and fear. Eating disorders – and disordered eating – exist on a spectrum and they are considered bio-psycho-social disorders. Simply put, there are biological, psychological and social factors that can both predispose and perpetuate these issues.


Therapy, nutrition counselling and rehabilitation will together help you re-nourish your mind and body to a place of optimal physiological functioning and cultivate a healthier relationship with food.

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What to expect in nutrition counselling

Nutrition counselling may help with the following:

  • Weight restoration
  • Reducing binge eating and purging episodes
  • Promotion of regular and balanced eating
  • Psycho-education in nutrition science

This approach will provide you with tools to help neutralise your inner food critic and to manage difficult emotions without using food. In the long term, we will help you to re-build interoceptive awareness so that you can recognise your body’s hunger and fullness signals and rediscover the pleasures of food.

Our goal is to support you with lifelong tools to help you feel more confident and comfortable in nourishing your body so that, ultimately, you can focus on other important and meaningful areas of your life.


Intuitive eating benefits

Are food and your body taking up more brain space than you’d like? Are you dominated by endless arbitrary rules about food like when, how much and a fear of losing control? Are you fed up with yoyo dieting and endless cycles of weight loss and regain?

Intuitive eating is an evidence-based theory towards eating developed by US dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.

Studies have shown intuitive eaters have better self-trust, emotional functioning, body image, reduced risk of eating disorders and disordered eating, less weight cycling and lower BMIs.

At the clinic, our nutritionist will help guide you through the 10 principles of intuitive eating:

  • Reject the diet mentality
  • Honour your hunger
  • Make peace with food
  • Challenge the food police
  • Feel your fullness
  • Discover the satisfaction factor
  • Cope with difficult emotions without using food
  • Respect your body
  • Exercise – feel the difference
  • Honour your health with gentle nutrition

The food and mood connection

Recent evidence associates overall diet quality with mental health across different life stages. Multiple studies show a direct dose-response correlation between a high quality diet and a reduced risk of developing mental disorders like depression.


Alongside therapy and medication, diet is a modifiable factor when it comes to our mental wellbeing.


Your nutritionist will help you explore your current food and eating patterns and make small sustainable changes to help improve your overall diet quality. We can also use food to support movement, sleep and stress management.

Nutrition optimisation - why’s it so important?

In 2017, the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) published a report concluding that adults do not consume enough fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and wholegrains. The last decade has seen an exponential rise in highly processed foods, sweetened beverages, diet food products and a change in eating habits including increased takeaways and eating on-the-go. Together, this has resulted in compromised nutrient intake with repercussions for our physical and mental health.


Our nutrition optimisation programme includes a thorough assessment of your medical history and current eating habits. Follow-up sessions will include recommendations for small sustainable changes to help improve overall diet quality and optimise nutrient intake.

Frequently asked questions

This will vary from person to person, based on their history and personal circumstances. At the clinic, we don’t believe that lasting change can happen in “quick fixes” and so generally, we recommend a minimum of 12 sessions in order to allow for significant and sustainable changes to take place. The frequency of your sessions will also vary, based on your progress. They may start weekly and then change to fortnightly, monthly and so on.
Meal plans will be recommended based on your individual needs, situation and preferences. If you need to restore weight, then you will likely need a temporary meal plan to support you in reaching a healthy weight, as well as restoring important bodily processes. Most meal plans will include suggestions around portion sizes alongside guidance on how to build balanced meals and snacks that will support you in reaching your goals.

Yes, your nutritionist will be available to you in between sessions should you have any questions following your sessions.

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Dr Elena Touroni

Dr Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced consultant psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector.

Having obtained a first degree in Psychology (BSc) at the American College of Greece, she completed her doctoral training at the University of Surrey. Dr Touroni is highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, substance misuse, personality disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, adjustment disorder and relationship difficulties. She works with both individuals and couples and can offer therapy in English and Greek.

Dr Touroni has held a variety of clinical and managerial positions including as Head of Service in the NHS. Further she has held academic positions for the University of Surrey and the Institute of Mental Health lecturing on specialist postgraduate Masters and Doctorate programmes.

She is trained in several specialist therapeutic approaches such as schema therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based approaches and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). As well as holding a variety of NHS positions, Dr. Touroni is the co-founder of a private practice in Central London that has been a provider of psychological therapy for all common emotional difficulties including personality disorder since 2002. She is the founder and one of two directors of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic.