Focus Treatment Center
Clients' Relationship with Food
Courtney Phifer, a registered dietitian, loves food – and she wants others to experience that love as well. She explains, “I pursued a career in dietetics because I am a helper by nature. I wanted to help people learn about the value of nutrition and the amazing things that the body does with nutrients. I love seeing my clients start to trust their bodies and adopt a non-diet approach to food and weight.” At Focus Treatment Centers, you’ll find Phifer leading group therapy sessions and providing one-on-one nutrition counseling to clients who struggle with eating disorder behaviors, body image issues, yo-yo dieting, and a preoccupation with weight or food. She urges, “If you or someone you know struggles with an eating disorder, you are not alone. But it’s absolutely critical to get help. The sooner, the better chance of a full recovery.”
University of Tennessee – Knoxville, TN
Licensed & Registered Dietitian
2019 Emerging Dietetic Leader Award, Chattanooga Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
1. What do you love most about your profession?
I love helping clients “ditch the diet” and start to heal their relationship with food and body.
2. What is one of your happiest professional moments?
A former client who struggled with infertility due to disordered eating and undernutrition sent me a letter a few months after being in recovery saying she was finally pregnant. I think I cried.
3. What is your best advice for patients?
To get off the diet cycle and practice balance and moderation. Diets don’t work for long-term health, and they end up confusing our bodies and slowing our metabolism. Earn body trust by feeding/fueling your body and metabolism with a balance of food groups throughout the day.
4. What would you consider to be your main strengths?
I’ve been told I have a calm, soothing demeanor, which is a strength when counseling. I also have healthy boundaries, am authentic, honest, dedicated, and put client care first.
5. What is your philosophy when it comes to the care for your patients?
I use evidence-based practices to provide the best care and recommendations. I believe in continuing education and being open to learn and grow. I use a small-step, goal-oriented, client-driven approach that incorporates body positive and mindful eating practices.