2017 Early Career Recipient, College of Healthcare Sciences
Dr Kiera Buchanan is the founder and director of the Centre for Integrative Health, a multidisciplinary clinic dedicated to using evidence-based holistic approaches to treat disordered eating and weight concerns.
The clinic was founded to meet what Dr Buchanan saw as a gap in service delivery and to set a standard of care in private treatment settings, while reducing weight-based stigmas through treating all eating and weight concerns at the one service provider.
Dr Buchanan completed her honours thesis on the topic of perfectionism and eating disorders at JCU before conducting a Doctorate thesis on obesity, dieting and weight management at the University of Queensland. Upon registration as a clinical psychologist, Dr Buchanan went on to deliver training workshops and publish research papers in this field. She is also a registered health psychologist.
She believes in therapy as a way to understand oneself and optimise well-being, including in cases where no mental health condition has been diagnosed.
An advocate for lifestyles that are both physically and emotionally healthy, Dr Buchanan strives to educate the community about developing healthy relationships with food, eating, exercise, and their body and has become nationally recognised as an expert in her field.
Her role as an advocate goes beyond the basics of traditional recommendations of what and how to eat, and instead promotes ideas around one’s relationship with food and eating in the context of one’s relationships with oneself. Dr Buchanan’s work has led to the recognition of the importance of self-compassion as a part of one’s relationship with food and body image, which is considered a particularly novel approach.
She also presents live talks and webinars, and writes articles and blogs to promote healthy relationships with food, eating, exercise and ourselves.
Dr Buchanan’s efforts and contributions have been recognised through scholarships from Services such as Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARAH) and the Academy of Eating Disorders, and her appointment to the board of the state-wide Eating Disorder Advisory Group. She is also an executive committee member of the Australia and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders.
Dr Kiera Buchanan graduated from James Cook University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Psychology with Honours.