Marlena Tanner has been an endless support and mentor to me throughout the entirety of my eating disorder. She truly embraces her clients with empathy and validation, but also offers a fresh perspective that has power to positively influence even the strongest of self critics. She takes into account the concerns of the client around food when developing a meal plan, but also offers gentle prodding in separating true values from E.D. and diet culture. Marlena has never given up on me, and I am eternally grateful to her for showing me the path of recovery and for walking alongside me through it all.
At the lowest point of my life, when my weight and eating habits were most poor, I sought out help and guidance. After finding Marlena, I have never once regretted making the decision of moving on with her in changing my health and life. From day one, she was the most understanding and caring person that I could have asked for. There wasn’t any judgement, only acceptance. After our initial appointment, she understood my eating habits and aimed her direction with care. We never excluded any kind of food choice or action. She asked what I liked and tweaked it so that it became a healthier option that I could enjoy. Rather than ordering out, she created meal plans that made cooking enjoyable. Slowly over time, she helped me change my eating habits and choices. There was never a shock or worry. These slow changes made the experience natural and fluid. Marlena not only understood my eating, but cared enough to understand my mental state of being. From being at my highest weight at 480 lbs to now being 200 lbs, I give my best thanks to Marlena Tanner who stood with me through my highs and lows. Marlena Tanner is a woman and professional that cares extremely about her patients. She helped me enormously, and I give her my full gratitude. Thank you so much, Marlena. You’ve made a big difference in my life. You’re amazing.
Marlena has been an irreplaceable asset to my recovery. She is an empathic, available and highly-involved person with the wisdom that is born of first-hand experience. Marlena continues to be a beacon of hope on this difficult journey; the road to recovery is often dark and seemingly untraversable, but Marlena sheds light both on the footprints she has left there and the space among them where I will leave my own.
Marlena Tanner has been instrumental to my recovery from four years of anorexia and bulimia. She is able to give support and understanding while still pushing you to make progress in the right direction. She is a wonderful dietitian, an effective therapist, a loving friend, and a relentless source of compassion, empathy, and encouragement, and she is always there with wisdom and kindness whenever you need her. I could not have conceived of a better woman to trust my recovery to; I owe her more of my health and my happiness than I can say. Marlena Tanner helped me save my life, and she is my personal role model as a future dietitian myself.
Dietitians who are caring and skilled at connecting with patients, who have a mastery in the field of disordered eating and body image, and who know their stuff regarding physiology, and hard nutrition science are rare. Marlena Tanner has that incredible blend, alongside a thorough follow through with each patient. Her track record for helping patients through to the next stage of recovery or healing is phenomenal.
What I have found with Ms. Tanner in particular, is a compelling blend of compassion, competence, commitment and connectivity that is so willingly shared with her clients as she assists them in their journey of recovering from an eating disorder and all that encompasses. Ms. Tanner has consistently developed trusting relationships with eating disordered clients and their families, which is not an easy task. She provides food and nutrition services, appropriately overlapping with mental health interventions, having insight into underlying issues and impactful relationships. Clients benefit from her ability to assist in physical and nutritional restoration as she keenly attends to eating disorder beliefs and attitudes which affect the complex relationship between food choices and intake, body weight and body image, exercise/physical activity and the full range of self-destructive eating disorder behaviors. She does this while operating at a high standard of professionalism which includes regular updates and consultation. She often serves as a case manager between myself, the physician, other involved treatment professionals and parents/loved ones. I should note that I have found her to be able to do this while keeping strong boundaries, asking for feedback to better serve her clients and seeming to truly enjoy and be passionate about her work.
I have found Marlena to be professional, empathetic, and with a strong dose of common sense. I have frequently referred both individual and young professionals to work with Marlena. I truly respect her work. I strongly applaud her ability to weave together the knowledge needed to understand various eating disorders with the methods and techniques needed to work in this field. She is both practical and inspiring as a guest lecturer—a unique combination.
Marlena is a stand-out, exceptional clinician. But more importantly Marlena understands people. I’ve witnessed her successfully treat difficult health issues while never losing connection with the person struggling within. Marlena has a way of bringing her experience authentically into each session which inspires clients to trust and experiment with change. I truly cannot say enough about her gift in guiding people through transformation.
While counseling clients has always been challenging for me, this comes naturally to Marlena. She emphasizes that every client is at a different stage of recovery. There is no such thing as an average treatment, as symptoms can change and intertwine. She guides clients through identifying behaviors and emotions that stem from distorted thoughts to ultimately combat the inner critic. She believes addressing these negative thoughts is the first step when treating clients with eating disorders, and allows them to begin the journey to self-love and acceptance. In my time with Marlena I was enlightened by her principles and ideologies, ones that I will never forget.