Jennifer Lombardi serves as the executive director and marriage family therapist (MFT) for the Eating Recovery Center of California, Sacramento.
A recovering anorexic herself for nearly 20 years, today she lectures extensively on eating and body image disorders to adolescents, families and professionals in the Sacramento region and beyond.
“There were very few treatment centers at that time of my own personal struggle, and insurance often did not cover the cost of treatment. Fortunately, much of this has changed. We were motivated to create a program that not only provides research-based, effective treatment from a medical, nutritional and psychological standpoint, but that most importantly has the needs of the patient always in mind. Providing compassionate care is one of the most important components of our program.”
Lombardi received her undergraduate degree in Government/Journalism and a master’s in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling from California State University of Sacramento.
However she contemplates, “One of the most important aspects of my preparation was to engage in hands-on, practical learning. I completed a one-year internship at a county clinic that provided care to at-risk youth, and I will be forever grateful for the ways in which that environment pushed me as a therapist. I learned to not only think quickly on my feet and polished my clinical assessment skills, but I also learned to work as part of a diverse team. Training alongside psychiatrists, probation officers, psychologists and child protective services employees gave me the opportunity to learn how to think from various clinical perspectives. I would strongly encourage trainees and professionals early in their careers to seek out placements like this.”
What other advice can you offer others entering such a practice?
“I would strongly encourage individuals considering entering the counseling profession do their homework. Research career options not only in the private practice setting, but also in treatment centers, hospitals and schools. It’s important to realize the field is diverse. Match your skill set to an environment for which you are best suited and passionate about. For me, that has always been an interest in eating disorders and family therapy.”
Karen Hansen M.S. Earth Sciences, has been an educator and consultant who is currently an analyst regarding land and other public information records. She lives and works in Sacramento, CA. She has been writing about earth and the environmental sciences for Examiner.com since May of 2010. Find her work in several sections of the publication. You can find her work at SF Solar Energy Examiner, SF Environmental News Examiner and Environmental News Examiner