Doctor Janet Conti

Doctor Janet Conti

DAP - Honours and Postgraduate Psychology,
Dean's Unit, School of Psychology

Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology,
Specialist Psychology


I am a senior lecturer in clinical psychology, a clinical psychologist and dietitian with over twenty years of clinical work in the area of eating disorders and over ten years of teaching in cross-disciplinary professional postgraduate programs, including Psychology. My clinical experience informs my research that prioritises giving voice to peoples’ experiences of anorexia nervosa (AN) and other Eating Disorders (EDs) and their experience of its treatment. Drawing on my clinical and prior academic experience, I have contributed to pedagogical shift in WSU’s Master of Clinical Psychology (MCP) and Master of Professional Psychology (MPP) programs to increase students’ skills development across a range of therapeutic interventions; to increase awareness and sensitivity to cultural and individual diversity in ways that optimise client voice and appropriate response; and to engage in reflective practice early in the training to ensure an active participation in their professional development. My teaching pedagogy is fundamentally based on respect and engaged, value-based experiential classroom learning that invites reflective practice in the building of professional identity.  

My research is focused on giving voice to the person/family touched by Eating Disorders (ED) and its treatment. My research demonstrates and advocates for the prioritisation of the person/family’s voice to inform therapeutic interventions and for clinicians to develop skills in tailoring treatments to the person/family. I have a particular interest in qualitative research, particularly critical discusive approaches.


Eating disorder treatment experiences in Australia. Conti, Meade, & Hay

Exploring the experience of Maudsley and Family-Based Therapies for adolescent anorexia nervosa. Conti, Rhodes, Hay, Wufong, Aradas, Sales, Skeoch, Natoli, Young, Joyce.

New Narratives for Severe and Enduring Anorexia Nervosa. Bloomfield, Rhodes, Conti, Adams, MacGuire, Touyz

Planned research: Narrative Therapy in the treatment of Anorexia Nervosa. Conti, Hay, Perich, Meade.

This information has been contributed by Doctor Conti.


  • PhD Macquarie University
  • MClinPsy Macquarie University
  • BSc Macquarie University

Professional Memberships

  • AHPRA - Registered Psychologist with Clinical Psychology Endorsement (1999 - 2021)
  • Member of the Dietitians Association of Australia (1989 - 2021)


  • WSU Learning and Teaching Award for Excellence in teaching (Psychosocial Interprofessional Education PIPE Team) 2018-12-06
  • WSU Covid Assessment Commendation Award - Office of DVC(A) 2020-11-24


  • Critical discursive psychology
  • Eating disorders
  • Narrative inquiry
  • Reflective Practice in Supervision

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Dean's Unit, School of Psychology
  • Specialist Psychology


  • Clinical Psychology and Therapy Studies group
  • Master of Clinical and Professional Psychology programs
  • Years 4-6 Psychology Programs



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Current Teaching Areas

  • 101220 Clinical Health Psychology

Previous Teaching Areas

  • 101214 Psychological Interventions 2, 2016
  • 101214 Psychological Interventions 2, 2017
  • 101214 Psychological Interventions 2, 2018
  • 101214 Psychological Interventions 2, 2019
  • 101214 Psychological Interventions 2, 2020
  • 101220 Clinical Health Psychology, 2020
  • 101812 Clinical Psychopathology 1, 2016
  • 101812 Clinical Psychopathology 1, 2017
  • 101812 Clinical Psychopathology 1, 2018
  • 101812 Clinical Psychopathology 1, 2019
  • 101813 Clinical Psychopathology 2, 2017
  • 101813 Clinical Psychopathology 2, 2018
  • 101813 Clinical Psychopathology 2, 2019
  • 101813 Clinical Psychopathology 2, 2020
  • 102361 Advanced Therapeutic Modalities, 2016
  • B7637 Psychological Interventions 1, 2016


Chapters in Books

  • Conti, J., Hewson, D. and Isben, J. (2001), 'Power, voice and connection', Postgraduate Research Supervision: Transforming (R)Elations, Peter Lang Publishing 9780820449982.

Journal Articles

  • Paparo, J., Beccaria, G., Canoy, D., Chur-Hansen, A., Conti, J., Correia, H., Dudley, A., Gooi, C., Hammond, S., Kavanagh, P., Monfries, M., Norris, K., Oxlad, M., Rooney, R., Sawyer, A., Sheen, J., Xenos, S., Yap, K., Thielking, M. and Australian Postgraduate Psychology Simulation Educ, .. (2021), 'A new reality : the role of simulated learning activities in postgraduate psychology training programs', Frontiers in Education, vol 6 .
  • Hay, P., Ghabrial, B., Mannan, H., Conti, J., Gonzalez-Chica, D., Stocks, N., Heriseanu, A. and Touyz, S. (2020), 'General practitioner and mental healthcare use in a community sample of people with diagnostic threshold symptoms of bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and other eating disorders', International Journal of Eating Disorders, vol 53, no 1 , pp 61 - 68.
  • Lewke-Bandara, R., Thapliyal, P., Conti, J. and Hay, P. (2020), '"It also taught me a lot about myself" : a qualitative exploration of how men understand eating disorder recovery', Journal of Eating Disorders, vol 8 .
  • Bagaric, M., Touyz, S., Heriseanu, A., Conti, J. and Hay, P. (2020), 'Are bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder increasing? : results of a population-based study of lifetime prevalence and lifetime prevalence by age in South Australia', European Eating Disorders Review, vol 28, no 3 , pp 260 - 268.
  • Thapliyal, P., Conti, J., Lewke-Bandara, R. and Hay, P. (2020), '"It exists" : an exploratory study of treatment experiences in men with eating disorders', Australian Psychologist, vol 55, no 5 , pp 534 - 545.
  • Walker-Swanton, F., Hay, P. and Conti, J. (2020), 'Perceived need for treatment associated with orthorexia nervosa symptoms', Eating Behaviors, vol 38 .
  • Brookman, R., Kalashnikova, M., Conti, J., Rattanasone, N., Grant, K., Demuth, K. and Burnham, D. (2020), 'Maternal depression affects infants' lexical processing abilities in the second year of life', Brain Sciences, vol 10, no 12 .
  • Conti, J., Joyce, C., Hay, P. and Meade, T. (2020), '"Finding my own identity" : a qualitative metasynthesis of adult anorexia nervosa treatment experiences', BMC Psychology, vol 8, no 1 .
  • Brookman, R., Kalashnikova, M., Conti, J., Rattanasone, N., Grant, K., Demuth, K. and Burnham, D. (2020), 'Depression and anxiety in the postnatal period : an examination of infants' home language environment, vocalizations, and expressive language abilities', Child Development, vol 91, no 6 , pp 1211 - 1230.
  • Wufong, E., Rhodes, P. and Conti, J. (2019), '"We don't really know what else we can do" : parent experiences when adolescent distress persists after the Maudsley and family-based therapies for anorexia nervosa', Journal of Eating Disorders, vol 7, no 1 .
  • Grunseit, A., Cook, A., Conti, J., Gwizd, M. and Allman-Farinelli, M. (2019), '"Doing a good thing for myself" : a qualitative study of young adults' strategies for reducing takeaway food consumption', BMC Public Health, vol 19, no 1 .
  • Aradas, J., Sales, D., Rhodes, P. and Conti, J. (2019), '"As long as they eat"? Therapist experiences, dilemmas and identity negotiations of Maudsley and family-based therapy for anorexia nervosa', Journal of Eating Disorders, vol 7 .
  • Conti, J. (2018), 'Recovering identity from anorexia nervosa : women's constructions of their experiences of recovery from anorexia nervosa over 10 years', Journal of Constructivist Psychology, vol 31, no 1 , pp 72 - 94.
  • Cibralic, S. and Conti, J. (2018), '"I'm More Acknowledged" : a qualitative exploration of men's positioning of their body image, eating, and exercise concerns', Journal of Constructivist Psychology, vol 31, no 2 , pp 186 - 205.
  • Thapliyal, P., Hay, P. and Conti, J. (2018), 'Role of gender in the treatment experiences of people with an eating disorder : a metasynthesis', Journal of Eating Disorders, vol 6 .
  • Notaras, S. and Conti, J. (2018), 'A qualitative analysis of eating behaviour change for patients with diabetes and non-dialysis dependent chronic kidney disease stages 4-5', Journal of Renal Care, vol 44, no 4 , pp 219 - 228.
  • Conti, J., Calder, J., Cibralic, S., Rhodes, P., Meade, T. and Hewson, D. (2017), ''Somebody else's roadmap' : lived experience of Maudsley and family-based therapy for adolescent anorexia nervosa', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, vol 38, no 3 , pp 405 - 429.
  • Conti, J. (2016), '"I don't think anorexia is the way out" : reconstruction of meaning in women's narratives of anorexia nervosa over 10 years', Journal of Constructivist Psychology, vol 29, no 2 , pp 165 - 183.
  • Conti, J., Rhodes, P. and Adams, H. (2016), 'Listening in the dark : why we need stories of people living with severe and enduring anorexia nervosa', Journal of Eating Disorders, vol 4, no 1 .
  • Rhodes, P. and Conti, J. (2016), 'Why clinical psychologists should read philosophy : an introduction', Australian Clinical Psychologist, vol 2, no 1 .
  • Abraham, S., Taylor, A. and Conti, J. (2001), 'Postnatal depression, eating, exercise and vomiting before and during pregnancy', International Journal of Eating Disorders, vol 29, no 4 , pp 482 - 487.
  • Conti, J., Abraham, S. and Taylor, A. (1998), 'Eating behaviour and pregnancy outcome', Journal of Psychosomatic Research, vol 44, no 3-4 , pp 465 - 477.

Other Publications

  • 2020, 'Depression, Co-Morbidity and Integrated Care', Report

I am an Australian researcher who is committed to research that takes seriously the ‘voice’ of those who experience eating disorders, specifically anorexia nervosa (AN), comorbid trauma and their treatment. I have specific skills as a dietitian who understands the physiological impacts of AN and a clinical psychologist who specialises in narrative therapy. I have a comprehensive understanding of client complex needs through direct experience of the benefits of cross-disciplinary tailoring of treatments in the public/private sectors since the 1990s.  

My key research achievements have demonstrated the significance of voice-led treatment interventions for AN and questioned the dominant ways of conceptualising AN. The dominant treatment paradigm for AN narrows the focus of treatment to a limited range of therapeutic modalities that, when they don’t work, risk leaving the adolescent/family to assume they have failed. This may lead to few treatment options to prevent AN progressing to a severe and enduring course. My approach broadens the treatment options through diverse and tailored treatment interventions that prioritise the voice of the experiencing person/family. In the last two years (2016-2019) I have published 5 papers in this critical area of eating disorders (ED). The translational impact of this research highlights the need to further develop and research more diverse AN therapeutic interventions that give voice to the experiencing person/family, including narrative therapy.

In 2016, I established and led the AN research lab within the School-based research cluster, CaHPRI. I have also collaborated the WSU White Papers – "Eating disorders and Obesity – the Road Ahead in Western Sydney" (Chair: Professor Hay) and "Transformative care in complex presentations with depression" (Chair: Professor Tanya Meade).     

In the area of trauma research, I am collaborating on a project with reseachers at WSU and the Veterans Centre, Sydney Northern Beaches to research the Young Veteran Wellbeing program.

This information has been contributed by Doctor Conti.

Current Projects

Title: Clinical evaluation of the Wandi Nerida Residential care facility
  • Butterfly Foundation
Western Researchers: Phillipa Hay, Deborah Mitchison, Aunty Kerrie Doyle, Lucie Ramjan, Haider Mannan, Janet Conti and Kathy Tannous
Years: 2021-07-14 - 2025-05-31
ID: P00027511

Previous Projects

Title: Young Veteran Wellbeing Program: Evaluation of the Selection, Suitability and Support of the Program's Volunteers with Lived Experience
  • University of Western Sydney
  • Veterans Centre Sydney Northern Beaches (VCSNB)
Western Researchers: Tanya Meade, Janet Conti and Tania Perich
Years: 2019-11-04 - 2020-12-31
ID: P00026181


Doctor Conti is available to be a principal supervisor for doctoral projects

Current Supervision

Thesis Title: What do images of dissociation made in art therapy by young people with serious mental illness mean to the person and communicate to clinicians.
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Children as Health Ambassadors: An Approach to Improving Health, Wellbeing, and Learning Outcomes for Australian Indigenous Children and Communities
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: How Individuals with Anorexia Nervosa Navigate Changes in Identity Throughout Treatment and the Impact That These Identity Negotiations May Have on Overall Treatment Efficacy
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: The Effectiveness of a Short-term Psychosocial Therapy Intervention (PETA) for Patients with a Severe Mental Illness.
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: What is the added value of a dietitian in the treatment of eating disorders?
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Australian Woman's discursive constructions of the Lived Experiences of Domestic Violence
Field of Research:

Previous Supervision

Thesis Title: A Mixed Method Exploration of Treatment Experiences of Men with Eating Disorders
Field of Research: Medical Studies Not Elsewhere Classified; Behavioural Science; Public Health
Thesis Title: First sounds and first steps: An examination of mother-infant interactions and infants' early language development.
Field of Research: Psychology

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