Dr Kirby Sainsbury

Clinical Psychologist
PhD, DClinPsych, BA (Psych Hons)
Psych Reg No. PSY0001626627

Kirby has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and PhD in Health Psychology, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)/Bachelor of Education from the University of Sydney. She is an ANZAED Credentialed Eating Disorder Mental Health Clinician and Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor, and has completed the Foundation Training in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy with Behavioral Tech. 

Kirby has 13 years’ experience working in clinical and research settings in Australia and the UK. She specialises in working with older adolescents and adults with binge eating disorder, atypical anorexia nervosa (i.e., anorexia in individuals living in larger bodies), bulimia nervosa, and disordered eating/chronic dieting, where she uses an anti-diet, intuitive eating approach and health at every size (HAES) principles to help individuals normalise their relationships with food and body. She also enjoys working with people with borderline personality disorder, emotion regulation difficulties, ADHD, addictions, mood disorders, and chronic health conditions (with a focus on illness adjustment, acceptance, and behaviour change) to practise acceptance and develop self-management skills (e.g., distress tolerance, emotion regulation, self-regulation).

Kirby works predominantly from a Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) perspective, with skills also drawn from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing, Compassion-Focused Therapy, trauma-informed therapies, and informed by an anti-diet, intuitive eating, HAES, weight inclusive framework. Her health psychology (research) background also means she draws a lot on self-regulation, motivation, behaviour change, and habit formation theories and techniques.

Kirby’s background includes significant experience providing psychological treatments to inpatients and outpatients of private psychiatric facilities. She worked at Ramsay Clinic Northside over a 12-year period (2012-2014 and 2018-early 2024), where she facilitated eating disorders (total of 7 years) and youth day programs (3 years), and a dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) skills group (3 years), and has worked on the eating disorders, mood disorders, addictions, and general mental health inpatient units.

Kirby also has a strong research background in health psychology. In her Research Associate role in the UK, she was involved in the design and delivery of several behaviour change interventions to aid weight loss maintenance in adults with o*esity, adherence to a gluten free diet in adults with coeliac disease, and adherence to photoprotection recommendations in people with the rare disease, xeroderma pigmentosum.

She has published over 40 peer-reviewed papers in this field; presented more than 25 papers at domestic and international conferences; been an invited speaker for Coeliac UK, Coeliac Australia, and the Dietitians Association of Australia; co-coordinated an eating disorders module for undergraduate psychology students; been a guest lecturer for various undergraduate and postgraduate psychology subjects; provided research supervision to Honours, MSc, and medical students; was editor of Health Psychology Review (journal of the Health Psychology Division, British Psychological Society); and been an invited peer reviewer for numerous health psychology and behavioural medicine journals.

Kirby has recently moved to Melbourne and is currently only offering telehealth appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She is also available for case consultation in the areas of intuitive eating and the anti-diet approach.

Contact Kirby The Psychological Health Centre