chris thornton clinical psychologist

Chris Thornton is the Founder and Clinical Director of The Redleaf Practice. Chris has worked with individuals and families with eating disorders for nearly 30 years. He provides supervision and case consultation to all receiving treatment at the practice. Chris has dedicated his career to improving the eating disorder sector in Australia, with his continued efforts culminating in him being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in the field of eating disorders by the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Eating Disorders in 2020.

Over the last 30 years Chris has consulted to inpatient, day patient and outpatient treatment services at major centres of eating disorders in both Australia and New Zealand. He continues to supervise programs and clinicians throughout Australia.

Chris is a past president of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Eating Disorders, sits on the Steering Committee of the National Eating Disorders Collaboration and is a member of the Eating Disorder Credential Governing Council.

Chris has presented numerous workshops on the treatment of eating disorders, both nationally and internationally. He has presented workshops on Motivational Enhancement Therapy; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Day Program Treatment, Non-Negotiables in Eating Disorders Treatment, Mirror Exposure for Body Image Treatment, Treatment of Shame in Complex Eating Disorders, as well as on the strengths and limitations of evidence-based treatments.

Client ages
Chris’ books are currently closed for new patients.

Primary areas of expertise
Eating disorders
Personality disorders

Therapy style and influences

Chris is influenced by the three pillars of evidence-based therapy in his clinical work. Chris draws heavily on the scientific literature regarding what is likely to be helpful in treatment and combines this with extensive clinical experience to find a best fit for the individual. Chris values the therapeutic relationship over a prescribed set of techniques and is interested in utilising the core principles of treatment for someone with an eating disorder.


Chris has published widely, including journal articles, books, book chapters and Clinical Practice Guidelines. Please contact the practice if you would like a list of publications.

Chris is a member of the TrEAT Founding Committee. The TrEAT study is a research project which aims to improve treatment access and quality of treatment for people with eating disorders in Australia. Standardised information is collected at regular time points across several specialist eating disorder treatment centres in Australia, including The Redleaf Practice.


Chris enjoys listening to records, attending live music gigs, and going to the dog park. He reads extensively (and sometimes not just about eating disorders!)

Professional memberships

  •  Australian Psychological Society
  •  College of Clinical Psychology
  • Australian Association for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Australian & New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders
  •  Academy of Eating Disorders
  • National Eating Disorder Collaboration

You’re in good hands with us

Whether you are starting out on the journey of recovery, or have been finding things hard for some time, we’re here to help. If you or someone you love is struggling with eating concerns, please reach out.