The Brick native, Montclair State University graduate and Morristown resident is a lot of things but primary among them is realist.
“People mention that all the time. That we are above the Coldstone,” Sweeney said.
The journey to the office above the Coldstone came after Sweeney, a registered dietician, left her job at the hospital to work with outpatients on a one on one basis, rather than in an acute setting.
“People were coming to me when they were ready,” Sweeney said.
Sweeney began her private practice in a medical arts facility across from Morristown Memorial Hospital.
“I accept medical insurance an we were located right on medical row,” Sweeney said. “And a lot of doctors were referring patients to me.”
As her business grew, Sweeney could see the limits of her own education when it came to helping clients reach their wellness goals.
“I started to see things in patients, psychologically, that I was not trained to address,” Sweeney said. “I realized we needed a holistic approach to wellness that was multifaceted. I just saw what I wanted to do and I really really wanted to help people and if I couldn’t address all of the facets of wellness. I saw where my shortcoming was given my scope of practice. In a complete interdisciplinary way. ”
Enter psychologist Dr. Erika January, pediatric dietician Janet Kopchinski and manual therapist Megan Jensen.
“I wanted to partner with a psychologist to handle those issues I was seeing in patients I couldn’t address. I wanted yoga and exercise because it was a good physical starting place for people who may not regularly exercise,” Sweeney said. “And I wanted a massage therapist and physical therapist as well. All of it is supposed to be complementary to the other services.”
Sweeney said the team there is not there to be judgmental and that all facets of wellness are interconnected.
“We just try to be realistic,” Sweeney said. “I am here to present the facts in a very unbiased way. Nutrition isn’t really rocket science, but the implementation is difficult.”
Sweeney said the collaborative approach is designed to make it as easy as possible to learn how to be healthy and to take care of yourself in order to be healthy.
“It is one of the reasons I take medical insurance,” Sweeney said. “People pay their copay and that is it. It makes it affordable.”
Sweeney said another reason for her approach is efficiency.
“I just want it to be effective. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time,” Sweeney said. “Society puts enough negative thoughts in people’s heads I want everyone to have a positive experience. One of the first things I tell people any guilt that you have, let it go.”
The biggest issue she sees her clients struggle with? Moderation.
“People are very all or nothing,” Sweeney said. “Moderation is the hardest to conquer. People try to cut out carbs. Are you really going to never have pasta ever again?”
Sweeney said that people get beat up about their health and their weight. By the doctors and by the trainers at their gym.
“People have to take pride in making themselves healthier,” Sweeney said. “We live in a time where people don’t value their health too much. They value their image, not their health. We live in an age where everyone has a negative relationship with food and I want change that.”