Diane | Keynote Speaker

Book Diane as a Speaker for your event

About the Author


Short Bio

Diane Petrella, MSW is a clinical social worker, holistic licensed psychotherapist, and author of Healing Emotional Eating for Trauma Survivors: Trauma-Informed Practices to Nurture a Peaceful Relationship with Your Emotions, Body, and Food. She has a private psychotherapy practice in Providence, RI.


Long Bio

Diane Petrella, MSW, is a clinical social worker and holistic licensed psychotherapist in private practice specializing in the psychological effects of childhood trauma, emotional eating, body image issues, and grief. With nearly 40 years’ experience, she’s helped thousands of clients overcome trauma, create a respectful relationship with their body and food, and connect with their inner Wise Self for guidance and self-healing.

Early in her career, she co-developed Rhode Island’s first child sexual abuse treatment program and frequently served as an expert witness in court-involved sexual abuse and post-traumatic stress cases.

Diane holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Sociology from Boston College and a Master of Social Work degree from Simmons University.  

Diane is the author of Healing Emotional Eating for Trauma Survivors: Trauma-Informed Practices to Nurture a Peaceful Relationship with Your Emotions, Body, and Food.

Diane's Book

With this gentle guide, you will gain a deeper understanding of the trauma you experienced, and discover alternative ways to soothe stress and difficult emotions when they show up.

Speaking at RIAND

Diane speaking at the Rhode Island Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

Speaking Topics

The following topics will be adjusted for the event audience.

It’s Not Your Fault: Trauma & Emotional Eating

Make the connection between a history of childhood pain and using food to cope.
Learn some simple skills to begin to develop awareness and heal.


Calm Your Anxious Body

Early trauma changes the developing brain and affects your nervous system and body’s response to stress. Learn strategies to feel safe and calm in your body when anxious and overwhelmed.


Create a Supportive Relationship with Your Body

Trauma, including the trauma of weight stigma, can affect how you feel about your body. Learn three practical and easy practices to help you and your body develop the respectful and loving partnership you both deserve.


Trigger Foods: Love ‘em or Leave ‘em

“Trigger foods” is a term used to describe foods that you can’t easily stop eating once you start. Learn how to gain power over these foods so they stop holding power over you.


Befriend Your Feelings

It’s not unusual to want to push away hard feelings. But that gets in the way of self-growth and can make life problems harder. Learn skills to safely welcome all of your feelings so you can take charge of your life and feel emotionally grounded.


Cultivate Inner Emotional Safety

Fear-based and limiting beliefs can erode your self-worth and stop you from living your best life. Learn how these fears developed and a loving self-care practice to help you release them.


Connect with Your Wise Self

You have a wealth of inner wisdom and guidance but it’s hard to access that when early trauma and fear-based thoughts get in the way. Learn a beautiful guided imagery exercise to meet your own inner Wise Self who will walk beside always and be there for guidance, encouragement, and inspiration.


Create an Emotionally Safe Sanctuary

Do you know that clutter clearing isn’t only about keeping an organized home? That’s because the objects in your life hold an energy that either supports you or holds you back from reaching your goals and living your best life. Learn an “outside-in” healing approach that helps you accelerate your emotional growth.


Articles Featuring Diane

Book Diane

Request Diane to speak at your event below. She will contact you with the next steps. 

Diane Petrella headshot

Diane is an ideal speaker for:

Mental Health Professionals
Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists
Health & Wellness Professionals
Energy & Holistic Health Professionals
Work Site Wellness
Book Clubs
Women’s Groups
Men’s Groups
Adolescent & College-Age Education Programs
Adult Education

Aspire Magazine

Read my article, Soothe Yourself in a Sacred Embrace, by signing up for your free subscription to Aspire magazine here.

Here’s what attendees have to say about Diane.

Diane is a dynamic speaker who leverages her decades of real-world clinical experience and understanding of the scientific literature to deliver engaging, thought-provoking talks on the relationship between food, bodies, and trauma to clinical audiences. She made the content accessible and timely. After her presentation and lively moderated conversation, the room was abuzz with conversation about feasible application to a range of patient populations and clinical settings.

Dr. Carly Goldstein, PhD, FAACVPR

Assistant Professor (Research), Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Diane gave an outstanding explanation of the correlation between the neurological and hormonal effects of trauma and how it can lead to emotional eating. Her presentation included case studies and innovative healing techniques she has developed to help her clients. I was fascinated by her approach, which was calm, warm, and steady. The event fee included a copy of her book, “Healing Emotional Eating for Trauma Survivors,” which I found very useful for my patients. The book has proven to be an invaluable resource in helping me to implement Diane’s exercises and techniques.

Mary Hartley, RD, MPH

Diane is a warm, engaging and welcoming speaker, who gently introduces the subject of trauma survivors and emotional eating, and discusses practical, compassionate practices, based on research and experience. Her approach is compelling, and the audience’s attention is held throughout. Diane provided one of the most interesting presentations we have had and the tools she provided will help all of us who work with people who experience emotional eating. 

Karen Zangari, MS, RD, LDN, CDCES

Listen to Diane’s Podcast Interviews 

Her Path to Purpose podcast

Diane Petrella’s insightful talk on “Healing Emotional Eating for Trauma Survivors” at the annual RI Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics meeting left a profound impact on me. Her compassionate approach and deep understanding of healing emotional eating resonated strongly. Diane blends personal anecdotes with practical strategies which gave me invaluable tools to help my clients. I recommend Diane for speaking engagements and also highly recommend her book for anyone involved in healing emotional eating.

Lisa Browning, RD, LDN

Diane spoke to nutrition professionals who often find themselves working with clients who eat for emotional reasons. Her presentation reflected a deep insight into the connection between emotional trauma and disordered eating. We came away with a clearer understanding of the reasons that individuals use food to self-soothe. Diane showed us that many individuals have developed behaviors that are an expected response to their lived experiences. This deeper understanding is invaluable for practicing nutrition professionals who are most effective when they can make meaningful connections with their clients.

Barbara Robinson, MPH, RDN, CNSC.

4 Ways to Develop Intuitive Eating Skills for Trauma Survivors

An article by Diane Petrella.