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The Garment Project: The First Sea Glass Grant Recipient

At Monte Nido & Affiliates, we save lives while providing the opportunity for people to realize their healthy selves. One of the ways we want to help provide opportunities for individuals to realize their healthy selves is through our Sea Glass Grants opportunity. A Sea Glass Grant aims to support small projects that create, develop or communicate a project that supports eating disorder recovery and healthy self-image.

Monte Nido & Affiliates is delighted to announce that The Garment Project  – founded by Monte Nido alumni Erin Drischler has been awarded the first Sea Glass Grant of $500 to support their mission to provide size free clothing to women in treatment and/or early recovery from their eating disorder.

We are happy to share more about The Garment Project through our conversation with Erin:

Tell me about the process of creating Garment.

Garment was created from about two years of conversations between [my partner] Jordan and myself. I have worked in retail for the past decade and have always been interested in fashion. Jordan is a documentarian at an advertising agency. Our careers have given us knowledge and experience that helped us to create something innovative and truly necessary. Once we had our concept worked out, we started to talk to friends in the non-profit space about taking next steps and making this idea a reality. Jordan and I have been learning as we go, but we make a great team.

How has Garment helped you in your recovery journey?

Garment is a constant reminder of the progress I’ve made in my own recovery. The initial idea came to 5 years before we could make it a reality. I worked through my issues of always wanting to be the caretaker for other people like my mom or my friends but never taking care of myself. As I began to devote more time to my self-care, I was able to become more confident in myself and my abilities. Now I am able to truly help people in a bigger, healthier way.

Who is Garment?

Garment is me, someone who is living a recovered life, and Jordan, who has spent the past few years learning how to be a great support person for recovery. Both of us have a passion for helping others and are devoted to solving a problem that hasn’t been addressed for others in the past.

What feeling do you most associate with Garment?

Pride. I’m proud of the organization. I’m proud of the work I accomplished in my recovery to get here. I’m proud of the relationship Jordan and I share and the bond we’ve created by working together on something that we love. The small setbacks we’ve faced leading up to our launch would have sent me on a downward spiral just a few years ago. It is empowering to take pride in something that once gave me so much shame.

Walk me through the Garment Experience.

Garment has relationships with treatment centers across the US. When a woman is reaching a point in her recovery process where our service would be most helpful, her treatment team will start to communicate some helpful info to Garment. With that style, personality, and measurement detail, Garment creates a unique shopping site for each individual. From there, our new friend can pick out items that she likes, we’ll box them up and ship them right to her.

How and where do you get your clothing and accessories?

Garment has been building relationships with retailers across the US to ensure that we have an inventory with enough variety to fit anyone’s style. There are so many retailers that are acting philanthropically with their items after a certain season has passed, when items have gone on sale, etc. Garment has been fortunate enough to be in contact with incredibly generous people at both national retailers as well as smaller boutique shops. We take boxes of new, never worn clothing in all shapes, colors, styles, and most importantly, sizes. Eating disorders do not target certain body types. We want the women we serve to see more options from Garment than they’d otherwise be able to find in most stores.

What is your favorite part of the day-to-day start-up process?

My favorite part of the day-to-day startup process is working side-by-side with Jordan. It is incredible to see what we are capable of doing when we work together. He constantly impresses and surprises me with his talent and attention to detail.

How can people get involved?

The Garment Project has already seen such an encouraging response and we know that it’s all because of people talking. The best thing anyone can do for The Garment Project is to talk about it. Talk about eating disorders. Talk about mental health, about resources for help, and about supporting anyone around you who is struggling. We encourage everyone to continue our conversation on social media and via email. Donations to The Garment Project can be processed on our website.

What advice would you give to someone in their recovery who has a dream?

Recovery was uncomfortable work that took dedication, acceptance, and time. It was not easy, and yet it is so worth it. Recovery is possible for everyone. A few years ago, I could not say that sentence out loud, let alone believe it true for myself. I am now living a life free of the eating disordered thoughts and rules that once consumed me. Although each person has a different story and struggle, it is truly possible to live a fully recovered life, free from your eating disorder.

What are your hopes and dreams for Garment?

Our hope is that Garment can reach women and eventually men too on a global scale and spread confidence through fashion. We want to become a resource for the millions of women and men who are working hard to recover.

 

For more information about Monte Nido please call 888.228.1253, visit our website and connect with us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and Instagram.


Articles for the Soul

Join us in reading soulful articles we have cultivated from across the web. If you have found an article you feel is inspirational, explores current research, or is a knowledgeable piece of literature and would like to share with us please send an e-mail here.

 

Yoga: How it Can Help Eating Disorders Eating Disorder Hope

7 Ways to Boost Your Mental Health at Work The Mighty

Who Are You Recovering For? Project Heal 

Why Yoga is an Excellent Practice while in Eating Disorder Recovery, and What Parents Should Know More Love

Sleep: An Essential Yet Overlooked Component of Recovery? Angie Viets

Support Your Well-Being – 3 Easy Self-Care Activities Huffington Post

 

For more information about Monte Nido please call 888.228.1253, visit our website and connect with us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and Instagram.


Sleeping Souls: Awakening your Authentic Self

Leaders from Monte Nido’s Eating Disorder Center of California will facilitate “Sleeping Souls: Awakening your Authentic Self” in which we will explore the nature of soul and the value of soul work in eating disorder treatment. Participants will examine the moralization of food that is present in our culture and how a client’s value judgment of food can disrupt a healthy connection between mind, body and soul. The work of the clinician becomes strengthening the healthy soul self within the client to challenge limiting beliefs that keep clients disconnected from the potential of a recovered life. Attendees will participate in group experiences that are utilized with clients at Monte Nido’s Eating Disorder Center of California and training will be provided on how professionals can utilize these tools in a private practice setting.

Attendees will learn to identify clinical markers for ARFID and be able to distinguish it from typical Anorexia Nervosa. They will learn to describe the medical implications of prolonged disruption of nutrition on the adolescent physical development. Lastly, they will learn the complex co-morbidities that arise with eating disorders and often go undiagnosed and mimic symptomology of eating disorders (such as ARFID, misophonia, OCD).

“Sleeping Souls: Awakening your Authentic Self” will be held on Friday, August 18th from 9:30-12pm. The event will be held at The Den LA BREA. Parking is available for $3.75 next door in the lot just north of The Den. Light breakfast and check-in begins at 9:30am and the presentation will be held from 10am -12pm. Two CE credits will be provided to the following: PhD, PsyD, LMFT, LCSW, LPCC and RD. This is an experiential workshop with seating limited to 12 guests.

To RSVP, or if you have questions, please contact Regional Outreach Manager Mary Andreasen at 310.721.6264 or MAndreasen@montenidoaffiliates.com.

Eating Disorder Center of California is pleased to also provide a weekly drop-in eating disorder support group for adult men and women in the community facilitated by EDCC Primary Therapist Nikki Krauthamer, LMFT. The group is held every Wednesday night from 6-7pm. There is no charge for this support group. Please contact Regional Outreach Manager Mary Andreasen at 310.721.6264 or MAndreasen@montenidoaffiliates.com with questions.

 

For more information about Monte Nido please call 888.228.1253, visit our website and connect with us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and Instagram.


The Importance of Slowing Down

Eating Disorder Specialist Angie Viets, LCP has dedicated her career to helping her clients on their journey to full recovery. In this week’s post, Angie discusses the importance of slowing down at times and taking time for yourself.

There will be no playing big for me today. I’d rather play small and go home. I’m going to lean out, not in. More hiding, less seeking.

I long for solitude. A place to curl up and go unnoticed. I don’t want to be depended on for even the smallest thing—like a ride or glass of water. Today I’m unable to be strong for me or you.

Please don’t ask anything of me, because I might let you down. Most likely, I’ll be late, ill-prepared, unkempt, and a bit disconnected. You’ll notice my hair is unwashed, my face without make-up, and my clothes are a bit mismatched. But that’s just my outsides. On the inside, my energy is low, motivation poor, and tears fall without warning. I’m sluggish and sad.

Today I’m without goals, a to-do list, or a schedule. If I were a cozy corner bookstore, a sign would crookedly hang on my door:

Many apologies. Due to unexpected circumstances, we are closed for the day. We hope to reopen soon!

My sign hangs too, it’s perhaps more subtle, but it’s there. I’m not sure why my unexpected circumstance is requiring me to close shop today. Frankly, I’ve decided it’s none of my business. What I do know is that today, I don’t have it in me to be there for you or me. So for today, I’m going to just be. Be still. Be gentle. Be kind.

For a lifetime I’ve needed you to tell me that it’s ok with you that I’m less ‘me’ on days like today. I was desperate for you to tell me it’s ok because I was unable to say it to myself. But today, I’m ok with being small, getting quiet, and hiding out. I used to feel guilty, stuck and worried that this was a permanent state. My tendency towards catastrophizing and storytelling would land me under a bridge; hungry and homeless for my remaining years if I didn’t fight through this feeling.

We live in a world that tells us it’s not ok to be compassionate and kind to ourselves. We need to “grind it out,” “just do it,” and “suck it up.” But guess what, that’s not my kind of world, and I doubt it’s yours either, because really, that’s nobody’s world. If pushing and shoving, striving and suffering is what it takes to be ‘all in,’ then I want out. I’m not down with this whole notion of “pushing through the pain.” Screw that!

The wise me—the one that I’ve come to know by heart—is gentle and loving. She knows that today is just a day. Nothing more, nothing less. Just a day. Instead of getting caught up in what “caused” today, or how to “fix” today, I’m just aware. I notice. I observe. I’m not attached.

I won’t lie and tell you that it doesn’t piss me off at first and throw me into a bit of a pity-party. I mean, I’ve got stuff to get done. Calls to make, people to take care of, clients to see, books to write, friends to meet, and coffee to drink. The guilt, oh for the love of God, the guilt is a relentless piece of work that thrives on an opportunity like today. But you know who’s even a bigger player on days like today? Self-criticism. She slithers in all sly and sneaky and then poisons you with her lethal venom. But I know better now.

History proves, that if you beat yourself up on a day where you already feel a little down and defeated, you perpetuate the cycle and set yourself up for future suffering. Instead, let’s put the sign on our door. Let’s just close up shop for the day. I promise, nothing catastrophic will happen to you or me if we take a day off.

So, just for today, I’m going to be quiet. With my phone silenced, my latte warm next to me, I will settle in. Phone calls, texts, and emails will wait. Netflix, a hot bubble bath, and my kindness towards myself won’t.

 

For more information about Monte Nido please call 888.228.1253, visit our website and connect with us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and Instagram.


Why Nurses & Why Monte Nido and Affilliates

Monte Nido & Affiliates Vice President of Nursing Lyn Goldring, RN, BN, CEDRN helped to create the current nursing program, and currently oversees the well being of clients and the team of nurses. In this week’s blog post, Lyn shares the passion and dedication behind the nursing team, and the integral role they play in providing treatment at Monte Nido & Affiliates.

Every nurse begins her journey in the art of caring for humans with an idea as to why she wants to help people. The why is never lost as it’s truly a calling, a vocation, a way of life. Caring for girls who suffer from eating disorders touches all aspects of caring: the mind, the body and the soul.

Joining Monte Nido in 2005 I saw an opportunity to combine the skill of caring with Carolyn’s ground breaking philosophies. Nurses joined hands with therapist, dietitians, psychiatrist, medical doctors, pharmacists, researchers, yoga teachers and trainers who were all nestled in the safety of a home that was created just for clients. Nurses naturally join with clients as they experience navigating the agonizing process called treatment. Nurses provide the salve on the open wounds of therapy, scientifically explain the symptomology experienced when every bodily system is painfully woken up with nutrition, educate starved minds to the benefits of medicines, introduce them to the function of their bodies over the size, provide screenings for basic health prevention strategies and provide an ever patient ear to the most private conflicts. Nurses are the multitaskers in the treatment process.

A decade later and many more centers opened the mission of nurses continue across our programs. Nurses are called as I was to remain true the their original why? We are integrated, involved and care for clients in an authentic holistic way that brings its own evidenced based results, RECOVERY.

 

For more information about Monte Nido please call 888.228.1253, visit our website and connect with us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and Instagram.


Eating Disorders vs. Disordered Eating: What’s the Difference?

Monte Nido Manhattan Primary Therapist Temimah Zucker, LMSW shares important information about distinguishing between eating disorders and disordered eating. Temimah explains how to discern when disordered eating has turned into an eating disorder and warning signs to look out for. 

One of the most common questions I’ve received as both a clinician and an eating disorder survivor is how to know whether someone truly has an eating disorder. In this day and age, when food fads and diets come and go quickly and people so regularly, casually discuss the manner in which they “eat their feelings” as a means of coping, it can be hard to discern when one’s eating practices morph from disordered eating into an eating disorder.

Normalized, non-disordered eating is when one mindfully consumes food when hungry and is able to stop when full. Additionally, they incorporate variety into their diet. Now, according to this definition, many people I know, who consider themselves to have a terrific relationship with food, may be classified as “disordered eaters”: they eat when they’re bored, have the same thing for lunch each day, cut out a main food group, etc. Societal standards and pressures, as well as preoccupations with weight loss and exercise, may lead individuals to alter/manipulate their food intake. For many people, this “works.” It does not interfere with their lives; they are able to find food they’re comfortable with at any restaurant, and there is no desire to change.

For others, this way of eating can be a precursor to a full-fledged eating disorder, and in many cases, it is hard to distinguish when an individual is struggling with disordered eating versus when an eating disorder is at play. From a clinical perspective, all who have a non-normalized relationship with food have an opportunity for introspection and reflection around their patterns and behaviors in relation to food and exercise. This being said, the essence of this piece will focus primarily on the distinction between this type of disordered eating and an eating disorder.

“How do I know if I should be worried? What if this gets worse?” These are the thoughts and questions, not only for those concerned for their loved ones, but also for individuals who are unsure about what type of help they might need. There are three key factors: behaviors, obsession, and functionality.

When an individual is struggling with an eating disorder, they generally engage in multiple behaviors. These behaviors can involve food or may relate to body image or mood. Judging by these behaviors alone would be insufficient: many people eat health foods or consume large quantities of food and do not have eating disorders. The quantity of behaviors may be an indication; for instance, this person engages in behaviors multiple times per week or even per day. This being said, many people keep their behaviors a secret and it is therefore difficult to gauge based on behaviors alone.

The level of obsession around eating disorder thoughts and behaviors can distinguish disordered eating from an eating disorder. It can be normal to think about food when hungry or what one might have for the next meal. For those struggling with an eating disorder, however, the thoughts are generally all-consuming; the individual thinks about calories, taste, food avoidance, or where to buy food, etc. This level of obsession can impair focus, the ability to stay present, and sleep, among other things. While it’s difficult to judge how much time and energy another person is spending thinking about food or using behaviors, the individual may offer this information or it may be evident that they spend more time in the grocery store, or perhaps isolate more frequently, and their general behaviors and patterns have changed.

Finally, the level of functionality is a distinguishing factor. When someone’s eating patterns take them away from normal functioning, this can be a strong indication of an eating disorder. This can include a woman who will not go out with friends because of the fears around their judgment while she eats. Or perhaps an individual does not attend work or school on more than one occasion due to behavior use like a compulsion to exercise. While these examples may sound extreme, those struggling often cite impairments of their social functioning as well as other obligations, due to their eating disorders.

The distinction between an eating disorder and disordered eating is one that takes practice in order to achieve understanding. Oftentimes, those struggling report that their eating disorder began as disordered eating. This by no means indicates that all who engage in disordered eating will have an eating disorder. Rather, it is a reminder to practice reflection and support for those around us about whom we have any type of concern.

I do not encourage diagnosis of others without involving a professional and yet, perhaps this piece sheds light on the type of warning signs that may present themselves and will plant the seed not only for further discussion around this important distinction, but also call to mind the need for methods of prevention and help not only for eating disorders in general, but for disordered eating. With further understanding and curiosity, we can rise up and provide support to all those struggling.

This blog originally posted on the National Eating Disorders Association website.

For more information about Monte Nido please call 888.228.1253, visit our website and connect with us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and Instagram.


Body & Soul: Group Therapy at Monte Nido

Monte Nido Eating Disorder Center of Philadelphia Primary Therapist Kate Funk shares an inside look at the Body & Soul Group she runs with her clients. Kate discusses what group therapy looks like at EDCPA and how she supports clients in discovering their soul self.

No matter how long one has been struggling with an eating disorder, one thing is for certain; it is an all-consuming experience. Having an eating disorder means one’s true self takes a back seat to the pain and suffering of an exhausting, relentless, and deadly illness. Many of our clients struggle to imagine what life might look like outside of food, calories, and exercise, and often identify themselves with their unhealthy behaviors. Leaving the eating disordered behaviors behind can be scary enough, let alone saying goodbye to their identity and journeying into the unknown. This is a terrifying task for most of our clients.

At Monte Nido, we believe all clients have two selves; their eating disorder self and their soul self. The healthy self is the compassionate, loving, true self that is our natural state when no longer preoccupied with food, body, and fear. We believe that a client’s healthy self will heal their eating disorder self, and thus embracing and cultivating one’s soul self is at the heart of our philosophy. As staff, we work to help clients distinguish the two. One way to do this is by asking clients what support or response would they give a close friend or loved one undergoing a similar experience. We find it is much easier for clients to connect with their soul selves when trying to help others then it is when trying to help them selves. Our Body & Soul group strengthens this concept by challenging clients to “leave their eating disorder at the door.” We ask clients to step away from their eating disorders for at least one hour and tap into the things that make them much more than their body and encompass their soul.

Body & Soul is an essential part of Monte Nido treatment across our facilities.  Once a week we utilize this group to highlight the importance of cultivating clients’ soul selves and help inspire them to grow closer to who they are and take tiny steps away from their eating disordered identity. At Monte Nido Eating Disorder Center of Philadelphia, intern Alex Smith and therapist Kate Funk follow a format that helps clients put their day on pause and dig deep to get in touch with who they truly are. We utilize specific Monte Nido traditions, meditations, and carefully crafted ambiance complete with soulful music and a candle lit room to create inspiration and healing. To explore the group a bit further, Kate and Alex sat down with a few questions for each other.

Kate, why do you choose to use the same traditions and format in group each week?

“Treatment has so many ups and downs for clients and we are constantly challenging them to give up and let go of so many parts of their normal routines. I find having a similar routine can help clients feel safe and know what’s expected of them. Having candles, music, meditation, and angel cards each week helps clients ground and feel a sense of confidence in what to expect. Despite clients often believing meditation or mindfulness is silly and sometimes thinking creating a healthy identity is impossible they are going to explore the concepts and step away from their disorders for that hour.”

Alex, tell us about your use of meditation in each body and soul group:

“Anxiety, rumination, and ‘future-tripping’ often impede a client’s ability to remain present and connect with their authentic self. An increasing body of research has highlighted the efficacy of mindfulness meditation and its impact on parts of the brain responsible for anxiety and stress. Meditating gives clients a chance to practice detaching from the incessant chatter of the eating disorder, become present, and get in touch with a deeper part of themselves. A common misconception about meditation is that the goal is to stop all thoughts. It’s not! Thoughts are a part of meditation, so the goal is to be able to let them come and go without getting attached to them. I customize my guided meditations for each Body & Soul session, depending on what clients are struggling with that day and what I think might be helpful. By blending deep breathing, guided imagery, and positive affirmations, I aim to create a safe space for clients to remember that they are more than their eating disorder”.

Kate, how does Body & Soul connect to the rest of the treatment experience at Monte Nido?

“The eating disorder self becomes incredibly strong throughout the duration of the eating disorder. Throughout treatment we are trying to strengthen the healthy self in order to help the client put the eating disorder self out of business. We work on this skill weekly in body and soul but it is a common thread in all of the Monte Nido groups and assignments. As staff we are always looking at opportunities to strengthen the soul self and help the clients see who they are outside of their eating disorders. We believe that the more the client is in touch with their soul self, the more their eating disorder self becomes obsolete.”

Alex, how would you describe the feeling of Body & Soul versus other groups at EDCPA?

“I believe that Body & Soul is a sacred group and it feels like a mini-retreat for the spirit. It gives both clients and staff a chance to remember who we are beyond any labels or limitations. The candle-lit glow, soul-full music, and Monte Nido traditions give clients a chance to explore a side of themselves that they may not get to otherwise. Instead of processing emotions and learning new skills, Body & Soul lets clients explore other aspects of their identity. In this group, I see our clients “lifting the veil” and remembering or discovering sources of joy, inspiration, and self-love that have been clouded or blocked entirely by their eating disorder. It’s a joy and privilege to see the light of our amazing clients begin to shine through”.

 

For more information about Monte Nido please call 888.228.1253, visit our website and connect with us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and Instagram.


Articles for the Soul

Join us in reading soulful articles we have cultivated from across the web. If you have found an article you feel is inspirational, explores current research, or is a knowledgeable piece of literature and would like to share with us please send an e-mail here.

 

Could You be Wearing Eating Disorder Sunglasses? Huffington Post

Severe Eating Disorders in Men Acute Medical Mondays

Are you Managing an Eating Disorder or Healing From One? Angie Viets

15 Things Every Caregiver Should Know About Navigating Eating Disorders NEDA

My 5 Philosophies for Lasting Healing from an Eating Disorder Chime Yoga Therapy

Creating a Safe Social Media Space to Maintain Healthy Body Image Eating Disorder Hope

 

For more information about Monte Nido please call 888.228.1253, visit our website and connect with us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and Instagram.


Beach Breaks with Monte Nido: A Summer Self-Care Series

Summer is a time to slow down and recharge the mind, body and spirit. This is especially important for those of us in the world of healing. Monte Nido would like to invite you to kick off your sandals and spread your toes in the sand for this very special summer series. Each month we will bring you a self-care based activity right down at Corona del Mar State Beach.

Join us for our kick-off event in June: Body and Soul! The heart of Monte Nido’s clinical philosophy understands the eating disorder client to be in a battle with two parts of themselves: their “healthy self” and their “eating disorder self”. Our clients often arrive a supercharged, all-encompassing eating disorder self and a faintly detectable healthy self. Our work involves helping them learn how to strengthen their healthy self to heal and integrate the eating disorder self into one whole being. In this effort, we help our clients find their true self, which we call the “soul self”. A core element in this work is our Body and Soul Group. Please join Hanan and Andie for an experiential Body and Soul Group at the beach, infused with a touch of Monte Nido “fairy dust” as we call it.

Attendees will be able to explain the concepts of eating disorder self, strengthening the healthy self and the soul self to use in work with clients. They will also be able to identify at least two techniques to implement when working with body image and resolving conflict between the healthy self and eating disorder self. Last, attendees will be able to identify at least one way focusing on the soul self contributes to gratitude and respect for the body.

“Beach Breaks with Monte Nido: A Summer Self-Care Series” with the Monte Nido Eating Disorder Center of Newport Beach team will be held on June 29th from 9:00-10:30am at Corona del Mar State Beach in California. The group will meet near the volleyball courts between Towers 3 & 4. Please park in Corona del Mar State Beach Main Parking Lot.

For questions, please contact Regional Outreach Manager Andie Hollowell.

 

Additional dates and topics will include:

Restorative Yoga and Body Image | July 28, 2017

Guided Meditation | August 25, 2017

 

For more information about Monte Nido please call 888.228.1253, visit our website and connect with us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and Instagram.


Life Unrestriced: A Podcast with Dr. Stacey Rosenfeld

Dr. Stacey Rosenfeld is a clinical psychologist specializing in eating disorders and body image concerns. She also works with substance misuse, anxiety and mood disorders, infertility, and relationship difficulties. A certified group psychotherapist and certified eating disorder specialist, Dr. Rosenfeld has worked at various treatment centers and universities and now directs the Gatewell Therapy Center in Miami, Florida. Dr. Stacey Rosenfeld is the author of “Does Every Woman Have an Eating Disorder? Challenging Our Nation’s Fixation with Food and Weight”, based on her award-winning blog of the same name. She is committing to helping people develop healthier relationships with food and their bodies. Check out Dr. Rosenfeld’s podcast on Life Unrestricted where she discusses disordered cultural messages, compulsive exercise and co-occurring issues.

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For more information about Monte Nido please call 888.228.1253, visit our website and connect with us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and Instagram.