February 11, 2020

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Empathy is a person’s ability to meet another person need to feel understood, heard, and seen.

Authors Maia Szalavitz and Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD write the following quite in their book about empathy “Born for Love”: “The essence of empathy is the ability to stand in another’s shoes, to feel what it’s like there. Your primary feelings are more related to the other person’s situation than your own.”

To practice empathy, one must dig deep into their own emotive experience in order to practice an und...

Our brains are very wired for patterns. The first time you

ever drove to work, you may have used map quest; you likely watched each street sign closely as you navigated your way to a new place. However, if you have been working there for some time now, you likely no longer need directions. You are able to make the drive with little extra thought. You may even at times make the trip without being fully engaged and cognizant of the drive. That’s because the voyage from home to office has become a w...

The U.S. weight loss market is now worth a record $72 billion. And we are coming up on one of it’s most lucrative times of the year.

The end of one year, the beginning of a new one – this can be a difficult time for those in eating disorder recovery, and even for those who are weary from years of dieting, rigid – often punitive - food rules, and/or body image distress. Your ears and your eyes will be inundated with diet talk. It’s a big money-making time for the diet industry and they will not mi...

This is time of year is often very busy. You may be studying for finals, packing up the dorm room, traveling, and wrapping presents nearly all at the same time. You may be juggling work, holiday performances, baking cookies for your kids' teachers, decorating the house, and hosting out-of-town guests. Wherever the holidays have you this year and whatever responsibilities they seem to be adding to your list, one thing is pretty universal: this time of year is busy and it's easy to fill your time...

I recently participated in a continuing education opportunity where the topic was how to utilize some of the 12-step strategies in the treatment of Eating Disorders. Alcoholics Anonymous is a pillar in the recovery community. The work of the 12-steps to help individuals gain lasting recovery from alcohol and drugs has been invaluable. 

The 10th step of the 12-step program is self-inventory. It's a daily/regular inventory one does with oneself to assess how he/she is doing and what might be valued...

You may notice that it has felt good this week to think about the things you are thankful for. Here are some ways to bring this practice of acknowledging gratitudes into your every day life. 

1. Gratitude Journal - Writing down three gratitudes either to start and/or end the day. 

2. Gratitude Jar - Within a jar or box, using paper strips to write out things you and your family are grateful for. Once a week dump the jar to look back on the gratitudes acknowledged from the week. 

3. Gratitude Prompt...

Thanksgiving (and the holiday season in general) can be particularly difficult while you are in Eating Disorder recovery. Here are some tips and tricks to consider as you approach this season:

  1. Work with your dietitian and therapist to plan, predict, process, and strategize.

  2. Use the holiday to “challenge” yourself and begin to venture into new territory and expand food choices. Be sure your Thanksgiving plate demonstrates balance and variety.

  3. Watch for “black and white” thinking. If...

Art journaling is a wonderful way to express yourself creatively. There are no rules! You can draw, paint, or collage with magazine clippings. Create visual art to represent your day, your feelings, or your thoughts, to represent some favorite song lyrics or quotes – the sky is the limit!

Resist the urge to question whether you are doing it right or well – shift perspective to presence, to breathing, to expression. This is an excellent place to challenge the inner critic and resist...

Every day for a month take some time at the end of the day to answer the journaling prompt “the best thing that happened today is…” Notice patterns. What things show up the most? This is important insight.

There are four on-going lists which make for wonderful additions of any journaling practice: lifelines, prayers, gratitudes, and support system.

The list of lifelines contains a person’s most affective forms of coping and self-care. It answers the question of what to do when struggling. They are tried-and-true self-soothe skills. All have been used and have proven to be affective. Different skills help different people. This is not a place to simply list skills, but to list the ones that you have...

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