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Through advocacy work, community and professional events, and media outreach, Veritas is helping to bring cutting-edge research, best-practice care, and scientifically backed information into the national eating disorder conversation. Here in our blog you can learn about the work we and others are doing to advance the understanding and treatment of eating disorders. You’ll also find interesting articles and helpful insights that can support you or a loved one on the journey to lasting recovery. We want to hear your story. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask how you can become a contributor!
Bronwen Clark is a Los Angeles-based therapist and the author of Don’t Be Weird: A Memoir of Food and Feelings, a book that chronicles her journey through eating disorder treatment.
In this episode of Peace Meal, Bronwen reflects on the client experience of treatment, including its rewards, challenges, and lasting impact. She explores lessons learned, the difficulty of transitioning between treatment centers and across levels of care, and the search for an identity outside of a diagnosis. She concludes by offering advice for those considering treatment now.
The transition back to the family table, social eating, and meal preparation can be a very challenging part of eating disorder recovery. Our culinary groups provide a wonderful opportunity to engage in hands-on activities that support tolerating the sights, sounds, atmosphere, and experience of the kitchen in an approachable manner.
In this episode of Peace Meal, writer Lindsey Hall reflects on the online recovery community, where she has shared the nitty-gritty details of eating disorder recovery for over six years. She describes how writing publicly about her experience has both protected and challenged her ongoing process of healing. To create a more compassionate, inclusive recovery community, Lindsey encourages us to practice vulnerability and grace when telling our stories and hearing those of others.
Author and psychotherapist Thom Rutledge joins Peace Meal to discuss how people with eating disorders can prioritize recovery during the coronavirus pandemic. While “Ed”—the eating disorder—may try to co-opt the current cultural anxiety and changes in food, exercise, and environment for his purposes, Thom explains how we can intervene. With the support of others, we can reclaim our power and use the situation as an opportunity to strengthen our recovery efforts.
In this episode, author Chrissy Cahill recounts her daughter Alexandra’s battle with anorexia. Alex struggled with the eating disorder for 18 years and ultimately died from it at the age of 33. Following Alex’s death, Chrissy gained entry into her daughter’s private, painful world through Alex’s writings. Chrissy published these writings to educate others about life with an eating disorder, weaving them into a book called Fatal Reflection. Chrissy chronicles her experience of writing the book, describes the loving, strong person Alex was, and shares how the eating disorder affected the different members of her family.
Compassion to me is grace, kindness, patience, and motivation. Compassion helps us to relate to and identify with our patients. Connecting with others leads to increased motivation to help the other person achieve their goals as it relates to self-actualization or toward full recovery. A mentor of mine once shared that in order to experience an authentic therapeutic relationship with a patient, we must find one thing we value and appreciate about that individual. This has always been at the core of my therapeutic work with patients.
To do the kind of work that we do, we must have compassion. Compassion has also been shown to improve outcomes in healthcare and to improve one’s relationship with his or her healthcare provider. Providers must learn to regulate their own boundaries so as not to experience compassion fatigue.
Self-compassion is often the precursor to demonstrating compassion toward others. When we can demonstrate compassion toward ourselves, we model that for our teams and for our patients. It shows up when we say “I should have looked at this differently” and we have the ability to recognize that we are doing the best that we can and can give ourselves grace.
Compassion is showing up in an empathic way for a patient and for a family.
Compassion is being with the individual and saying “yes, I get it. . . I can relate to that” versus feeling sorry.
Compassion is showing the individual the path to recovery and providing them with the tools to start the journey versus doing it for them.
Everything that we do at our hospitals and centers models real life for our patients around us. Whether showing compassion toward a teammate or compassion toward a patient, we are role-modeling this core value for our patients who may not have had role models of this very important humanistic trait.
As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and begin to define our “new normal”, it’s important to acknowledge the impact these times can have on individuals suffering from an untreated eating disorder, as well as those who are in recovery.
Family and friends can play an important role in identifying eating disorder behaviors and symptoms. Although it is not always easy to discuss eating disorders, expressing your concern is instrumental in getting your loved one the care they need.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when talking to a loved one.
Leah Graves, RD, LDN, CEDRD, FAED, Vice President of Nutrition & Culinary Services
Our 2020 Voices of Veritas series features thought leaders and subject matter experts at Veritas Collaborative who are driving the standard of care in eating disorder treatment to help fulfill our vision of a world in which all persons with eating disorders and their families have access to best-practice care and hold hope for a cure.
As our world navigates the impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, one thing is certain – we are in uncharted territory. This is an unprecedented time, and we may not know how to respond. We may feel worried because there is no way to anticipate what may be coming next. It is only human to feel anxious and scared! During uncertain times we may feel a loss of control, on edge, and more vulnerable to negative emotions.
Kitty Westin is an internationally known advocate for those with eating disorders. Since losing her daughter Anna to anorexia in 2000, she has worked tirelessly and tenaciously to improve access to eating disorder care.
In this episode Kitty reflects on two decades of advocacy, including her role in creating treatment centers, a non-profit organization, and the historic Anna Westin Act, the first eating disorders legislation passed into federal law. Honoring Anna’s spirit throughout, she encourages others to voice their own experiences to create change.
When an eating disorder affects a child or adolescent, it affects the child’s parents and caregivers as well. In this episode, Raffaela discusses the impact of her daughter’s eating disorder on her family. She describes how she continues to fight alongside her daughter, navigating treatment and the challenges associated with it. She addresses the confusion, isolation, frustration, and exhaustion commonly felt in this situation, and emphasizes the importance of patience, self-care, and a strong support system.
Peace Meal’s Recovery Series features stories of those in eating disorder recovery in hopes of starting conversations, breaking stigmas, and encouraging healing. In this episode, we talk to Olivia McNeil.
Olivia is a youth group leader from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. She is passionate about helping and supporting others with their mental health journeys and spreading awareness about eating disorders.
Olivia reflects on her own experience with eating disorder illness and healing. She describes her process of seeking help and achieving full recovery, and how she continues to protect this recovery.
Nikki Hudson, MHA, Senior Director of Patient Access Services
In our Voices of Veritas series, we highlight the Veritas team members that help fulfill our vision of a world in which all persons with eating disorders have access to best-practice care and hold hope for a cure. These individuals ensure that patients, their families, and their communities of support receive the proper tools, resources, and education to support lasting recovery.
The holiday season is a wonderful and exciting time for families and friends to celebrate together. While many people look forward to the holiday season, this time of year can cause added stressors for individuals who are in recovery from an eating disorder.
The holiday season is a wonderful and exciting time for families and friends to celebrate together. While many people look forward to the holiday season, this time of year can cause an increase in stressors for individuals who are in recovery from an eating disorder.
Here are five important tips to help you effectively navigate the holidays while maintaining recovery.
There are areas of ocean near the equator known as the doldrums. Known for stagnant, humid, and windless weather interrupted by erratic storms. In the age of sailing, sailors could be adrift for days or even weeks on end, waiting for the wind. Sails flat. Wake non-existent. Adrift.
As the parent of a child with an eating disorder, I have been on that boat. Adrift. Days running together. Small victories. Marginal setbacks. A sudden storm that vanishes as quickly as it appeared. Just waiting for the wind.
We had a fantastic time at The Emily Program’s first live podcast event, Make Peace With You! Our discussion covered topics of perfectionism, social media, and eating disorder recovery.
Make Peace with You is a special live episode of Peace Meal focused on stories of embracing individuality and practicing self-acceptance. On November 2nd, host Dr. Jillian Lampert talked with Olympian Jessie Diggins and journalist Jana Shortal about how they learned to come to terms with body image issues and other challenges.