Article Spotlight

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Join us in reading inspirational and informative 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.

 

No Matter Your Age, Never Say Goodbye to Play Psych Central

College Students, Bulimia Treatment and Working  Eating Disorder Hope

10 Ways to Compliment Your Child Without Talking About Their Appearance Huff Post

How Yoga Helps us Return to our Bodies as we Recover from an Eating Disorder Chime Yoga 

Dear Melody: How Can I Talk to My Child About Their Eating Disorder? NEDA

Six Ways to Approach Childhood Emotional Trauma Psychology Today

 

For more information about Clementine adolescent treatment programs, please call 855.900.2221, visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To learn more about our newest location, Clementine Briarcliff Manorplease reach out to a Clementine Admissions Specialist at 855.900.2221.


Questions Parents Should Ask

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There is an enduring misconception that eating disorders are simple and relatively benign illnesses. Some of these misconceptions have significant implications for how parents respond, both practically and emotionally, to their child. The complexity, ambiguity and intensity of these disorders can leave families feeling overwhelmed and anxious and, unfortunately, many even feel responsible for creating the disorder. Making informed decisions about treatment options is challenging, especially when your child is threatened by a dangerous disorder.

Eating disorders are complex disorders that require specialized expertise by a multidisciplinary treatment team. When looking for an eating disorder program that specializes in treating adolescents, you will want to consider asking the following questions of a residential provider:

  • What is your programs’ experience treating eating disorders, and how long has this been an area of specialty for your eating disorder treatment programs?
  • Is your program accredited and licensed, and by whom?
  • What is the age group your program treats?
  • Is there a nurse present 24-hours a day on site?
  • What kind of evaluation process will be used in recommending a treatment plan?
  • Does your program have a board certified Adolescent Psychiatrist?
  • How many years of experience does your programs’ Adolescent Psychiatrist and Medical Director have? What are their training and credentials?
  • How many years of experience does your programs’ Clinical Director have? What is their training and credentials? Does the Clinical Director meet with the clients at least weekly?
  • How many years of experience does your programs’ Director of Nutrition Services have? What is their training and credentials?
  • Does the Registered Dietitian provide meal planning, dine with the adolescent, meet individually with the adolescent and provide family coaching?
  • How many adolescents does each Primary Therapist oversee?
  • How does your program measure effectiveness?
  • Do you offer high-frequency individual therapy?
  • What evidence-based treatment modalities does your program offer?
  • What does the educational component look like for my daughter at your program? Are there state-certified teachers overseeing the educational programming?
  • Does your program offer family therapy, coaching and psycho-educational groups in its family programming? How often is family programming offered?
  • How do you collaborate and communicate with the family, outpatient professionals and schools while my child is in treatment with you?
  • What are the setting and milieu like?
  • Do you provide step-down options for when my child is ready for a lower level of care?

For more information about Clementine adolescent treatment programs, please call 855.900.2221, visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To learn more about our newest location, Clementine Briarcliff Manorplease reach out to a Clementine Admissions Specialist at 855.900.2221.


What to Say…and What Not to Say to Instill Healthy Eating and Mindfulness in Kids

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An expert in nutrition and healthy living, Laura Cipullo has almost 20 years of clinical experience as a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, and Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian. In this week’s blog post, Laura shares helpful tips to encourage positive eating and mindfulness in kids.

In August 2013, I released Healthy Habits, a guide for parents and educators. The aim of the workbook — an eight-lesson plan — is to instill in children positive ways of approaching food and exercise. Lessons have a hands-on component, with handouts and homework. The book aims to also prevent eating disorders, with a philosophy that all bodies and all foods are acceptable.

One of the most helpful and convenient sections of the book is the “What Not to Say” section.

I know that as a parent or teacher you want to say the right things to children, but because so many of us have been raised in a body-negative culture, we sometimes say things that have the potential to cause harm and set children up for an unhealthy relationship with food.

And we don’t have to just think about what we say to children. Children also model their behavior on how we behave, and on how we talk about our own bodies.

Here are some common phrases we might be saying to the children in our lives and preferred alternatives.

For example:

Don’t say: “Oh honey … you could stand to lose a few pounds!”

Do say: “Are you eating for fuel? Or are you just bored or maybe even sad?”

Pointing out that you think your child could lose weight may seem like a positive thing to do, but can be deeply damaging, encouraging a lifetime of bad self-image and/or disordered eating. The better way is to get her to examine why she is eating and discussing what are healthy reasons to eat — this is an important lesson to instill mindfulness. Suggest alternatives to relieve boredom other than food — fun activities you know she likes to do.

Another example:

Don’t say: “You need to eat your veggies because they’re good for you.”

Do say: “Let’s try to eat veggies every day to get the necessary vitamins our bodies and minds need. Maybe we can use a star chart to help you try new foods like veggies.”

Saying “you need to eat your veggies because they’re good for you” is too vague. Be clear about why your child would want to eat their vegetables. Phrase it as a choice they are making. Emphasize exactly how it will help their bodies and minds (while being age-appropriate, of course). Adding a star chart gives them a goal to shoot for, without making the reward a food-based one. “Try new foods” makes it sound positive. “Trying” things emphasizes adventure, a new experience a child should be excited about. “You need to” feels more like an obligation or a punishment.

Here’s something you might say about yourself:

“My thighs are so fat!”

You might think this is a harmless thing to say in front of a child, but it has repercussions. A child can notice that mommy doesn’t like her thighs and the next thing you know, she is wondering whether her thighs are “too fat” as well. Children want to be like their parents, so if mommy is in search of the perfect body, and feeling discouraged with the one she has, well, don’t be surprised if your daughter or son starts complaining about his or her body, and wishing she or he looked “better.”

Here’s another way to talk about your body in front of your child:

“I may not be perfect, but that’s okay. I love myself and I love you!”

Healthy Habits has a number of sample scenarios like the ones above. I encourage you to buy the book for the child or children in your life. You will be giving them the gift of a healthy relationship with food, and a positive self-image, two gifts that are ultimately priceless.

 

For more information about Clementine adolescent treatment programs, please call 855.900.2221, visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To learn more about our newest location, Clementine Briarcliff Manorplease reach out to a Clementine Admissions Specialist at 855.900.2221.


Our Clementine Family: Dr. Melissa Spann

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In this week’s Our Clementine Family, Vice President of Admissions Dr. Melissa Orshan Spann, PhD, LMHC, CEDS shares her journey to joining the Monte Nido & Affiliates team. She gives insight into the work she does with the admissions team and what inspires her to be so dedicated and passionate in her role. Read on to learn more about Dr. Spann…

What is your name and what are your credentials?
Melissa Orshan Spann, PhD, LMHC, CEDS

Please give us a brief description of your background.
When I decided to go to graduate school in a helping profession it was no shock to my friends and family. Growing up as the oldest of four kids, involved in community service and social action organizations, it was a natural path for me. During my doctoral training, I was introduced to a program called Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing!, a proactive approach for building healthy self-esteem in adolescent girls. Through my work facilitating girl-only groups, I reaffirmed my dedication to working with girls and women. I decided an essential part of my training would need to include integrating a systemic perspective and holistic approach to my work. Through this, I moved to Philadelphia and attended a Ph.D. program in Couples and Family Therapy. While I was in Philadelphia, I was introduced to The Renfrew Center in Philadelphia. There, I began my training in the field of eating disorders. I developed a specialization for working with couples and families who were struggling to cope with an eating disorder in their families. When I returned to home to Miami, I was introduced to Oliver-Pyatt Centers. From the moment I walked into the building, I knew OPC was the type of environment I had always hoped could exist; a place where women and their families could be provided a multi-systemic integrated approach to health and healing. Following my time as a Primary Therapist at OPC I became the Director of Admissions. After two years as Director of Admissions where we sought to build a clinical focus for a best-in-class admissions department, my role evolved to the VP of Admissions for Monte Nido & Affiliates. It was a dream for me to work in the broader role for all MNA brands including Monte NidoOPCand Clementine.

What does a typical day look like for you?
What I love about my job is that there isn’t really a “typical” day. In my current role, I have the unique opportunity to interface with many people on a daily basis. I am talking with potential clients, meeting families, working with providers and interfacing with all of our outstanding teams across the country. I feel fortunate that I often have the opportunity to connect with an individual as their first point of contact for one of our programs. Placing that initial call is often the most difficult decision to make. Myself and the highly specialized and trained admissions staff understand how critical this initial contact is and seek to meet every individual who connects us with the connection, empathy and support they receive in our care. Our goal is to provide support, consultation through a therapeutic lens during every interaction we have.

In your own words, please describe the philosophy of Monte Nido & Affiliates.
To me, our philosophy is about balancing acceptance and change, integrating mindfulness in all aspects of life, and focusing on a highly interpersonal model that through connection and meaningful relationships, recovery is possible.

What is your favorite thing about Monte Nido & Affiliates?
I have held many roles throughout the organization. No matter what I am doing, by far the best part of my job is the amazing group of people that I work with. Everyone shares a common vision and goal, respect one another, and share a life both professionally and personally with each other. Through our outstanding staff, we are able to model what it means to share in strong female relationships that provide support and care – something that is translated to the women we work with.

What are three facts about you that people do not know?
Oh boy, here it goes: 1- I have played the guitar since I was five and love to rock out. 2- I have two kids, Violet age six and Archer age eight who teach me more on a daily basis than any book I’ve ever read. 3- I am a third generation Miami native.

Is there any additional information you want to share with our readers?
I’m always ready to talk – call me and we’ll figure it out together!

How can someone contact you and your team?

Monte Nido Admissions Line: 888.228.1253

Clementine Admissions Line: 855.900.2221

Oliver-Pyatt Centers Admissions Line: 866.511.4325

 

For more information about Clementine adolescent treatment programs, please call 855.900.2221, visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To learn more about our newest location, Clementine Briarcliff Manorplease reach out to a Clementine Admissions Specialist at 855.900.2221.


Finding Your Passion with Career Testing

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Associate Director of Clinical Research and Clinical Outcomes Dr. Jessica Genet, PhD explores the importance of finding a passion; whether that includes hobbies, extracurricular activities, a major in college, or a career path. Career assessments and further exploration in therapy allow clients to understand their preferences, values and interests, and offers guidance toward following a true passion. 

“Individuals working to break free from the tangle of eating disorders need to find their passions in life… By passions I mean something external that gives the individual enjoyment, positive structure, or a pathway to self-knowledge.”
– Ira M Sacker, M.D., Author of “Regaining Your Self”

We strive to help our patients explore their passions and live a more meaningful life. Unfortunately, the eating disorder is often so preoccupying and all-consuming that it interferes with the process of exploring interests and engaging in fun activities. Some of our clients struggle to find a job, a major in college, hobbies or extracurricular activities that bring them true enjoyment. Other clients have chosen paths and activities that “look good” externally (and bring them praise from family and friends) but are internally unrewarding. With these struggles in mind, all aspects of our treatment at Clementine, from therapy sessions and yoga classes to outings in the community, aim to help our patients find their passions, explore new activities, and find what brings them true happiness.

One particularly unique service we offer at Clementine is the opportunity to complete a career assessment. Career assessments are designed to help individuals understand their preferences, values and interests, and offers guidance towards selecting majors in school, jobs, career paths, and hobbies that are motivating and rewarding. Are you a person who tends to make decisions based on personal values or are you someone who tends to make decisions based on logic? Are you a person who prefers working on teams or prefers accomplishing tasks independently? Are you excited about activities that require self-expression and creativity? Are you interested in the helping professions such as teaching? These are just some of the questions a career assessment will explore. It is important to understand that a career assessment is not a magic eight ball and will not spit out an answer like “you must become a teacher.” Instead, it offers a springboard for discussion on these topics, leaving plenty of space for personal reflection and choice. Career assessments offer more than guidance on career or job choices; many of our clients describe the experience as an opportunity for self-discovery. We are delighted to provide this service to our clients.

 

For more information about Clementine adolescent treatment programs, please call 855.900.2221, visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To learn more about our newest location, Clementine Briarcliff Manor, please reach out to a Clementine Admissions Specialist at 855.900.2221.


Making Mango Memories

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Clementine Miami Pinecrest Dietitian Alyssa Mitola, MS, RD, LD/N shares about a special tradition held each year at Pinecrest in this week’s blog post! The yearly Mango Jam Jamboree is an event for staff and clients that includes gathering the mangos, preparing the dish, and sharing the food together. Read on to learn about this special Clementine Pinecrest tradition…

It is that time of year again! The 3rd Annual Clementine Pinecrest Mango Jam Jamboree. Every year, when the mangos begin to ripen, staff and clients at Clementine Pinecrest gather round to make clementine mango jam in our PJs, while jamming to some of our favorite tunes. This tradition started when we first discovered the numerous mango trees growing in our very backyard. Throughout the summer months we always incorporate a variety of mango dishes into our local fare menu-there is nothing more local than the backyard. However, the highlight of mango season is always the Jamboree.

The Mango Jam Jamboree has become notorious among staff and clients alike. Stories of Mango Jams past are shared among clients and the staff always wants to work on the day of the jam. Of course, we can never predict when the jam will be because, like all things in nature, they ripen on their own time. One year the jam happened in May, another it wasn’t until July. You can’t put a time limit on a developing fruit— a lesson we always share with our clients, as well. Waiting for the fruit to ripen is always a reminder to practice flexibility and patience.

The Clementine Mango Jam Jamboree is filled with many lessons. It is not just a fun event for staff and clients, it is an opportunity for corrective experiences with food. Traditions are very important in families and so often traditions include food. An eating disorder often infiltrates family traditions, sometimes tarnishing the memories, or even leading some families to change traditions. Creating new traditions or healing old ones is a very important step in healing your family’s relationship with food.

The Clementine Mango Jam Jamboree is one tradition, we have here, but I always encourage our families to create positive traditions when the clients return home. Whether it is baking cookies, developing a family recipe, or cooking each week, traditions provide consistency and foster a relationship with food beyond nutrition facts. It doesn’t matter what stage of recovery you are in, there is always an opportunity to have corrective experiences with food. There is nothing I love more than watching the clients enjoy the mango jam on a fresh croissant or laughing in the kitchen as they mash the jam. Clients are always shocked how easy it is to make. For that one moment, the clients aren’t counting calories, they are creating memories.

As a registered dietitian, it is important for me to foster these opportunities throughout recovery. During the Jam, I walk clients through the experience of gathering mangos, preparing the dish, and sharing the food together. Our clients walk away with a greater appreciation for the food on their plates-a mindfulness practice we call gratitude. In Hindu culture mangos are viewed as a symbol of life. Our hope is for each client to walk out our doors and begin her recovered life. Each year, our Clementine Mango Jam reminds me of that very goal. For that hour, we celebrate the lives of all those fighting for recovery.

Clementine Mango Jam

Ingredients
1 – 2 mangos
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed clementines or oranges

Directions
Place all ingredients in a small pot over high heat. Stir until the mixture thickens and begins to gel. Spread on your a croissants, english muffin, or your favorite type of toast.

 

For more information about Clementine adolescent treatment programs, please call 855.900.2221, visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To learn more about our newest location, Clementine Briarcliff Manor, please reach out to a Clementine Admissions Specialist at 855.900.2221.


Article Spotlight

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Join us in reading inspirational and informative 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.

 

Simple Living: Creating the Best Version of Myself NEDA

9 Things I Wish I Knew at the Start of Recovery Project Heal 

When You Have an Eating Disorder…and Your Child Does, Too More Love

9 Ways to Improve Body Image InnerSolutions

A Simple Strategy to Help Worried Kids Psychology Today

Caution, Moms: Your Daughters are Listening Psychology Today

 

For more information about Clementine adolescent treatment programs, please call 855.900.2221, visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To learn more about our newest location, Clementine Briarcliff Manor, please reach out to a Clementine Admissions Specialist at 855.900.2221.

 

 


10 Self-Care Tips for Caregivers

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Becky Henry is trained as a Certified, Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) and uses those skills to guide families to let go of fear and panic, learn self-care skills and become effective guides for their loved one in eating disorder recovery. In this week’s blog post, Becky shares valuable self-care tips for caregivers.. 

Loving and caring about someone who is in recovery from an eating disorder likely has left you feeling hopeless, helpless, overwhelmed, terrified, upset, confused and more.

When your loved one is over 18 you might fear there is nothing you can do to help them with recovery from one of these deadly brain illnesses.

There is HOPE! There are plenty of things you can do to both help your child in recovery (no matter their age) and help yourself. I’m sharing 10 simple self-care tips with you to try so you can practice self-care and more easily and effectively help your loved one. But first, just like they say on the airplane, you must put on your oxygen mask first!

Doing things you enjoy while you have a child who is so sick may seem selfish and counter intuitive but it is essential to practice extreme self-care. This is a crisis and your child needs a parent who is in top form and ready to go to bat for them. So, let’s do it!

 

  1. Send those fears on a hike!Literally! First, notice that you’re having a fear response. That’s the tricky part. Then consciously CHOOSE to send fears on a hike. Last, CHOOSE another much more useful and fun thing to think about. And then if you like, take your own hike – without the fears.
  2. Make sure you’re included in the treatment team.The evidence is increasingly showing that when the family is included, the treatment outcomes improve. The chemical dependency world has known this for over 30 years.  They have also been huge proponents of caregiver self-care.
  3. Learn skills for being calm, emotionally objective and confident.This may include some DBT SKills. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) helps anyone with mindfulness and distress tolerance. When we are mindful and have managed our distress, we can be calmer. Being calm helps us be rational in our decisions so we can then cope with the wild things the eating disorder will throw at us. Doing our part to preserve our sanity and health helps us remain calm so we can actively preserve relationships. That doesn’t mean it is going to be all wine and roses, but we can do our best to show the person in recovery that they are loved. Not an easy task with someone who often thinks they are unlovable and has their thoughts distorted by the eating disorder.
  4. Make a Top 10 List.What’s this you say? When I was learning how to be a more effective parent of someone with an eating disorder, someone gave me one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten. She said, You’re in crisis, practice extreme self-care, and make a TOP 10 List of things that fill you up.” This seemed selfish to me at that point, but I get it now. It was hard to fit it in some days with all the work of helping my daughter.

We cannot pour anything out of an empty cup. 

So, you out there-yes you, making sure someone else’s needs are being met…it’s time. Get the nice paper (or any old thing) and make a list of 10 things you love to do, that fill you up. And then…do at least one EVERY DAY. Yes, every day. This will fill your cup up and make you an even better caregiver or “carer” as our friends in the UK say.

It might seem such a small thing to do but it is essential. If you are burned out, you will be of no use to your loved one. They need you, and they need you to be strong. So, do the right thing and go fill yourself up! You are the one who is on the front lines; you’re getting the full brunt of the eating disorder’s wrath. You need extra defenses.

  1. Get support.This may be connecting with others who’ve been through this journey, paying a coach or therapist to guide you or attending a support group.
  2. Learn caregiver skills.An essential piece of self-care. Training on how to be an effective caregiver is available and research is now showing how effective it can be in reducing caregiver anxiety, distress and burden. Check out the research done at Kings College in London by Dr. Janet Treasure. 
  3. Eat regular meals.This may seem obvious…yet in the throes of the chaos your own eating can get off kilter. Your child needs to see you modeling regular eating habits.
  4. Commit to getting ENOUGH sleep.This may feel impossible due to the worries that seem to stream through our brains while in the midst of saving a child’s life. AND, with some practice and support we can get regular good sleep.
  5. Get out in nature and move in a joyful way. Do whatever fills you up and commit to leaving Ed behind. Okay, it doesn’t have to be biking ‘no-handed’ on a beach but let it be fun. Try to notice your surroundings.
  6. Practice Gratitude. There is so much evidence now on how being grateful reduces stress. And even the act of trying to think of things to be grateful for helps our brains produce more feel good chemicals. Give it a try!

Okay, as you get your oxygen mask in place, here are resources to keep you supported and involved as a family member:

 

For more information about Clementine adolescent treatment programs, please call 855.900.2221, visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

To learn more about our newest location, Clementine Briarcliff Manor, please reach out to a Clementine Admissions Specialist at 855.900.2221.