Clementine adolescent treatment programs Director of Nutrition Services Amanda Mellowspring, MS, RD/N, CEDRD-S is a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian with over a decade of experience in program development and clinical application working with eating disorders at various levels of care. In this week’s blog post, Amanda shares the importance of empowering adolescents in their eating disorder recovery process, and just how Clementine supports adolescents to do so.
In the treatment of adult women, we often hold discussion on these powerful women being “warriors” in recovery, having overcome the trials of an eating disorder and likely other hardships.
In my work with adolescent girls, I often hear others comment on how “sweet” the work of our younger girls must be by comparison, or sometimes even how “sad” it must be to see our younger girls’ struggle. In response, I must say that these girls are the truest warriors – a path less refined by age but sometimes with just as many battle marks.
So, how do we empower our adolescent girls to be warriors in their recovery while also holding space for them to stay at a developmentally-appropriate place in their life and recovery work? One of the ways that we manage this at Clementine Programs is to strike a fine balance in our work with food. Feeding our warrior daughters is a mighty task!
In order to achieve this balance, we support our girls in feeding themselves with foods they enjoy, nourishing themselves with a variety of foods, and support them in re-engaging with internal awareness of hunger, fullness, and satiety. The combination of these empowering messages of personal safety with food and body trust, alongside the structure of guidance around quantity, food flexibility, and normalized developmental experiences of food exposure and trials allow for a firmly rooted warrior of recovery.