The 2016 Rio Olympics begin in just a few days! We are looking forward to watching these Olympians and witnessing their incredible talents! It is important that every viewer practices self-awareness as we tune in. Comparing ourselves to these athletes, even unintentionally, can become a harmful practice. Below are seven things to remember when watching the Olympics!Read More
As an outsider looking in, support groups are simply misunderstood. One may assume that you are forced to speak about your emotions, reveal things that you aren’t comfortable sharing, sit in a circle with people you don’t have a bond with and participate in ritualistic practices.
We can’t blame these perceptions. From The Fault In Our Stars to Baby Mama, group sessions are portrayed in the media with actors who generally do not hold the experience to be in their seat in real life. Support groups, at least at The Center for Balanced Living, look quite different.
Here are ten truths about our support groups:
1. Our support groups are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. They are offered the first and third Tuesday of every month from 6:30 pm-8:00 pm. You do NOT have to be in treatment at The Center to participate.
2. Support groups are for individuals ages 16+.
3. Groups are led by a volunteers who have at least a bachelor’s degree and who commit to at least one year of service. A licensed eating disorder therapist from The Center supervises the group and gives full leadership to the volunteer facilitators.
4. Four separate groups are offered: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, compulsive overeating/binge eating disorder and family and friends. Groups dynamics are maintained, and open discussion encouraged, by limiting groups to only those who identify with that group. (Example: An individual with bulimia goes to bulimia support group; a friend of the person with bulimia goes to Family and Friends group, not to the bulimia group with the friend). It may be uncomfortable at first but it allows everyone to feel understood and not to feel like they are being observed. Participants gain a true understanding that they are not alone and feel more free to share with others in similar situations.
5. Privacy is maintained. What is said in the room, stays in the room.
6. Numbers are not discussed. For folks struggling with eating disorders, numbers can trigger eating disorder thoughts (“Ed”) and can lead to comparisons.
7. Talking is encouraged but not mandated. Share as much or as little as is comfortable for you. (We find that those who choose to discuss their experiences end up getting more out of the group.) An important part of participation is active listening, in which you appear interested and give everybody a chance to talk.
8. Eating in group is permitted. If you need to eat or have a snack during the group meeting time, we encourage you to bring your food with you; please don’t feel you cannot eat and therefore must miss group participation.
9. Participation is voluntary. No attendance is taken and you can attend as many or as few times as you wish.
10. Support groups are NOT therapy and should NEVER be used as a replacement for therapy. This experience is about support and validation that you can offer to one another within the structure established by the facilitators. The groups are not therapy sessions where underlying psychological issues and changes are processed. If you need more than support and want therapy, please contact our front desk at 614-896-8222 to request an assessment with one of our clinicians.
“The support groups are unlike anything in the city. They’re a place to come and be free of expectation, worry and stress and truly feel supported.” Anonymous support group participant
If you have any questions, please call 614.896.8222. We will gladly help you decide if support group is a suitable option for you.
Our deepest gratitude goes to a grant from The Harry C. Moores Foundation for providing funding the groups through 2016.
If you follow us on social media, you have seen our posts of ways that the staff at The Center center themselves. Every day, a new person shared what they do to balance their life, find joy and relax. We decided to compile all of them in one place for a collective overview of what we do to center ourselves. Whether you want to get to know our staff better or want a few ideas for yourself, enjoy the list below!
(Name) centers herself/himself by…
Cheryl Ryland, CFO/COO: ironing
Amber Scott, Executive Associate to CEO/President: spending time with her cat
Samantha Tortora, LPCC, IOP Clinician: cooking, doing yoga and jet skiing on Indian Lake
M Mullan, LPC: prayer, dance parties, movement and humor
Sarah Bergen, RN: giving TLC to her dog Murphy and Morris
Marjorie Scott, LISW-S: going on a walk with friends, traveling, practicing yoga and cooking
Chris Kneuppel, Director of Office Management: coloring in her Inspire Bible
Whitney Hill, LISW: spending time in nature
Jason McCray, PhD: “getting his kicks on” (martial arts)
Lori Johnson, Director of Education and Outreach: canoeing and bike riding with her son
Kerigan McNamara, Marketing Intern: going on bike rides through beautiful trails, writing and savoring iced coffee every morning
Theresa McClurg-Genevese, LPCC: building uplifting playlists, listening to music and taking time to laugh. Her favorite? SNL skits
Lindsey Petersen, LPCC, Outpatient Clinician: playing soccer, going to the beach, and praying
Jenny Beck, LPCC-S: her relationship with Christ, spending time with loved ones, playing board games, and going to Disney World
By Alex Lewis, RD, LD
Summer evenings are full of backyard get-togethers, barbeques, and potlucks, many of which may cause or exacerbate existing anxiety. Planning for these events, informing supports of these plans, and following through is a difficult AND necessary process. Here’s a refresher on mastering summer socials!
Planning for Events:
- Plan for the day of the event (before and after). What will you do and what will you eat leading up the event? Write it out so you have a tangible plan to follow the day of the event.
- Plan for eating (or not eating) at the event. Remember your event planning options:
- Attend the event after the food part is complete.
- Attend the event and bring your own food to eat.
- Attend the event and eat what you can tolerate from the event and take own food to eat as back up.
- Attend the event and eat food at the event. You may need to plan to eat more/less before and after the event to meet meal plan.
- Find out what is going to be provided at the event. Ask the host and other guests what they are preparing and even for the recipes ahead of time, if desired.
- Bring your own safe food(s) or recipe(s) if desired. See below for a sample recipe with exchanges.
Informing Supports and Following Through with the Plan:
- Enlist at least 1 guest at the event that you can utilize as a support. Also enlist one additional support that may not be at the event, but that can be available via a text message or phone call. Inform these 2 supports of your plan for the event.
- Stick to the plan. Remember to use skills and anxiety reduction techniques such as distraction, opposite to emotion action, TIPP, deep breathing, and walking tall.
- Follow your after-event plan, which should involve having a support in person or virtually available, and self-care activities such as a mindful walk, bubble bath, reading a chapter in your favorite book, or painting your nails.
Bring this Recipe! Sweet Corn & Black Bean Salad
This recipe is adapted from Whole Foods Market. Recipe makes approximately seven 1 cup servings. 1 serving = 2C, 1P, 1EF.
2 cups fresh or frozen and thawed corn kernels
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups no-salt-added cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add corn and cook for 1 minute, then drain well, rinse in cold water and drain again. (If using frozen corn, skip this step.) Meanwhile, rinse onions in cold water to remove some of their sharp, acidic flavor; drain well and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper to make a dressing. Add beans, corn, onion and bell pepper and toss until just incorporated. Cover and chill for about 2 hours. Add cilantro and toss again before serving.
Happy fourth of July weekend!
In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or EDNOS [EDNOS is now recognized as OSFED, other specified feeding or eating disorder, per the DSM-5] (Wade, Keski-Rahkonen, & Hudson, 2011).
30 million people. But who? Who is suffering from eating disorders?
- People of all ethnicities
- Individuals of every socioeconomic status
- The girl in your favorite TV show
- The man who fixes your car
- The woman who cleans your teeth
That list doesn’t end because eating disorders have no limits. They do not discriminate. Eating disorders are mental illness that are not the fault of anyone. The stereotype you may hold for those with an eating disorders is long gone. Actually, it’s never been true.
According to a fact sheet from the National Eating Disorders Association, "Approximately 10% of (individuals with eating disorders) coming to the attention of mental health care professionals are male."
One out of ten males is still hundreds of thousands of individuals dealing with eating disorders: the deadliest of all mental illnesses. Both females and males deserve to live their lives and to the fullest.
Nichole Wood Barcalow, PhD, Director of Outpatient Services at The Center, shared, "I suspect that lack of appropriate assessment, diagnosis and referrals for males with eating disorders along with stigma accounts for many males not seeking treatment."
Break the stigma, look for warning signs (link to nedc post http://www.nedc.com.au/recognise-the-warning-signs) in all people and don’t be afraid to talk about eating disorders. It may be uncomfortable but the person sitting right next to you could need to hear your words.
The Center provides outpatient treatment at several level of care for males and females ages 16+ (ages 18+ in Partial Hospital). Give us a call. We'll help find treatment that meets your needs. 614.896.8222
Do you use The (other) F-Word? You know the one.Read More
Once again, it has happened. Have you seen it? The flip flops and sand buckets are off to the side with clearance stickers and notebooks and pencils have replaced them on the shelf. Back to school is in full swing.
And as soon as the first school bell rings, those same shelves will transition once again to pumpkins and costumes and, dare I say it, even lights and trees!
It is amazing how quickly and easily the stores transition from one season to the next.
Alas, transitions are often not quite as effortless for people. In fact, transitions can be quite stressful. We see it frequently. The stress from transitions, like back to school, sparks, refuels or explodes an eating disorder.
And this is where families, friends and teachers need to be alert.
How can you help?
· Encourage good habits
Proper nutrition, sleep habits and self-care all facilitate improved academic performance and will improve the ability to manage food during the transition back to school.
· Go out of your way to check in a little more often-extra support is important
During stressful times, people may start or increase unhealthy behaviors. Someone who has an eating disorder and has been doing well may even relapse.
So go ahead and make that extra call or send another text. Ask about that class that’s challenging. Ask what tests or projects are coming this week so you can follow up afterwards to see how they went. Laugh about little things that just the two of you share. Tell them how proud you are. Find little ways to connect. Ways to tell them that you love them, no matter what.
· Reach out and help them get connected to appropriate resources.
If they already have an eating disorder or other diagnosis, establish contact with the counseling center and/or community providers where they will be attending school.
· If you notice signs, early intervention is key to limiting the scope of the illness.
Watch for signs/symptoms.
Contact a treatment facility for an assessment.
You can reach The Center for Balanced Living by calling 614.896.8222.
We will offer a special program in December just for college students returning home on holiday break. The website will have all of the details.
Educate yourself. (FED program, FED manual, Eating Disorders from the Inside Out, National Eating Disorder Association, Puzzling Symptoms: Eating Disorders and the Brain, Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment FEAST)
We wish you the best this school-year. We are here to help if you need us.
And rest assured, January will be here before you know it and those lights and trees will be replaced by flip flops and sand buckets once again.