June 2017 - Monthly News & Tips
IN THIS ISSUE
- Our Adolescent Intensive Day Program (AIDP) opened in St. Louis Park, MN this week. The specialized program enables us to meet the needs of adolescents and families struggling with eating disorders in a highly structured environment.
Successful eating disorder treatment can be a complex and lengthy process. Sometimes, however, individuals may get the feeling from healthcare providers or books that moving toward a lifetime of health is a linear, straightforward process.
When I talk to individuals who are recovering — or those who have recovered — they almost invariably describe a period of many years between diagnosis, treatment and truly feeling that they are “recovered.”
During this time, multiple interventions — from the individual, their family, significant other, friends, physicians and others — have likely helped reorient them toward improvement, recover from relapse, diminish triggers and stressors, and create a community that supports staying in recovery.
Multiple attempts at treatment may be necessary. Those individuals who experience the most success pay close attention to when things go wrong and have a strong willingness to reengage both professionals and their community to return to a healthy state.
Maudsley Family Based Therapy for adolesents illustrates this point. Research shows that after a year of Maudsley therapy is complete, individuals continue to improve. This suggests that those strengthened relationships and environmental changes may continue to affect them after the formal treatment period has ended.
Lifetime recovery is aided by an individual’s support system, their community and their world. People need others to recognize when they’re doing well and when they’re not, and what helps them and what doesn’t. They need encouragement, motivation and commitment. We all need to be on the lookout for ways to rescue ourselves and each other.
Mark Warren, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, The Emily Program
Halen Bower, Yoga Instructor, Woodbury, MN
In December, Halen joined The Emily Program as a yoga instructor. Because she personally struggled with an eating disorder in high school and yoga was a big part of her own recovery, she is thrilled to be a part of the The Emily Program’s yoga team.
“Yoga helped me become more passionate towards myself,” she said. “So when I heard from a friend about the incredible work that The Emily Program was doing with yoga for eating disorder treatment, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”
Today, Halen teaches yoga to clients in our intensive outpatient programs and Body Image Yoga for those who have completed programming.
For each class, she begins with standing postures and movement, often moving through the sun salutations and then making her way to more restorative postures to end class. Throughout class, she encourages participants to invite in “curious observers” to notice — in a nonjudgmental way — as sensations, thoughts and feelings arise in different poses.
“I’m not trying to completely empty the mind, but rather I’m working toward helping clients detach from the thoughts and emotions as they come and go,” she said.
Learn more about Halen and why we think she stands out!
TEP: Why is yoga an important part of treatment?
Halen: Yoga is a chance for clients to reconnect with their bodies in a safe and compassionate space. The practice can help cultivate different strategies for dealing with difficult sensations, emotions, urges, and thoughts as they arrive in the mind and body. I believe that yoga is an important tool to learn how to respond to stressors, rather than react to them. I often say in class that yoga is a continuous dialogue with the body. Checking in daily with what’s going on with yourself, physically and emotionally, can help improve a client’s relationship with their body.
TEP: What’s one thing you hope clients can take away from yoga?
Halen: I hope that clients remember the ultimate goal of yoga: It’s not about putting our bodies into yoga poses, but rather the practice is about using the poses to get into our bodies.
TEP: What are you most looking forward to this summer?
Halen: This is my first Minnesota summer since 2010! (She recently moved back home from Alaska.) I am excited to do lots of camping and hiking over the summer.
Join us to hear inspiring stories of recovery from staff, former clients and community members. Recovery nights are free and open to the public. Upcoming dates:
St. Paul, MN (Toogood): Tues. June 27 & Wed. June 28: Begins at 6:00 p.m. at 2230 Como Ave., St. Paul, MN, 55108
The Emily Program is growing! We are currently recruiting for caring and compassionate professionals to join our team!
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"Plant your garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." -Jose Luis Borges