Staff Spotlight, Caitlin Urdiales
TEP: Tell us about yourself!
Caitlin: I started working at the Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders in 2012 as an Eating Disorder Technician in the Adult Standard Program (ASPM). We (the CCED) became a part of The Emily Program in 2014 and I continued working within the program where I completed my internship from 2015-2016 as a counselor trainee. I became the program assistant in early 2017 after graduating with my Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I’m excited to be transitioning roles later this year with the addition of a new ASPM program here at Cleveland outpatient, where I will be the program coordinator. You can most often find me running groups and facilitating therapeutic meals with clients within the current ASAM program.
Outside of work, I’m learning how difficult it is to be a homeowner. However, I am becoming increasingly good at fixing and decorating with a few YouTube videos and several trips to the hardware store! I have a cat, Dahlia, and an ever-growing collection of house plants at home. Aside from that, I started a monthly book club about a year ago that is still going strong, I spend a lot of time dog sitting, and I love live music and going to shows. I would not have the job I have or live in the city I live in if I didn’t want to be closer to the venues I grew up going to as a teenager and continue to go to today.
TEP: Why did you choose to work for The Emily Program?
Caitlin: I didn’t know what I wanted to do after undergrad and happened to have a professor working for the Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders and I figured it would be good to have some experience within the counseling field before going back to school. What I didn’t expect to happen was to enjoy working with eating disorders as much as I do! What has kept me here is my belief in using and being adherent to evidence-based care, the mission of The Emily Program, how client-focused we are, and my co-workers that I depend upon to be a cohesive multi-disciplinary team.
TEP: You also work some weekends in Cleveland, how is that?
Caitlin: I am so excited that we are able to offer weekend programming in Cleveland! It’s a great resource to offer our adult clients in Intensive Day Programming in both our Adult Standard program and Adult DBT program for increased support, and I am glad to be a part of it again. It’s nice to be able to work with clients in a slightly less structured environment to help them practice skills in the moment and get additional coaching around mealtimes.
TEP: What’s the best advice you can give to someone that is just starting eating disorder treatment?
Caitlin: The best advice I can give someone starting ED treatment: 1) Be patient with yourself and the process, 2) Know that your treatment team is not expecting perfection from you – you can’t perfect your way out of an eating disorder, and 3) Unfortunately ED recovery doesn’t happen overnight for clients, and I have seen that it is possible and does happen here.
TEP: Is there anything a client has said that has stuck with you?
Caitlin: “Will I have your self-confidence when I am done with this process.” A client said that to me in passing as we walked down the hall about 6 years ago. It’s a good reminder to be my authentic self and to know that I am always setting an example for clients through my words and actions. Alternatively, “I’m glad no one here really dresses up so I don’t feel worse about myself like I have at other treatment facilities.” What an ego boost that one was! I’m still not sure if that was a compliment or criticism.
TEP: What are you looking forward to this year?
Caitlin: There are a few things I am looking forward to this year. I think two of the big ones are the launch of the new ASPM program beginning mid-August and a trip to the Oregon coast this fall for some friends’ birthday weekend.
TEP: Anything else you want to add?
Caitlin: I love seeing farm animals and will take any opportunity to take some selfies with them.