Posts Tagged “Counseling”
Demystifying Eating Disorder Therapy
CBT, CBT-E, DBT… Have you ever wondered what all those letters stand for and why they are so often talked about at The Emily Program and by other eating disorder professionals? If so, this is the post for you. Let’s dissect these terms, help you understand them, and explain why they are important to the work clients and clinicians do every day.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
“By correcting erroneous beliefs we can lower excessive reactions.” – Aaron Beck, MD
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was developed by Dr. Aaron Beck in the 1960s. His work focused on how the conscious mind plays a role in how people interact with the world around them. Prior to his work, most therapeutic models focused on the unconscious mind—concepts like impulses, analyzing unconscious thoughts, conditioning, and “uncontrollable thoughts.” Dr. Beck changed mental health by introducing the belief that our thoughts are fundamental to how we interpret our experiences and consequently behave or respond. Dr. Beck and many other researchers have discovered that by identifying, monitoring, and effectively changing our thoughts, we can change or alter our maladaptive perceptions, leading to positive behavioral change.
Breaking the Silence
**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.
This blog was submitted anonymously by a person in eating disorder recovery.
I do not know if I remember how to speak. My voice still cracks, I still stutter. I think my heart broke alongside my throat. I miss the ways I could sway people. Now all I hear are disjointed sounds mimicking someone incompetent. I watched as my body grew and my emotions and soul shrunk. It’s hard to breathe now, without a throat to swallow the oxygen to fill parched lungs. Words won’t come out right, but I am learning, re-teaching myself how to speak.
My first ever therapy session went smoothly. She asked questions, I answered them, and that was that. Our second session did not go as well. I was quiet. Not the quiet type who does not speak loudly. No. I was the type of quiet that barely said two words. I was a closed book with a chain wrapped tightly around it, locked with an iron latch. She patiently waited while I learned how to shape my mouth into words. Over time, I began sharing more information but remained mostly silent.
How to Navigate Political Stress In and Out of Treatment
We’ve watched the polls and scrolled the headlines. We’ve heard the chatter and seen the ads. With our collective breath held, we’ve finally made it to Election Day. The 2020 presidential campaign may be behind us now, but left to linger are intense feelings surrounding the current sociopolitical climate.
No matter how we voted this year, we are sure to process feelings related to this divisive election for a long time to come. Highly politicized issues seem infinite. From the pandemic to race relations and natural disasters to the economy, we continue to witness and live out such issues in our daily lives. For many, the issues are inextricably entwined with our mental and physical health; for some, they’re linked to our very sense of self. Many people carry these intersecting parts of themselves into their relationships, including, more and more, with their healthcare providers.
Below, we’ll cover tips for managing election stress, as well as advice for mitigating political tension that may emerge in a healthcare setting.
“Good Fit” and Change of Providers
By Christy Zender, MSW, LICSW
One of the most important elements of your treatment will be having a “good fit” with your provider(s). While “good fit” can mean a lot of things, we feel the most important element of fit is having a good level of comfort with your provider. We frequently talk about uncomfortable and difficult things in treatment so it is important you feel heard and responded to by your provider. All people have different communication styles so it is important that you talk openly about what is and what is not working for you.
What Does It Mean If a Program Says They “Do Dialectical Behavioral Therapy”?
Re-posted from Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders (CCED) blog archives. CCED and The Emily Program partnered in 2014.
By Dr. Lucene Wisniewski and Dr. Mark Warren
Over the last 15 years, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) has gone from being virtually unknown to being a term utilized by many treatment programs. DBT is an evidence-based therapy, initially designed for Borderline Personality Disorder, and more lately for other diagnoses including eating disorders (Wisniewski, L., Safer, D., & Chen, E.Y., 2007). With its increase in popularity among treatment providers it is important to be clear about what it means to “do DBT” so an individual knows if they’re receiving evidence-based care.
Comprehensive DBT treatment, initially described by Marsha Linehan, has four components: Individual therapy, skills group, 7-day week phone consultation availability, and consultation team for therapists known as “therapy for therapists”. Unless all four of these components are present, a program is not providing comprehensive DBT treatment. Additionally, in order for a therapist to be capable of providing DBT, a significant training process is generally required. This training process necessitates a therapist taking a non-judgmental stance, the ability to encourage motivation and commitment with their client, extensive knowledge and understanding of the DBT skills and therapeutic techniques, and the balance of accepting where a client is while moving them toward change.
Gardening & Nature as Therapy
By Dana Rademacher, intern at The Emily Program
“Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do…plus you get strawberries.” -Ron Finley, Ted Talk: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA
Let’s be honest here for a second, I do not have the best track record when it comes to gardening and caring for plant life. I always get excited by the idea of gardening, but when push comes to shove, I’m just no good at keeping anything alive. I have the opposite of a green thumb if there is such a thing. Being busy between work and school, it is hard to find time to learn which plants are best for the climate, which fertilizer to use, or to even pay attention to the rain-to-sun ratio every day.