Holiday Recovery Tips

We know Thanksgiving and the holiday season can, at times, be difficult. Our team has compiled a set of tips to help you enjoy the holiday and remember what is truly important this time of year. From all of us at Oliver-Pyatt Centers, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!

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Take a step back and focus on the meaning of the holiday instead of the presence of food. Often times anxiety is heightened by the thought of upcoming parties, the details of planning gatherings, and, of course, meals. The important part of this holiday is the time spent with family, and particularly in the case of Thanksgiving, a day dedicated to gratitude. Try prioritizing the meaning of the holiday by engaging your family and loved ones in an activity such as writing gratitude letters to one another, organizing a toy/food drive for an identified family of need, or scheduling a family game or activity! 

Terina Lopez, M.S., RMHCI, Southeast Regional Outreach Manager

Keep it simple. Set a non-food related intention to enjoy the holiday for its true meaning; surrounded by friends and family. 

Jacqueline Stone, M.S., Casa Verde Nutritionist

Get creative! For example, you can create a gratitude jar (mason jars work great) that friends and family can fill with anonymous notes of things they are grateful for. Before dinner is served, each person can take turns reading a gratitude note. You can keep the gratitude jar activity going all year and have many more gratitude notes to read next Thanksgiving! 

Bertha Tavarez, Psy.D., Clinical Director of Clementine adolescent treatment program

Put the phones and the iPads down. Live in the moment: try to avoid texting, social media, or gaming when you have precious people around you to enjoy. 

Alba Drickler, Accounting Specialist

Don’t take the holidays off. It can be tempting to take a week off from your therapy or nutrition appointments when you are busy. Remember it is important to have your weekly support, especially during times of stress. Keeping your support a priority will help make challenging times less difficult. 

Pick a buddy! Let your buddy know ahead of time you have identified them as the person you will go to if you need support. Talk with them about how they can help you and schedule check in times.

Be proactive – anticipate what potential challenges might arise and how to address them beforehand. 

Melissa Spann, Ph.D., Director of Admissions

Create a new tradition with your loved ones that is in line with your values and can be followed each Thanksgiving holiday. Some ideas to consider: volunteering, playing a fun game, watching family home videos, creating a flower centerpiece for the table, taking a family photo, creating a gratitude tree, etc. 

Tali Yuz, Psy.D., Primary Therapist

Take a mindful moment in the morning, afternoon, and evening to remember what this holiday is really about and to show your appreciation for yourself and your loved ones throughout the day. 

Greer Findura, M.S., Social Media and Marketing Manager

Laugh… humor has the ability to provide healing and connection!  

Megan Bendig, MSW, CSW-I, Primary Therapist

 

For more information about Oliver-Pyatt Centers and newly introduced Embrace, a binge eating recovery program and Clementine, a residential program exclusively for adolescents girls please call 866.511.HEAL (4325), visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram

 

Meet Our Embrace Team

We are so pleased to introduce you to the members of our team at Embrace, the 8-week binge eating recovery program at OPC. We are so happy for you to get to know us a little better! For additional information about Embrace, please visit our website here or call 866.511.4325. 

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Who are you and what is your role in Embrace?
My name is Amy Jaffe, MS,RD,LD, Nutritionist. I am the nutrition consultant for the Embrace program. I also have a private practice in Coral Gables where I have been practicing nutrition for over 20 years, specializing in eating disorders for the last 10.

Why did you want to work in the Embrace program?
I had noticed in my practice working with BED clients there was a modicum of services and treatment opportunities for this population. Since these particular clients hold a special place in my heart, when I heard that OPC was opening Embrace, I lobbied hard for the position so I could participate in support at a higher level of care.  

Now that we’re off and going, what has become your favorite aspect of the Embrace program?
I love love love our clients and also working with a skilled, dedicated, and compassionate team! I am proud of what we have accomplished so far and am excited to grow along with the program.

Would you rather attend Hogwarts or have a pet sasquatch?
Am I the only one on the planet who hasn’t read/seen Harry Potter? I love pets, so I would choose the sasquatch and have him double as a body guard.

Would you rather have a photographic memory or gain an extra 40 IQ?
That’s easy, a photographic memory. Then as a result, I would probably gain the extra 40 IQ and have it all! Although now I am not sure if it quite works that way, so I guess I should choose a higher IQ.


Who are you and what is your role in Embrace
Hi, I am Megan Bendig. I am the Senior Clinician in Casa Verde, one of Oliver-Pyatt Centers’ comprehensive houses. At Embrace, I run the Psychology of Movement group.  

Why did you want to work in the Embrace program?  
I was so excited when Embrace was conceptualized and am so grateful to be able to work with the population this program serves. I’ve had many clients who struggle with binge eating in my comprehensive work and have been humbled by the challenges and strengths associated with their recovery efforts. When Karin asked me to be involved at Embrace, I was all in!

Now that we’re off and going, what has become your favorite aspect of the Embrace program? 
Psychology of Movement group offers our clients an opportunity to explore and process their experiences surrounding movement; what messages motivate and inhibit their activity, values associated with activity, and judgments about their bodies, specifically what it is like for their bodies to be engaged in activity in a mindful and meaningful way. Being able to offer our clients a forum to explore these aspects of their experience has been the best part of my Embrace experience thus far. 

Would you rather attend Hogwarts or have a pet sasquatch? 
I guess I’ll go with pet sasquatch. I’m not a Harry Potter fan (I know, I know…the horror!)   

Would you rather have a photographic memory or gain an extra 40 IQ? 
Photographic memory, without question. It would be so cool to remember everything I see. I love to travel, but never take as many pictures as I’d like, so being able to permanently store what I witness in various places would definitely be a benefit!


Who are you and what is your role in Embrace
Hi!  I’m Gisela Padron and I am a Primary Therapist at Embrace. I see the clients in this program for individual as well as family therapy sessions. I also facilitate several weekly group therapy sessions which include Body Image Group, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Groups, and Therapeutic Opportunities Group.   

Why did you want to work in the Embrace program?  
I wanted to work in the Embrace program because I have always had an affinity for working with this population. I believe that amongst eating disorders, Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is greatly misunderstood. As a result, oftentimes well-intentioned individuals have done more harm than good to those seeking recovery from this disorder. I felt as though Embrace’s individualized treatment approach was refreshing and intuitive. Professionally, it was the right fit for me because working here has given me the unique opportunity to blend many of my passions together.  

Now that we’re off and going, what has become your favorite aspect of the Embrace program? 
This is a very difficult question for me to answer because there are several aspects of the program I enjoy very much and for different reasons. I must say I feel so blessed to work with such an amazing team of professionals. Working collaboratively with inspirational and brilliant individuals is certainly one of the perks of the job. But as I reflect further on this question, I would have to say my favorite aspect of the program is seeing how much progress these resilient clients are achieving in approximately eight weeks. It is so deeply moving to witness the transformation.  I’m smiling as I type this and recall the amazing work these women have/are putting into their recovery. It is such a gift to be able to help them and be a part of their journey.

Would you rather attend Hogwarts or have a pet sasquatch? 
Hogwarts!  Absolutely attend Hogwarts!  That would be such an amazing experience.   

Would you rather have a photographic memory or gain an extra 40 IQ? 
Interesting question, I suppose that out of these options I’d rather have a photographic memory.  


Who are you and what is your role in Embrace
My name is Carly Orshan and I am a yoga instructor with the Embrace program. 

Why did you want to work in the Embrace program?
I wanted to teach yoga with this community to help patients bridge the gap between the body, mind and spirit. Yoga often teaches practitioners about life’s changes, its growth, its discovery, its movement and our flexibility to embrace these fluctuations by linking our body and mind together. I wanted to be a part of a program that can help individuals stretch their bodies and souls by listening to their intuition and mindfully adapting to their environment.

Now that we’re off and going, what has become your favorite aspect of the Embrace program? 
I have really enjoyed getting to know the patients individually and learning what they like and dislike in regard to movement. I have been able to modify the yoga practice to best suite each practitioner’s needs which has been very rewarding to do! 

Would you rather attend Hogwarts or have a pet sasquatch?
This is a tough one. I’ve always been super fascinated with sasquatches, but Hogwarts is such a special place. After attending Hogwarts I could probably learn some techniques to spell a Sasquatch to live with me. So I would have to go with Hogwarts. 

Would you rather have a photographic memory or gain an extra 40 IQ?
Photographic memory.


Who are you and what is your role in Embrace?
Hi, my name is Val and I am the Massage Therapist and movement leader for Embrace.
 
Why did you want to work in the Embrace program?
I had a friend who struggled with binge eating. I know that any Oliver-Pyatt Centers program is going to be the highest quality of service and care. The program is lead by Dr. Karin Lawson, who is a caring and compassionate vested director.
 
Now that we’re off and going, what has become your favorite aspect of the Embrace program?
Use of the swimming pool for our classes.

Would you rather attend Hogwarts or have a pet sasquatch?
Hands down, HOGWARTS!

Would you rather have a photographic memory or gain an extra 40 IQ?
Photographic memory.

For additional posts about Embrace and Binge Eating Disorder (BED), visit here and here!

For more information about Oliver-Pyatt Centers and newly introduced Embrace, a binge eating recovery program and Clementine, a residential program exclusively for adolescents girls please call 866.511.HEAL (4325), visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram

Hand-Paper Making

Thank you to Primary Therapist, specializing in Art Therapy, Annie Hoffman, ATR-BC, LMHC for sharing this fantastic collaboration and activity promoting positive body image, acceptance, and appreciation. For additional photos of this project visit here

papermaking

One of my favorite things about my job as an art therapist is my ability to address and work through issues in non-traditional avenues. In July I had the opportunity to attend the American Art Therapy Association annual conference and attended a presentation on hand-paper making given by art therapists, Genevieve Camp and Amy Bucciarelli. I was so inspired by this presentation and could not wait to return home and apply what I had learned at Oliver-Pyatt Centers. I chose to do this as part of my role facilitating body image groups in our Intensive Outpatient Program.

A major area of focus in body image groups is promoting positive body image and increasing body acceptance and appreciation. Recently in these groups, we were able to take a creative and meaningful approach in the process of letting go of clothing that no longer fits. This is an important part of recovery from an eating disorder in that holding on to clothing that no longer fits is in a way holding on to parts of the eating disorder. It can then become a question of whether you are holding on to the clothes or the eating disorder is holding on to you. Having in one’s possession clothes that no longer fit is a temptation to body check or try on the clothes to see how much weight you have gained or how much you would need to lose to fit into them again. This is a very common trigger that can send people back into the clutches of the eating disorder. So then, what do we do with these clothes? Many people find that instead of just getting rid of them, donating them to help those less fortunate allows for a more positive shift in the significance of these clothes. One other way to shift the meaning/significance of the clothes is to transform the clothes into something else. This is the route we took.

We started out by bringing in the clothing to the center and cutting it up into small postage stamp size pieces. Then all of those pieces made the journey from South Miami to Boca Raton to the Jaffee Center for Books Arts at Florida Atlantic University. There the director, John Cutrone, helped us to use a machine called a Hollander Beater to pulverize the clothing pieces into usable pulp to make hand-made paper. The pulp was brought back to Oliver-Pyatt Centers where we transformed a meeting room into our very own hand-paper making studio! In the paper-making studio, each client was able to learn how to use the mold and deckle to create a unique piece of hand-made paper from the pulp which used to be her old clothes. Since our paper making studio did not have a press to dry/flatten out the sheets, we “pressed” the paper onto the glass windows of the center and let the paper dry in the sun. It was not only energy efficient but was also rather beautiful as the windows were soon covered in pieces of paper. One of my favorite things about his project is how it brought everyone together as we had the majority of our staff in the studio as well pulling sheets of paper. It was truly a team effort.

Once the paper was dry and flattened, we embarked on the final stage of this process. The women were able to choose what they would like to do with their paper. Some of the women wrote letters to their old clothing, one woman wrote a postcard to her parents and many women created paper beads. For the paper beads we wrote on the inside of them positive body image affirmations and then created beautiful meaningful pieces of jewelry with the beads. This project allowed the women to transform their relationship to the old clothing and to experience some empowerment over a challenging aspect of recovery. 

For more information about Oliver-Pyatt Centers and newly introduced Embrace, a binge eating recovery program and Clementine, a residential program exclusively for adolescents girls please call 866.511.HEAL (4325), visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram