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5 posts from August 2010


Featured Resource

Recommended Resources
Discussing books with a group of like-minded people is wonderful, but did you know that reading can also be a powerful journaling tool? Simply read a paragraph, page, section, chapter or two and then write down your reflections about what you've read. For other journaling tips, download our free workbook, Journal Writing: Your Therapist at Home, and here is a 21-day spiritual journaling experience you can practice from the comfort of home.

Upcoming Events

Next Book Discussion Group - Read about our next selection!
Open to our clients and the community

At our next book group on September 29th (new date) we will be discussing Life Without Ed, by Jenni Schaefer (for more information about the book, see our previous newsletter article about transitions from April 2009). Another approach to letting go, this book takes the reader through the process of separating the eating disorder (Ed) from the person. This is a great read for individuals who struggle with any type of disordered eating, family members and friends.
Other ongoing groups include for those with anorexia or bulimia, monthly relapse prevention groups, emotional overeating therapy groups, food addiction recovery group and various workshops for family members and friends. We have several other groups in the works-- let us know if you have a special interest or do not see your group listed here.
For printable flyers of upcoming groups click here --
Feel free to email our therapists if you would like to learn more about joining one of our groups or coming in for individual or family sessions:  Sandee Nebel, Liz Strong, or Tara Harvill. We also welcome your feedback about our newsletter on anything else you would like to share with us!


Featured Resource

Remember the HOPE, Inc. video we talked about last month? There is a preview video you can watch at It includes a video with HOPE, Inc. founder Allison Kreiger Walsh, where she tells some of her own story of recovery from an eating disorder.

Have you ever noticed the difference between hearing someone talk about their own recovery, versus hearing an "expert"? While the experts can give excellent guidance and support, most people feel an almost instant connection with a mentor or speaker who has had a similar experience.

When you're traveling the journey of recovery, be sure to surround yourself with allies who can relate to what you're going through. These may be:

  • Mentors who are a bit farther along the path and offer their time and experience to help you (e.g., a sponsor in a 12-step program such as
  • Buddies who are going through a similar phase of recovery (even when you're struggling yourself, you can help someone else)
  • Speakers or authors who share their stories of inspiration and hope

Speaking of speaking, our Stories from the Living Room series is starting up again in the Fall. We're looking for people to share their successful recovery stories in an informal setting where other people can gain hope and inspiration. If you're interested in being a speaker, please schedule a free 30-minute check-in session so we can talk about whether this might be a good fit for you.

Please also watch for details and dates so you can come out and be inspired by these living room sessions.

Here are some more online resources about mentoring:


The Journey

Tara Harvill The Journey
by Tara Harvill, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern and Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern

The word “journey” invokes images of uncharted destinations, wandering travels of excitement, curiosity and discovery; and thrilling adventures into the unknown and unexplored. What if these images and ideas became the lens through which all of life’s journeys were approached?

The journey of self-discovery.
The journey of personal growth and development.
The journey of recovery.
The journey of life.

In a time when the world appears focused on end results, how does one maintain that sense of wonder and excitement; that focus on the course rather than the destination?

You can start by recalibrating your internal barometer of success and accomplishment. This means you can celebrate your daily victories and personal challenges, whether or not you've met a particular goal.

Each step along the path and every ounce of exertion and effort will enhance the view on your journey.

Anyone can purchase a postcard of a destination, but knowing you’ve traveled the path and persevered the rough terrain helps you to truly savour the view from the top.


Feature Article: Focus on your journey, not your destination

So many times we just look at the goals we're working towards: a number on the scale, a change in theE1281921048 mirror, a new relationship or the end of an old behavior.

Our obsession with reaching this goal can overshadow everything that's happening to us and around us, right here in the present moment. In an earlier post, I talked about my road trip and how I turned things around for myself when I let go of when we would arrive and concentrated on enjoying the trip.

You can do the same thing in the journey of your day-to-day life. Your daily process can be a wonderful experience. Even when painful things happen, you have the opportunity to grow and reach a new level of joy on the other side.

If you're only looking at whether you're meeting your goal, it can be very discouraging, especially when the most meaningful goals often come with slow, steady action and gradual progress. If you're expecting quick results, that disappointment can even lead to relapse.

7 Tools for Being Present on the Journey

1. Therapy – A therapist is there solely to work with you in the present moment and keep you there. Explore different types of therapy that use components like art, books, movies and movement, and different formats such as group work or family therapy.

2. Body work – Give yourself the gift of treating your body to healing effects of massage, yoga, stretching or other forms of exercise. Check with your doctor and find what works for YOU.

3. Breathing – You can tune into your body anytime by pausing to focus on your breath going in and out of your body. It's the quickest way to get back to the present moment.

4. Support – Seek out supportive people who can understand and validate what you're going through, and who will listen unconditionally without trying to fix you or solve your problems.

5. Meditation – The quiet time of meditation is an opportunity to reconnect with yourself. This will help you avoid overwhelm or the constant need to catch up with your life.

6. Writing – When you write about your thoughts and feelings, it brings you into the present moment so you can process them. We've created a journaling tool called spirit of change that can help you use this tool.

7. Structure – Create a routine of repeated tasks that enhance your recovery. The more you do them, the more familiar and comforting they will become. For some, structure will include a plan of eating, attending 12-step meetings, phoning supportive friends or the other things on this list.

Watch for our next post, where White Picket Fence Counseling Center therapist Tara Harvill will share her own thoughts on navigation life's journeys.


Personal Note from Sandee

I've been doing a lot of traveling this summer—I think I have four or five road trips under my beltSandee already! Some highlights have been reconnecting with old friends from the past, visiting my family and taking onsite tours at treatment centers such as Renfrew Center in South Florida and the Carolina House in North Carolina.

As I was leaving for that particular trip to North Carolina—a 10 ½-hour road trip with two 14-year-old girls in the backseat—it occurred to me that this could be a very long drive. Then I remembered past experiences where I focused on enjoying the journey, instead of on how far we'd gotten or when we would arrive. It worked again, like magic! We talked, listened to a book on CD, made phone calls and watched the view! Best of all, I felt really present with my traveling companions and everyone we met along the way.

Watch for my upcoming feature article about how you can enjoy the journey of your life, instead of being so caught up in reaching a particular destination.