Clinical Director Giulia Suro, PhD shares her personal journey to joining Oliver-Pyatt Centers in this week’s blog post. Read on to learn more about Dr. Suro and the incredible work being done by herself and her IOP/TLP team…
What is your name and what are your credentials?
My name is Giulia Suro and I am licensed clinical psychologist.
Please give us a brief description of your background.
I completed my undergraduate degree, receiving a BA in Psychology at University of Southern California and went on to pursue my Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling at Colombia University in New York City. It was during this program that I exposed myself to a wide range of clinical experiences including non-profit community mental health, inpatient psychiatric settings and even spent two years working in Rikers Island Jail. I realized I most enjoyed working with individuals experiencing severe symptoms of psychological distress and pursued my Doctorate of Clinical Psychology at University of Miami. I spent my third year as a doctoral student working in OPC’s Intensive Outpatient Program as a “prac” a few days a week. I really fell in love with OPC as a setting, its treatment philosophy as well as the meaningful work we’re able to do with the women who come here for care. I returned as a Postdoctoral Resident and spent two years as a primary therapist in the Comprehensive programs before transitioning to Clinical Director of IOP/TLP.
What does a typical day look like for you at OPC?
One of the things I love most about my job is that there is no real typical day. Time is divided between running groups, individual client sessions, supervision, family calls, seminars and administrative meetings. I recently established a weekly Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) consultation group with the other clinicians conducting ACT groups, and that has quickly become my favorite hour of the week.
In your own words, please describe the philosophy of OPC.
I think there are several threads that come together to create the OPC philosophy. The first is a commitment to individualized care and treating the unique needs of each woman who comes here for help. Along these lines, I believe we are very open to thinking outside the box in our effort to fully eradicate the eating disorder. This may include specialized therapeutic approaches, passes and exposures. Additionally, I believe all of our providers convey the message that the women are deserving of a meaningful life free of shame and suffering. This is conveyed in therapy, groups, meals and all interactions with staff.
How does your team work together? How do your roles overlap and differ?
I am constantly blown away by the IOP team. We are small but mighty! Each of the therapists, dieticians and recovery coaches are so very passionate for and committed to their job. We are consistently discussing how we can creatively continue to support our clients in their recoveries and I love that every member of the team sets a bar of full recovery for each woman we treat. We often come together as a well-oiled machine in multidisciplinary treatment teams to tackle the ED from all angles and push our clients toward recovery as a united front.
What is your favorite thing about OPC?
What first inspired me about OPC was the staff who work here and the culture they created. It is a daily gift to be able to work alongside brilliant, bold, women who are dedicated to helping those with eating disorders. We support one another in achieving our professional goals as well as in having a healthy work-life balance.
What are three facts about you that people do not know?
I usually wake up before the sun comes up to do yoga and meditate.
I love tomatoes so much I designed a garden where I could grow my own.
I have dog named Jack and he is truly magical!
Join us in reading inspirational and informative articles we have cultivated from across the web. If you have found an article you feel is inspirational, explores current research, or is a knowledgeable piece of literature and would like to share with us please send an e-mail here.
Eating Disorders and Stress Psychology Today
Interplay Between Eating Disorders and Depression Eating Disorder Recovery Specialists
The Unmeasurables of an Eating Disorder Project Heal
The Nutrition Blog Series will take an in-depth look at the nutrition programs of our three eating disorder programs, Oliver-Pyatt Centers, Monte Nido and Clementine adolescent treatment program. This week, we hope to give a brief introduction to the programs and in the coming weeks, will offer a deeper understanding of what nutrition philosophy looks like at each individual program.
Oliver-Pyatt Centers, Monte Nido and Clementine are three eating disorder treatment programs that operate with the same intention: To support individuals healing from eating disorders and to help them realize their potential of full recovery. That being said, we understand treatment is not a one-size-fits-all formula. Our three directors of nutrition come from the same underlying dietary philosophy that combines medically based research in the treatment of eating disorders with practices that help individuals learn to confidently nourish themselves independently. By understanding the slight differentiators that are practiced in all three facilities, it becomes easy to see that though the day-to-day may differ for clients from facility to facility, the fundamental reasoning for these different practices come from the same place.
Oliver-Pyatt Centers in Miami offers comprehensive, day treatment, transitional living and intensive out-patient programs for women seeking eating disorder recovery. Our program uses thoughtfully planned, supported food exposures to challenge food rituals, beliefs and judgments while building skills and laying the foundational understanding of the role hunger, fullness and satiety play in self-nourishment. We work with a variety of mindful eating techniques, paying particular attention to hunger and fullness cues, while implementing a medically indicated and individually structured meal plans. Our hope is that this combination lays the groundwork for a future of intuitive eating as our clients move toward full recovery after discharge.
Monte Nido treatment centers offers residential, day and intensive outpatient programming and transitional living for clients seeking eating disorder recovery. At Monte Nido treatment centers, we work with our clients to support their nutritional, physical, and emotional health and wellbeing. With treatment of the whole person as our guide, our initial goal is to build rapport with our clients, to gain an understanding of an individual’s challenges and to formulate an individualized treatment plan that promotes movement away from eating disorder ideals and towards whole health. Using thoughtfully planned, supported exposures to a variety of food and eating environments, active challenging of eating disorder behaviors, and individualized, structured meal plans, we work with our clients to support the development of the skills required for a life of conscious eating.
Lastly, Clementine is strategically structured for the treatment of adolescents with philosophies that pull from both of its parent programs. Our dietary practices are no exception; nutritional practices are based on research that is aligned with adolescent growth and development. We practice mindful eating techniques before and during meals and reflect after mealtime. There is an emphasis placed on healing the whole family through education, family food exposures and individual work with the family.
While on paper all three programs appear somewhat different, our objectives remain the same. In the next few weeks we’ll dive into the specifics of each program to reveal some more key similarities and differences between the three programs. Our first in-depth look at nutrition will be focused on Monte Nido programs and can be found here.