Monte Nido & Affiliates Medical Director Molly McShane, MD, MPH has recently achieved board certification in Addiction Medicine, complimenting her certification in Adult Psychiatry and allowing Monte Nido and Oliver-Pyatt Centers programs the opportunity to more optimally support adult women struggling with co-occurring substance use disorders.
Chief Medical Officer Joel P. Jahraus, MD, FAED, CEDS says, “Having a physician overseeing our programs who is board certified in both Adult Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine – and that also has a Masters Degree in Public Health – clearly highlights the quality and the value of the care we render. It demonstrates to our clients and families that we take the care of their loved ones very seriously by securing highly qualified staff that deliver the best-practice care. Dr. McShane consults regularly on pre-admission reviews and partners with clinical teams on the ongoing care of these dually diagnosed clients.”
Dr. McShane confers, “Having dual-certification in Adult Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine reinforces Monte Nido & Affiliates ability to treat our clients. We often see women come through our doors with an eating disorder and co-occurring substance use disorder and this additional credential solidifies that we are well-equipped to treat these co-occurring presentations.”
Dr. McShane earned her undergraduate degree in Biology from Duke University and her Medical Degree and Masters in Public Health from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She completed her psychiatry residency training at the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital, and additionally served as Chief Resident. Dr. McShane recently completed her Addiction Medicine board exam and ranked in the top quartile of 1000+ physicians.
Monte Nido & Affiliates Education Training Manager Jacquie Rangel shares a personal post on some of her thoughts and hesitations when beginning her recovery journey. Jacquie shares what inspired her to pursue and continue to pursue a recovered life, and urges all of us to advocate not only for ourselves but for one another.
I heard Jenni Schaeffer speak recently while I was in the field supporting the Alliance for Eating Disorders walk on behalf of Oliver-Pyatt Centers in Tampa, FL. She made a comment that touched on a thought I’ve had a lot about eating disorder recovery in the past year. “I have recovered from an eating disorder. I have not recovered from life.”
This sentiment struck me as so beautiful because it’s what the reality of being a true eating disorder champion is all about to me: It’s a brave-hearted embracement of the imperfect journey of being a human. Hearing Jenni say this demonstrates to me that she has a desire to develop herself far beyond the bare minimum expectation of recovering from an eating disorder. Once again, and many years after first encountering her well-known book, Life Without Ed, Jenni’s words made me feel thoroughly understood.
I, like what I estimate to be 100% of people who first start to seek professional remedy from their eating disorder, was very on the fence about recovering. On one hand, I had moments of acute awareness of the risk of my condition and on the other hand, I was not sold on the transformation of lifestyle that had to occur in order for me to build a healthy life again. What I didn’t understand at that time is that the transformation in lifestyle would not always be monotonous and task-driven. Though initially the process of getting better required me to wake up and drill in the practices I had been shown day-in through day-out, the action of “recovery” started to become my natural way of being. The coping skills and self-care techniques I was learning became less drill like and more choice like. This was pivotal for me because when I started to feel like I had choice again, I started to gain momentum in my motivation to keep going. Every action became an opportunity to either feed (pun intended) my freedom or trap me in a self-enslaving and ultimately dangerous way of being.
The more I choose freedom, the more I started to realize that life would what I made of it and much to my surprise, life had a lot of fun things to offer outside of an eating disorder! Still, life goes on and having an eating disorder isn’t a free pass from grief and pain. I agree with the belief that you can fully recover from an eating disorder. I think those of us who are of this mindset know we have recovered when we are encountered with an intensely difficult life situation and find ourselves facing it rather than recoiling and choosing the eating disorder.
So how do we get there? My belief is that we help each other. We let someone else whose struggle we recognize know that we see their pain and we believe in their power to help themselves. As much as absolutely everyone in this field wants to- we simply cannot do someone else’s personal work. We can relate to it though. Relating is the practice of growing a relationship and whatever that relationship may be- professional, supporting or intimate- it is an important bridge we build to help someone cross when they feel they are ready to walk away from their eating disorder. This is what it feels like for me to have advocates and this is what is feels like to me when I advocate for a person who is learning about their potential in recovery and beyond.
Karin Lawson is a licensed psychologist, certified eating disorder therapist and writer in private practice. She’s located in Miami, FL. Dr. Lawson is currently the Vice President of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals – Miami Chapter, as well as the President-Elect of the Miami-Dade-Monroe Psychological Association. Dr. Lawson debunks some common misconceptions about therapy in this week’s blog post.
It is said we fear the unknown, which is why many people shy away from receiving therapy. It can be intimidating walking into your therapist’s office for the very first time, not knowing what to expect.
On the flip side, some people assume they know everything about therapy and can be quite surprised.
The thing is, though therapy is not as stigmatized as it once was, it is still not talked about in most social circles. And so many people have the wrong ideas about it. If you’ve been considering seeking help from a mental health professional, you most likely have some questions as well.
With that in mind, here is what no one tells you about therapy – but should!
It’s Not Like on TV
Pop culture would have you believe the minute you step foot into a therapist’s office, he or she will have you looking at inkblots on paper and talking about your dreams within minutes.
While these approaches can be used in therapy, they more than often are not. Dream interpretation can come up, but typically only if the client wants to discuss an interesting or disturbing dream they had.
Also, many people think the entire session is devoted to discussing your early childhood years and the effect your parents have had on your life. While many therapists will want to get a history on you to uncover specific patterns, influences and emotional memories that have helped wire the brain, the idea of therapy is NOT to blame your parents for all of your current troubles, but to understand the context of you and your history.
You Won’t Feel Better Immediately
Though the end goal of therapy is to create insight and understanding, as well as behavioral changes that haven’t been helpful or effective, the process of getting there will sometimes be uncomfortable. It is unrealistic to expect you will feel better immediately. Therapy takes time and commitment. Change can be hard.
You Have to Want to Change
You can seek advice from any number of healthcare professionals for various ailments, but if you don’t take their advice and you don’t do the work, you won’t see things shift.
The same is true for therapy. Your therapist will be patient and will go at a pace that feels comfortable for you, but ultimately you have to be invested. That often means consistent appointments and follow-through with any homework assignments. It takes work for you to get there. The way people get better is to face their own behaviors, recognize the patterns, and make different choices. Your therapist will be there with you every step of the way, cheering you on.
Therapy isn’t magic, but it does provide you with the tools for lasting change.
This article was originally published on the Dr. Karin Lawson website.