Director of Nutrition Mary Dye, MPH, RD, CEDRD, LD/N oversees all nutrition across Oliver-Pyatt Centers. In part 1 of the Nutrition Series, Mary introduces the nutrition program at OPC. She shares the difference she has seen in the clients who attend OPC and some of the key elements in helping clients establish an improved relationship with food.
At Oliver-Pyatt Centers, we pride ourselves in being industry leaders in using exposure and response prevention techniques with food. Every aspect of our nutrition model is designed to move clients forward while simultaneously offering firm boundaries and loving support.
Prior to joining the team here, I noticed a difference in what my clients discharging from OPC were able to accomplish in their treatment stays as compared to my clients sent to other top-notch treatment centers. My OPC clients returned to me with a deeper understanding of the connection between satiety and nourishment and the feedback system of their bodies. When they returned, we talked about more than the food and meal planning. We spoke of how it felt to respond to their body’s signals, what barriers stood in their way and what tools they needed to not just meet their needs and adhere to their meal plan, but to continue taking risks, pushing their comfort zones and take the extra step of eating for satiety, rather than just fuel. Essentially, I knew that in sending them to OPC, their eating disorders would have no-where to hide. And as much as they may not believe they wanted, needed or deserved the support, they’d ultimately have little choice but to accept the support around them because we limit the opting out of our food exposures. Now, it’s my mission to ensure all referring RDs feel this difference and understand the degree of thoughtfulness that goes into their client’s experiences with food.
So how do we do this? Limited options, ample support, timeliness, inclusion of “threatening foods”.
Oliver-Pyatt Centers Primary Therapist Thaimi Fina, LMHC shares her personal journey to joining the OPC team in this week’s Meet Our Team. Thaimi gives an inside look at how she and the Casa Verde staff work together to support women on the path to full recovery. Read on to learn more about Thaimi and the dedicated Casa Verde team…
What is your name and what are your credentials?
My name is Thaimi Fina and I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. I work as a Primary Therapist in Casa Verde, as part of our Residential and Partial Hospitalization Programs.
Please give us a brief description of your background.
I am originally from Cuba, but grew up in Florida. I attended the University of Southern California (Fight on!) for undergraduate studies, where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and French. Afterwards, I completed my Master of Science in Education in Mental Health Counseling at the University of Miami (Go Canes!). During graduate school, I began working at the counseling center at Florida International University and continued working there for 2 years after graduation. At FIU, I co-created our first eating disorder treatment team, which allowed students struggling with eating disorders to access necessary care right on campus. During that time, I attended various professional trainings and networking events where I interacted with OPC staff and quickly fell in love with the quality and depth of the work being done at Oliver-Pyatt Centers.
What does a typical day look like for you at OPC?
As a primary therapist, my mornings typically include running a therapy group. I facilitate our Body Image and Therapeutic Opportunity sharing groups here in Casa Verde. Then, I might reach out to some outpatient providers or family members of my clients to provide updates on their progress and address any questions or concerns they might have. In the afternoon, I spend most of my time having one-on-one therapy with my clients. And whenever I can squeeze in some free time, it’s not rare to catch me dominating a Bananagrams game or completing a crossword with some of our ladies.
In your own words, please describe the philosophy of OPC.
What stands out to me most about OPC is the emphasis on truly connecting with each woman that walks through our doors. The types of connections that I have experienced with my clients here at OPC is truly unlike any other place where I’ve worked. I believe it is through this connection that we are able to build the level of trust and authenticity that is required for this difficult work to take place and for recovery to flourish.
How does your team work together? How do your roles overlap and differ?
Well call me biased, but I would say that our Casa Verde team is second to none! We are constantly consulting about our clients throughout the day to make sure that we are on the same page and providing the most comprehensive care to our women. As a cohesive, multi-disciplinary team, we are able to combine our expertise to tackle the eating disorder from all angles. In my sessions, I constantly find myself building on and supporting the work that my client is doing with our nutritionist, psychiatrist, and medical team.
What is your favorite thing about OPC?
My favorite thing about OPC is getting to witness a client’s transition throughout the recovery process: watching them regain control of their lives, reconnect to their values and loved ones, and finally believe that a life in recovery is possible. That’s what makes my job worth it every day.
What are three facts about you that people do not know?
I’m a total nerd at heart. Exhibit A: I do a daily crossword puzzle and watch Jeopardy every night.
I love learning languages and studied French for 8 years.
I love arts and crafts and dabble in painting and jewelry making.
Dr. Stacey Rosenfeld is a clinical psychologist specializing in eating disorders and body image concerns. She also works with substance misuse, anxiety and mood disorders, infertility, and relationship difficulties. A certified group psychotherapist and certified eating disorder specialist, Dr. Rosenfeld has worked at various treatment centers and universities and now directs the Gatewell Therapy Center in Miami, Florida. Dr. Stacey Rosenfeld is the author of “Does Every Woman Have an Eating Disorder? Challenging Our Nation’s Fixation with Food and Weight”, based on her award-winning blog of the same name. She is committing to helping people develop healthier relationships with food and their bodies. Check out Dr. Rosenfeld’s podcast on Life Unrestricted where she discusses disordered cultural messages, compulsive exercise and co-occurring issues.