Lucy Lauer, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with 26 years’ experience as a Registered Dietitian. She specializes in helping people navigate the rough waters of disordered eating to achieve a healthier life and relationship with food. She has experience with Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Nocturnal Eating Disorder, and the range of dysfunctional eating patterns that cause distress but may not have a diagnostic label.
In 35 years of practice, Lucy has treated disordered eating from both a nutritional and psychological perspective. She has presented workshops at the local, state and national level on many aspects of disordered eating for psychologists and counselors, physicians, dietitians, parents and teachers. She established and facilitated the Space Coast Eating Disorders Professional Consortium from 2009-2011, and supervises Florida Tech Psychology students in a special practicum focused on Eating Disorder treatment.
She participates regularly in continuing education programs and has had over 60 hours of specialized training in ED treatment in the last 3 years alone. Specific topics have included ACT and other evidence-based interventions, medical complications, trauma impact, co-occurring disorders (substance abuse, self-injury, etc), assessment for appropriate level of care, body image, art and other expressive therapies, and using a team approach to treatment. She has also been invited to site visits at residential treatment centers in South Florida and Colorado.
What are the various types of eating disorders? Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder
Since eating disorders have a direct impact on physical health as well, tell us a bit about the team approach to treatment when collaborating with Registered Nutritionists, Physicians, etc...
The gold standard of ED treatment involves a team of clinicians working together. The team consists of a mental health counselor or psychologist, Registered Dietitian (RD), primary care physician, and if needed, a psychiatrist. In an out-patient setting, it is usually the mental health clinician who coordinates care by communicating with other team members re. treatment goals, progress toward goals, and psychoeducation, as needed. The RD monitors weight, food intake and specific food-related issues and may also help set exercise goals. Medical parameters such as labs, EKGs and bone-density are ordered by the PCP and shared with other team members as markers for progress. When all team members are not under the same roof (which is usually the case), communication is done through phone calls, written assessments and updates and occasionally, face-to-face team meetings. If the client is a minor, the parents are also part of the team and are included in treatment planning, progress updates and psychoeducation so they can more effectively support their child’s recovery.
Many people with an eating disorder have a fear of recovery. Talk a bit about this and how a clinician can work with someone resistant about recovering from their eating disorder.
An eating disorder is experienced as a life-raft in the rough sea of uncertainty that is a normal part of life. Despite the fact that eating disorders are deadly and create enormous physical and psychological pain, they also serve important functions such as protection from intrusion, a sense of control when life feels chaotic, a way to make complex issues seem more manageable and many others. In order to help a person let go of this safety net, the clinician has to help them: 1) recognize the costs to other valued parts of their lives such as relationships, energy & concentration for other persuits; 2) Identify the functions of the ED and Develop other ways to address those. This often requires practicing acceptance of the inherent uncertainty of life, imperfection of themselves and others, and the messiness of living in a human body with all of its flaws and limitations. Sometimes, cognitive growth and recovery cannot take place until weight and nutritional balance is restored and this takes education, support, encouragement and a leap of faith on the part of the client.
I know you facilitate a wonderful group for people with an eating disorder. Tell us a bit about that group and how it's different from individual therapy? Our 8-week eating disorder therapy group employs a combination of mindfulness practice, self-compassion and some elements of ACT (acceptance & Commitment Therapy), which helps people identify personal values that the ED has robbed them of. There is a lot of discussion about perfectionism, fear of failure, body hatred, habitual responses to difficult emotions and practice slowing down and experimenting with alternative perspectives and behaviors. Much of the benefit from the group comes from the common experiences of the members who usually feel alien and outside of “normal” human connections. ED is a very isolating illness and it is progressive, so over the years, people feel more and more alone and ashamed of the disorder in addition to all the other things about themselves they already hate.
Where can clinicians go for more information, trainings, certifications, etc... My favorite resources are programs presented by The Renfrew Center & the Eating Recover Center, both of which have residential treatment facilities in several US cities and do a lot of research, outreach and education. There are some very useful websites with loads of info, too. I’ve attached a list of resources we turn to on a regular basis. Our website and Facebook page also have regular posts about ED and other psychological and mental health issues. Our website is www.BeWellCounseling.net; our FB page is Beachside Counseling & Wellness on Facebook.
Recommended ED Self-help books
Cruze, Robyn & Andrus, Espra, LCSW (2013). Making Peace with Your Plate: Eating disorder recovery. Central Recovery Press.
Kelly, Joe (2003). Dads and Daughters: How to inspire, understand, and support your daughter when she's growing up so fast.
Lock, James, MD, PhD. & Le Grange, Daniel, PhD (2005). Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder. The Guilford Press.
Maine, Margo, & Kelly, Joe (2005). The Body Myth: Adult women and the pressure to be perfect. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Roth, Geneen (2010). Women, Food and God. New York: Scribner.
Tribole, E. and Resch, E. (2003). Intuitive Eating. New York: Saint Martins Press.
Johnston, Anita (1996). Eating in the Light of the Moon: How women can transform their relationships with food through myths, metaphors and storytelling. Carlsbad, CA: Gurze Books.
Schaefer, Jenni (2004). Life Without Ed: How one woman declared independence from her eating disorder and how you can, too. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Siegel, M., Brisman, J., and Weinshel, M. (1995). Surviving an Eating Disorder: Strategies for Families and Friends. New York: Saint Martins Press.
Waterhouse, D. (1997). Like Mother, Like Daughter: How women are influenced by their mothers’ relationship with food, and how to break the pattern. New York: Hyperion.
Sandoz, Emily and DuFrene, Troy (2013). Living With Your Body & Other Things You Hate: How to let go of your struggle with body image using acceptance & commitment therapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Books.
Eating Disorder Resources
ANAD-National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Eating Disorders. www.anad.org ANAD Helpline: 630-577-1330
Websites & Blogs:
Website launched by a patient in recovery from Bulimia: www.letterstomybody.com
Blog encouraging a non-diet approach to healthy eating: www.dietsurvivorsgroup.blogspot.com Website/program to improve body image on college campuses: www.bQdyimageprogram.org
Episode 52 – Supporting Grieving Children and Families at the Dougy Center
In this episode:
Jana Cristofaro covers the following:
For her Free Download: Tips for Supporting Grieving Children click on the following:
Episode 53 – Sandtray Therapy and the Brain
Expert Guest: Amy Flaherty, LPE-I, RPT is the Founder and Director of the Southern Sandtray Institute located in Jonesboro, AR. She has a hybrid program to credential therapists as a Registered Integrative Sandtray Therapist (RIST). In addition to the formal credentialing program, Amy also offers online sandtray training through The Sandtray Suite. To find out more and grab your free Sandtray technique, simply go to www.sandtraysuite.com/ssi.
In this episode, Amy Flaherty LPE-I, RPT covers the following:
Episode 51: Introduction to Play Therapy Community Podcast and Host, Jackie Flynn EdS, LMHC, RPT
Thank you so much for listening to the podcast! This episode was previously known as Parenting in the Rain Podcast.
I created this community as a space for us (Child Therapists!) to connect with other and learn together. If you’re anything like me, you like the idea of having tons of information at your fingertips so that you can provide the best therapy possible for your clients.
I have a Private Practice in Central Florida, with a fully stocked Play Therapy Room and Expressive Arts Therapy Studio.
I love being a private practitioner and entrepreneur, taking risks, and daring to dream BIG! And, I LOVE Play Therapy!!! Helping people through the healing Power of Play.
In the beginning, I remember surfing the web for hours and hours trying to get ideas.
Now, we don’t have to do it alone…we have this podcast and connection to each other where we can find out about all of the other wonderful play therapy related resources that are available to us out there! I LOVE the thought of being part of a community with like-minded individuals.
In my work at my private practice, I am passionate about helping children, adolescents, parents, couples, and families through Play Therapy, EMDR, Sandtray Therapy, Gottman Method Couples Counseling, Hypnotherapy, Education Consultation, Mindfulness, and Art Therapy.
Probably much like you, I’ve spent years and years going to school, training, conferences, reading books, listening to podcasts, networking, reading blogs, and more to be the effective and passionate therapist that I am today.
We all have so much info to share… and the thought of creating a SYNERGYSTIC community of amazingly ambitious, child therapists like you makes me so happy, I can hardly stand it!!!
Personal and professional growth is ALWAYS at the forefront of my consciousness. And, I LOVE the world of BUSINESS and THERAPY combined. The online business world is packed with so many opportunities for growth – and I LOVE it! I love helping people in a big way, and online that is possible! You may have listened to my podcast, Parenting in the Rain or attended some of my Webinars.
I’d love to stay in touch with you through our newsletter. If you’d like that too, just let me know where to send it by entering your info below. You’ll get a video of my top 3 most used miniatures as my way of welcoming you to Play Therapy Community’s newsletter.
Episode 50, When Your Child Makes a Mistake
In This Episode:
Mistakes are part of our humanness. They are bound to happen from time to time. In fact, they need to happen for us to grow. For our kids, allowing them to make mistakes can make all of the difference.
As parents, it is helpful to allow our children’s mistakes to teach them about life.
It can be difficult, though. Especially, if you are in a rush and you need to get out of the door for school (okay this can be tough!), you may be tempted to just tie their shoes yourself, or dress them yourself, or make the bed yourself so it’s not so messy, or stick with the food that they are comfortable with ... the list can go on and on talking about how we’re busy and we don’t want to cause a scene and how everyone benefits, if we choose leads you down a path of least resistance. I know some of these because I’ve been there. Parenting can be exhausting and feel defeating sometimes. I’m not saying you need to never help your kid again. But rather, grasp those opportunities to learn and grow from messes and mistakes when possible.
If you are in a rut of doing everything for your child, give own self-permission to be human. Small tweaks over the course of time can make all the difference. With a positive attitude. .. and lots of EMPATHY. It may sound something like this, “It must’ve been really hard to have done your project and then not have it in class. I know how hard you worked on it.”
Beware of the temptation for sarcasm here. If you connect with your child in an empathic way that leaves them feeling like “my mom or my dad gets it. I’m not gonna let this happen again.”
“When the student is ready, the teacher will teach.” – Zig Ziglar
When children are allowed to make mistakes and learn from their experience, the cognitions (aka “thoughts”) that are embedded in their self-perception are I am capable, I am competent, I can do difficult things, It's okay to try, as well as several other helpful ways to feel.
The only people that make mistakes are the ones that don’t try.
Some opportunities to make mistakes are to learn how to tie shoes, make lunches, forget homework, lose a friend due to behavior, and a gazillion other ways.
One of the huge benefits of making mistakes, especially for children, is that they get a chance to hone and develop their problem-solving skills. Think of it like muscles – how will they ever get strong if you don’t use them, or, if you let them lay dormant for a while.
Letting our children make mistakes is actually a HUGE gift to them.
This topic lends itself to the area of high expectations. Les Brown said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.” This is so true. If we hold our kids to high expectations such as doing chores, reading a book every 2 weeks, applying for the scholarships, eating their vegetables, messing up their Science project, then we are sending the message of “I believe in you.” And, then in turn, they have permission to believe in themselves.
Remember, as we raise these small human beings that we refer to as our kids, we are given opportunities to help them be the best that they can be. So rushing their homework or lunch to school that they forgot or allowing them to sit in front of the video games all weekend disconnected from family and life because they’ve had a difficult week, is not helping them at all. It actually hinders them.
I’ve told the butterfly story before, but I’m going to mention it here too because it is so related.
I first heard this story in my Child Parent Relationship Therapy training.
So, as Mrs. Frizzle used to say in the Magic School Bus episodes... “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy.” This will allow your children to dare to dream and actually have the confidence and courage to follow their dreams.
Below Are Some Affiliate Links to Books/Products That I Love
Jackie’s Favorite Labryinths (Discounted Price)
Weighted Blankets by Mosaic