Welcome

There’s Help. There’s Hope! The Emily Program is a warm and welcoming place where individuals and their families can find comprehensive treatment for eating disorders and related issues. This blog is a place for us to share the latest happenings at The Emily Program, as well as helpful tidbits from the broader eating disorder community. Subscribe via RSS to receive automatic updates. We want to hear your story. Email us (blog@emilyprogram.com) and ask how you can become a contributor!

Staff Spotlight, Lindsay Dibble

Lindsay Dibble

TEP: Tell us about yourself!

Lindsay: My name is Lindsay, and I am the Office Manager at our St. Louis Park, MN location. I have been with The Emily Program since June 2012, and have had a number of roles along the way. I started as the very first phone operator, answering and transferring all incoming calls (which is now the job of our wonderful scheduling team). I have been in the customer service field since I was 15, and it’s something I really enjoy doing.

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What is Art Therapy?

A woman painting a canvas while another woman looks on

When we think of therapy, we often think first of talk therapy—traditional psychotherapy that engages a client and a therapist in conversation. This treatment modality allows individuals to share their thoughts, emotions, and experiences in words. The therapist helps to challenge any distorted beliefs and attitudes, as well as to develop adaptive ways to cope. Both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) incorporate talk therapy techniques.

Art therapy is often incorporated into treatment as an alternative or complement to traditional talk therapy. Art therapy uses creative expression as a medium to share, process, and reflect on thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Art therapists are typically trained in art as well as psychotherapy, but participants are not required to be skilled or experienced in art. It simply requires a willingness to engage in a creative activity alongside a therapist who guides the therapeutic process. The therapist may gain insights from observing the individual before, during, and after art creation, as well as from examining the finished product.

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Five Reasons to Share your Recovery Story

Three people talking and sitting on stairs outdoors

At The Emily Program, your story matters. We believe that it has the power to heal, inform, connect, and inspire, and sharing it at a safe, appropriate time can help you and others. Here are five reasons you might consider sharing your recovery story.

1. Reclaim power.

“My voice is what matters, not Ed’s, and every time I share my story, it empowers me and strengthens my recovery.”

Your story is yours alone to share. Once free from the secrecy and shame of your eating disorder, you may find power in your ability to share your experience on your terms and by your rules. While you did not choose your illness, you chose recovery—and now you can also choose why, when, and how you talk about it.

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The Danger of Talking about Lizzo’s and Adele’s Bodies

Lizzo and Adele

Love your body. Accept yourself. Feel good in your skin.

The body positivity community promotes self-love and self-acceptance. It encourages us to treat our bodies gently, with compassion and care, and to avoid criticizing, shaming, or punishing them for any perceived flaws. We define body positivity in many ways, but our definitions are often similar in the body they describe: our own. Our body image is the focus.

As we work to develop a positive body image, it is important that we practice extending the same respect, acceptance, and compassion to other bodies as well. This includes all bodies—the bodies of our friends and family members, of strangers, peers, and acquaintances, and of celebrities and public figures we’ll never see in everyday life. We need to see beyond these appearances and question the way we view and talk about them.

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The 2010s: A Decade in Review

Highlights of the decade

At The Emily Program we spend a lot of time looking ahead. To hope and healing. To expanded access to care for people with eating disorders. To advanced awareness, education, and treatment. Our vision is a future of peaceful relationships with food, weight, and body, where anyone affected by an eating disorder can experience full, lifelong recovery.

As we work to heal the future, we also acknowledge the past and present. We accept where we are and where we’ve been, both as an organization and a culture at large. We pause and we reflect so that we can move forward with greater clarity, knowledge, and compassion.

To that end, we are using the start of this new decade to reflect on the previous decade in the world of eating disorders. The 2010s witnessed changes in the fields of eating disorder awareness, research, and care, as well as the culture surrounding them.

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Before You Hit the Gym in 2020

Yoga mat, exercise ball, and resistance band

Gym season.

It’s the season after the holiday season, when resolutioners and regulars alike commit to new fitness goals, squeeze in crowded studios, and take advantage of no-joining fees and discounted memberships. Retailers slash prices on workout apparel, the media insist we make exercise resolutions “stick,” and Instagram basically functions as a fitness tracker.

Those experiencing and recovering from an eating disorder often have a complicated relationship with exercise. Many have used it in their illness to influence their body size, shape, and diet, while others have resisted it altogether. A component of many recovery plans is establishing a relationship with exercise rooted in health, self-care, and enjoyment.

In the midst of this January fitness craze, let’s discuss exercise and gyms in the context of eating disorder recovery. Here are some things to consider before visiting the gym this time of year:

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