Special Edition! Teens in Treatment

Beyond "He" and "She": Teens and Gender Identity

Gender identity has become a hot topic in the mental health field. It's of special concern for eating disorder professionals, since new research indicates a far higher incidence of eating disorders among transgender and gender fluid young adults.

As part of the process of self-discovery, teen clients are likely to look at all aspects of themselves, including gender identity and sexuality. What if your teen comes out during treatment?

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My Child is Coming Home. Now What?

by Jenna Jarrold, Primary Therapist

If you're nervous about your child's return home after residential treatment, you're not alone. Transitioning to life in the real world can be very challenging. You want to recreate everything that worked during treatment, but how do you do that and still live a normal life?

Your loved one needs a recovery plan that incorporates realistic goals and ongoing support.

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Recovery Placemats Reduce Mealtime Stress

Meals are an especially stressful time for clients in residential eating disorder treatment. To reduce anxiety over eating, Mirasol therapists employ many different tools, including making the surroundings as pleasing and inspiring as possible. For example, all new clients are asked to create their own recovery-themed placemats. The subjects can be whatever they believe will help them stay focused and calm durings meals — their pets, their families, activities, career goals — all of the things they can look forward to in recovery.

Here's just a small sampling of the fabulous artwork on the table today at Mirasol's teen residence:


Take-Aways From Our Time in the Wilderness

by Diane Ryan, Executive Director

We have just returned from another weekend of camping and hiking with Mirasol's teen clients. We've done it many times now, so we have the packing pretty much down to a science, even with the special requirements of camping with clients who are in various stages of recovery from an eating disorder.

What is less predictable, and much less subject to planning, is what we bring home once the tents are folded and the chairs are stacked. What special moments, new understandings, or closer connections will become part of the story of recovery for a struggling client?

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Upcoming Events

Mirasol Executive Director Diane Ryan and Adult Clinical Director Maeve Shaughnessy will be presenting at two upcoming conferences:

2015 Wilderness Therapy Symposium

August 27-29, Park City, Utah

The Triumphs and Challenges of Eating Disorder Clients in the Wilderness will explore the special challenges and rewards of incorporating wilderness experiences in eating disorder treatment. Participants will have the opportunity to experience these activities from the client's perspective, and process the emotional impact of their connection to nature during the wilderness experience.

Association for Experiential Education Annual Conferences

October 22-25, Portland, Oregon

Disentangling Eating Disorders: Using the Spider Web and Psychodrama to Jump Start Recovery, an interactive workshop illustrating the use of experiential activities and psychodrama in the treatment of eating disorders and other emotional challenges with a body image component.