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The Center’s holistic approach to treating the mind, body and spirit includes helping each client use their own spiritual beliefs to aid them in their eating disorder recovery. While the Center is a rigorous medical and clinical program, we recognize and honor the truth that spirituality is an important part of recovery and, therefore, an important part of eating disorder treatment. Our approach is designed for women of various religious faiths or spiritual frameworks. It is non-denominational. Our spirituality component provides a safe environment for spiritual self-awareness, spiritual renewal, and spiritual support.
Through the therapeutic process each client has the opportunity to explore and reconnect with their beliefs and look at the role of spirituality in the healing process. Beginning with the initial assessment, the clinical staff make efforts to understand the spiritual framework of each client. The spiritual and/or religious beliefs of the client are embraced and valued in the recovery process. All beliefs are approached without prejudice or judgment, and are treated within a framework of respect. Through one-on-one interaction with their primary therapist, the client can explore ways to reconnect to spiritual pathways that may have been left behind in the development of the eating disorder illness.
The Center offers a research-based, non-denominational spirituality group which focuses on self-evaluation, balance and purpose. The group process helps clients recognize their spirituality through ten general spiritual themes which are helpful in the recovery process:
- Your Inherent Spiritual Worth
- Congruence and Integrity
- Transcending Adversity
- Purpose & Meaning in Life
- Forgiveness of Self & Others
- Love & Lasting Relationships
- Spiritual Harmony
In addition, Twelve Step groups are offered that are tailored to those suffering with eating disorders. Our program provides yoga classes and group experiences in Eastern concepts of mindfulness, connectedness, presence, and radical self-acceptance.
Several key staff members at Center for Change have received national recognition for research, writing, and clinical expertise in the role of spirituality in treatment. Our Director, Michael E. Berrett, PhD co-authored the American Psychological Association (APA) best seller Spiritual Approaches in the Treatment of Women with Eating Disorders and co-authored a chapter which describes Six Spiritual Pathways to Recovery in the book by Margo Maine, PhD, et, al, Special Issues in the Treatment of Eating Disorders: Bridging the Gaps.
Research shows that clients who embrace and utilize their religious faith, and/or other spiritual beliefs during treatment and beyond, have an increased advantage in the process of recovery. While most believe in God or a self-chosen “Higher Power”, those who do not can benefit from our ecumenical approach which embraces each client’s spiritual beliefs and teaches the client to do the same. Center for Change is not aligned with any particular religious faith. If a client desires, we offer the opportunity in our residential level of care to attend religious services at various churches of different denominations to allow them to connect with their religion outside of the Center. In addition, the Center has relationships with clergy from many different faiths and denominations who are available to come to the Center at the request of the client or family to give spiritual guidance and support throughout the recovery process.
While the spirituality component in the Center for Change program is only a part of a holistic and rigorous medical and clinical eating disorder treatment program, it is thoughtfully and respectfully provided in an atmosphere which gives clients “permission” to be honest and true to their religious and/or spiritual ideals.
For most people, the holiday season is a wonderful time of year. It is often a time of family reunion, socializing, and celebration – a time when families, friends, and coworkers come together to share good will and good food. Yet, for those who suffer with eating disorders, this is often the worst time of the year.