Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.

Becoming a True Learner

By Michael E. Berrett, PhD

It won’t be long now. In about one week Center for Change will present its 2nd Annual Center for Change National Eating Disorders Conference for Professionals, on site, at our Center in Utah. Selected teachers will come to teach, and eager professionals will come to nurture understanding and nurture relationships with others in this worthy common cause: battling these disorders that malign tender lives. Both teacher and student will have a chance to learn. While we believe our conference is a good one, across the country there are many additional and available opportunities to learn. As our conference comes closer it has given cause for me to reflect on the nature and the value of becoming a “true learner”.

Eric Hoffer, a philosopher of grand stature, once said, “In times of change, true learners will inherit the earth, while the learned will become beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” This well crafted quote suggests that learning never ends, and that we never “arrive.” When we abandon the humility of a true learner in the interest of pride and the attitude of “all knowing,” we will quickly learn that we know less than we think. An old Eastern proverb teaches this great truth: “When we become a true student – only then – will the teacher appear.”

I am grateful for the wisdom of old timers, the experience of the practiced, the research of bright minds and intellectual explorers, and for the knowledge which comes from both academia and clinical practice. I believe that there is room for both evidence based practice, and for spiritual processes including intuition and “listening to the heart”. I’m not sure that our field is mature enough to proclaim true experts, but I do know that specialists of incredible understanding bless each of our lives, as we do the best life saving work we can muster. With all this, let us not forget that our clients are the very best teachers. They show us what eating disorders are, how they come to pass, the meanings and functions which come in the development of the illness, and in many ways, they show us the best individual recovery pathway that is not just found – but is painstakingly bui lt. Most importantly, they show us who they are beyond the illness.

I recently read an author who suggested that “there are no teachers, and no students.” My viewpoint is opposite. I believe not only that there are “teachers” and “students,” but that in each of us is a “master” and a “student.” We all have much to offer. The key is having the courage to share when it’s time to share, and having the humility to simply watch, listen, and learn when it’s time to learn.

Learning is a developmental process. When we understand and nurture each step in the process, we can enhance learning for those in our care, and also in our own personal lives. The process which I offer here is informed by differing sources, but with my twist, and through my filter, it looks like this: 1. We learn (obtain knowledge), 2. We do (act, or apply the learning), 3. We then have a certain level of understanding, 4. We share (teach our understanding to another), 5. Our understanding increases and solidifies, 6. We continue (continue living and sharing our truth), 7. We become (the truth we have learned becomes a part of our very nature – it is a “becoming”).

I consider every opportunity to learn a privilege, and every chance to teach a sacred responsibility. I am honored to be among you – friends, colleagues, professionals, clients, and families. May we ever be on the path of increased understanding – so that we may truly know in our hearts that we have done the very best that we can do, in helping our clients protect, reclaim, and enjoy their lives. These few thoughts are not only my belief – but also my hope, and my prayer.


Dr. B

Michael E. Berrett, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, CEO and Co-founder, Center for Change, Orem, Utah


Thanks to some great employees and some wonderful patients, this Holiday Season offered hope and gave thanks to our Military Service Men and Women.

In December, 2011, the Center for Change and its employees took on two wonderful service efforts designed to touch the lives of some of our military service men and women. Money was gathered for The Wounded Warrior Project through a Christmas angel tree, and an activity was held in which the employees and patients from the Center joined together and wrote Christmas and Holiday letters of gratitude to some of those in active duty. More than 116 letters and cards were written and sent to our troops. Several of our patients who are in the military, or married to spouses in uniform, talked to the group about love of country, and what these letters would mean to those receiving them. It was, and is, a great honor to treat active duty members of our armed forces and their family members. Our meaningful, yet small token of gratitude pales in comparison to the many sacrifices those in uniform make for each one of us here in America, and across the world. May the New Year bring peace and safety to those who protect the pathways of freedom.


Center for Change is a certified TRICARE Provider

Center for Change is proud to be a TRICA RE provider and we are honored to support our troops and their families. Please call our admissions department today at 888.224.8250 to learn more about how the Center serves TRICARE clients.


Did you Know?

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 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 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.


The CFC National Eating Disorders Conference Is Almost Here!

The Center for Change National Eating Disorders Conference for Professionals is quickly approaching with just a few registration spots still available. The conference is being held at Center for Change in Orem Utah on January 27th & 28th 2012, with an optional ski day at Sundance Resort on January 29th. The conference features Carolyn Costin, M.A., M.Ed, MFT as the keynote presenter, along with other distinguished speakers from the eating disorder field. CEU’s are offered.


Upcoming Events

EDCASA Eating Disorder Professionals Networking Luncheon
Co-sponsored by Center for Change
January 20th, 2012
San Antonio, TX
Contact Janet Funari at [email protected] for more information and to RSVP.

Center for Change National Eating Disorders Conference for Professionals
January 27th-28th, 2012
Keynote Presentation by Carolyn Costin, MA, MED, MFT
Center for Change
Orem, UT
Click here for more information.

Military Health System Conference
January 30th – February 2nd, 2012
National Harbor, Maryland
Tamara Noyes will be hosting the Center for Change exhibit booth, so be sure to stop by and say hello.

Miami Area Free Community Event
Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
6:30pm – 8:30pm
Ransom Everglades Upper School Auditorium
Coconut Grove, FL
Michael E. Berrett, PhD and Jenni Schaefer will be presenting.

Eating Disorder Recovery Support (EDRS) Conference
February 2nd-4th, 2012
Sheraton Hotel
Petaluma, CA
Center for Change is proud to be a sponsor at this event. Click here for more information.

Miami-Dade NEDAW Steering Committee Presents: Honest Conversations from Both Sides of the Couch, Finding Reasons for Recovery
Friday, February 3rd, 2012
8:00am – 12:30pm
Barry University, Landon Hall, Room 110
Michael E. Berrett, PhD and Jenni Schaefer will be presenting. Click here for more information.


Where’s Jenni

Monday, February 6, 2012
Connect from Anywhere!
4:00pm – 5:30pm EST
Webinar: Volunteer Speaker Training: NEDAwareness Week 2012
NEDAwareness Week Key Messages and Sharing Stories Responsibly in Outreach Efforts by Ilene Fishman, LCSW and Jenni with NEDA staff Susie Roman and Elizabeth Saviteer.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Tempe, AZ
FREE Community event at Arizona State University as a part of Body Pride Week, 6:30 PM, MU 230. For more information, visit or email Ryan at [email protected] Book/CD signing to follow event. Sponsored by Center for Change.

Friday, February 10, 2012
Orem, UT
Center for Change Family Week
Jenni will be speaking with patients and their family members at Center for Change. This event is not open to the general public. For more information about Center for Change, visit

Jenni Schaefer
Author, Life Without Ed and Goodbye Ed, Hello Me
Consultant, Center for Change,
Ambassador Council, National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA),

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