Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date.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.
Dear Colleagues and Friends of Center for Change,
I am sending this letter in light of the recent announcement from Jenni Schaefer that her life is changing and taking some new and wonderful turns, and that she will no longer have a formal consulting relationship with Center for Change.
Jenni has been a consultant to, and a significant part of, Center for Change for the past seven years. She has brought to the Center her wisdom, experience, friendship, and positive influence. The Center and the patients and families who have come here for treatment have been significantly blessed by her uplifting influence in their lives. She has influenced for good patients, families, and staff. She will be sorely missed, while the spirit of her courage, hope, recovery, and her work will continue for many years to come.
We all know of Jenni’s significant and enduring influence on the field of eating disorders. That influence has been powerful, broad, and extensive. That influence has touched clinical professionals, families, and those suffering illness. We have had the rare blessing of having that influence on a regular basis, within the context of an ongoing working relationship. How blessed we have been.
I have no doubt that Jenni will continue, for decades to come, to have a substantial influence on our field – the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. I also know that she will have a broader influence in the world for good. She will focus energy in her personal circle of love, marriage, and her own family. She will continue to influence a broader audience as well in her speaking, writing, and performing. She will inspire women, men, youth, mothers, fathers, professionals, friends, with her singing, writing, and speaking – wherever she goes, and in whatever she does. Through her writing – her legacy will live on, but her influence is and will be well beyond that – Jenni is just getting started.
On a personal note, I express love and gratitude for Jenni Schaefer. I have had the opportunity to travel, speak, and write with Jenni. How inspiring this has been for me. Preparing presentations, and collaborating on written projects, have been great for me – almost as great as our hikes together in the outback of nature, and the discussions together about spirituality and life. Jenni Schaefer has more friends than anyone I have ever met in my life. Even though I know of these “thousands of friends,” I declare that Jenni is my good friend. She has touched my life, and my heart, and I will never be the same.
Jenni Schaefer is truly a woman of influence. She is a beacon of hope to the suffering, a message of wisdom to families and clinicians, and an example for us all of a life well lived. She is an ambassador of good will, and a mentor for service and goodness. It was said of one great spiritual leader almost 2000 years ago, “We love him because he first loved us,” and that “He went about doing good.” So it is with the friend of us all, Jenni Schaefer.
As for Center for Change, we will continue our relationship and friendship with Jenni Schaefer, but in an informal manner. We will continue to provide high quality care for our patients, and we will do that in the context of breadth and depth of experience, and with the heart and soul our Center has a reputation for.
May God bless Jenni and her fiancé, Eric in their newfound love and life together, and may we all be blessed as we continue the work of lessening the suffering and increasing the wellness and happiness of those we serve.
Michael E. Berrett, PhD
Psychologist, CEO, Co-founder
Center for Change
To My Friend, Jenni…
It’s flown by – my time with Jenni Schaefer. It’s true that time flies when you’re having fun, and boy do Jenni and I have a good time when we’re together! We have some great stories to tell from our travels (some with the names changed to protect the guilty) and we have made some amazing friends along the way. I will miss the late night chats over burgers & fries (or salad, or cake, or whatever because we try to eat intuitively ) following an event where Jenni has presented. Those were special times where we talked about the people who attended – how brave we thought they were for walking in the door, how beautiful and incredible they were, even if they didn’t know it themselves. It was not unusual for us to shed tears over how blessed we felt to have been a part of helping someone find hope.
When Jenni and I first started traveling together, I would introduce her by reading her bio. I was in awe of all that she had already accomplished along her life’s path. As time went on, I ditched reading the bio and just spoke from my heart about the incredible woman that Jenni is, and then ended with, “Please welcome, my friend, Jenni Schaefer.” How lucky am I to have a wonderful colleague become a dear friend?! That’s the great news about the new direction that Jenni’s life is taking: she is forever my friend, so we will forever be connected.
There are some exciting new things in store at Center for Change as well. Those announcements will wait for another day. Today, I honor Jenni for her passion and dedication to helping those who suffer find hope. I honor her for talking about the tough stuff and doing so with compassion. I honor her for truly changing the face of eating disorder recovery. Our industry, this work – we owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude. People are alive today because Jenni chose to stand and be heard. Now it’s time for a greater audience to learn from and get to know Jenni. With that, allow me to introduce to the world, my friend, Jenni Schaefer.
Director of Business Development
Center for Change