Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to the Coronavirus
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at McCallum Place Eating Disorder Center to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at McCallum Place Eating Disorder Center.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Blog

Moving Toward Recovery II

Caroline H Leibman, MA Ed, BC-DMT, NCC, SEP
Individual Therapist; Dance & Movement, Expressive & Psychodrama Group Therapist

 

In my previous blog I shared the important role of the Creative Arts therapies in Eating Disorders treatment. I cited Dance/Movement Therapy, Authentic Movement, Somatic Experiencing, Yoga Therapy and Mindful Walking as specific therapies and/or body-based practices that help a client re-inhabit his/her body in a safe and appropriate, even in creative and vital ways.

Thanks to the abundance of research in the areas of Neuroscience and Mindfulness, caregivers of patients with Eating Disorders are learning more effective/integrative ways for healing the mind/body. Understanding more about the brain and what sets conditions for healthier mind/body functioning is crucial in continuing to offer optimal treatment interventions to our clients with Eating Disorders. In this blog I would like to address some of the reasons why Creative Arts therapies and body-based practices are inherently healing.

To begin, let’s review the basic architecture of the brain. The Triune Brain, sometimes called the brain within the brain within the brain is a term I first learned in Graduate School while studying Dance/Movement Therapy in the 1980’s. In 2006, Pat Ogden, who developed Sensorimotor Therapy calls upon this term when describing the architecture of the brain, its three levels of information processing, and the importance of balancing therapeutic interventions so that all three areas of the brain are addressed. In doing so, conditions are set for coherent and lasting healing to occur.

The sub-cortical or lower brain, sometimes called the reptilian brain is the first area of the brain to develop from an evolutionary perspective. It governs arousal, basic instinctual action tendencies like reflexes, learned or programmed movement impulses, and the more primitive action tendencies such as fight, flight and freeze. It also governs sensations and homeostasis of the body. This oldest area of the brain relates to the sensory level/somatic level of information processing.  (Siegel, 2007, p.34)

The next level of the brain to develop, sometimes referred to as the mammalian brain from an evolutionary perspective is the limbic brain. It mediates emotion, subjective feelings, emotional responses to events, and affective knowledge. It also mediates some social behavior and learning. (Siegel, 2007, p.34-35)

The most recent level of the brain to develop is the neocortex. The areas of the cortex enable cognitive informational processing such as self- awareness, conscious thought, and consolidation of information.  The cortex also enables abstraction, perception, reasoning, language, and learning. (Siegel, 2007, p.35-37)

Each of these three levels of the brain has its own understanding of the environment and responds accordingly.  These three levels are also intertwined and can function as a cohesive whole, though one particular level of the brain can certainly become dominant and override the other.

It is now known that there is greater flexibility of response at the higher cortical level of information processing, the cognitive area of processing, and greater fixity or concreteness of response at the lower brain or sensorimotor level of processing. The limbic brain, where emotional processing occurs seems falls in the middle and seems to be neither as fixed as the sensorimotor level of processing, or as flexible as the cognitive area of processing.

Creative Arts Therapies and body-based practices provide interventions that engage each level of the brain. Additionally, these therapeutic modalities are inherently mindful, which naturally allows for more relationship-interplay among mind (cognition), body (sensation) and emotion. These therapies encourage the areas of the neocortex, the sub-cortical limbic brain, and the lower brainstem to work together in more integrated ways. In addition, therapeutic interventions can also be introduced to address specific levels of the brain that need support.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction states: “Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non- judgmentally, to the unfolding of experience. Additionally, when the mind enters a state of mindfulness in which one’s here and now experiences are sensed directly, accepted for what they are and acknowledged with kindness and respect, one is practicing self-attunement.” (Siegel, 2007, p.10)

Intrapersonal attunement promotes self-love and advances and encourages interpersonal attunement-relationship.  Dan Siegel, author of The Mindful Brain asserts that mindfulness also promotes neural integration which enhances resilience, well- being, empathy, relationship, and self- regulation. (Siegel, 2007, p.41-43)

The capacity for a relationship with the self that is more loving and self-accepting is a paramount goal for any individual struggling to overcome an eating disorder. Enhanced capacity to engage socially in sustained relationships with others, versus isolation and shame is another critical area for growth and change for a client overcoming an eating disorder. Reliable ability to naturally self- regulate without the use of eating disordered behaviors is also a crucial treatment target for our clients.

Creative Arts therapies and body-based practices are inherently healing because they address each level of the brain, promote neural integration and are mindful. Increased understanding regarding what sets conditions for overall healthier mind/body functioning and the inclusion of therapies that inherently support all levels of brain functioning is vital in continuing to offer optimal treatment for clients with Eating Disorders.

References:

Ogden, Pat. (2006). Trauma and the Body. New York, New York: WW Norton and Company, Inc.

Levine, Peter. (1997). Waking The Tiger, Healing Trauma. Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books.

Siegel, D. (2007). The Mindful Brain. New York, New York: WW Norton and Company, Inc.

 

Caroline H Leibman, MA Ed, BC-DMT, NCC, SEP
Caroline is a board certified dance/movement therapist, a somatic experiencing practitioner and a nationally certified counselor who holds an MA in Education from Washington University in St. Louis. She completed her graduate work in Dance/Movement Therapy as well as a Professional Diploma in Dance and Movement Studies at the Laban Centre, London, England. She trained in Authentic Movement at the Authentic Movement Institute in Berkeley California, and with Janet Adler, PhD.  Caroline is an adjunct faculty member in the Performing Arts Department at Washington University in St. Louis, teaching in the Somatics Program. Caroline offers a blend of verbal and body-oriented therapies integrating Jungian thought, creative arts therapies, somatic experiencing, and spiritual practices to promote healing and well- being. She has a background in working with issues of trauma, eating disorders, depression/loss, and anxiety. She also works with individuals seeking growth, wellness, and spiritual enrichment.