Finding and Refining Your Values: Taking Recovery to the Next Level

This is a guest post by Olivia Knieff, sharing her real-life experience navigating recovery from an eating disorder.


Do you know what in life is important to you?  The things that initially come to mind probably include family and friends, pets (or in my case, furbabies), maybe even a prized possession or social cause.  But why are those things important?  Are they meeting a need that lines up with your values?  Maybe you value justice, and volunteer with a group that promotes equality in your community.  Perhaps taking risks is important to you, so you continually push the bounds of your comfort zone.  Our values serve us by acting as a compass for our behavior. It is important to know what our core values are in order live the lives we want. Continue reading “Finding and Refining Your Values: Taking Recovery to the Next Level”

So You Have an Eating Disorder, Now What? A Practical Guide to Finding an ED-Savvy Dietician

This is a guest post by Olivia Knieff, sharing her real-life experience navigating recovery from an eating disorder.  

When I was diagnosed with an eating disorder in the spring of 2014, my medical practitioner gave me two recommendations:

  1. Find a psychologist who specializes in eating disorder treatment.
  2. Find a dietician who specializes in intuitive eating.  (If you’re thinking, “intuitive what?!” you can find more information here).  

My head was spinning, but I kept these suggestions in mind and began my search with the help of my dear friend, Google.

Starting the Search

Finding a psychologist whose areas of expertise fit my needs was relatively easy because of reputable sites like Psychology Today.  However, I quickly got lost in a sea of self-proclaimed “health coaches” and “wellness experts” when I searched for a dietician. From the work I’d already begun doing with my psychologist, I was learning that “diet mentality” (those big promises of a better life with just a few less pounds and inches) was something I needed to avoid in order to progress in recovery. Continue reading “So You Have an Eating Disorder, Now What? A Practical Guide to Finding an ED-Savvy Dietician”

4 Ways to Reconnect To Your Soul By Writing Letters

Given our ability to send correspondence in the blink of an eye, why should we bother with handwritten letters anymore?

Writing has become a ritual for me.  I send letters to my close family, friends, and relatives.  I write letters that I never send. I write letters when I feel inspired or sad or bored.   I write letters when I need to feel connection – to myself or to others.  I write letters when I need to remind myself of the beauty in the world, or to articulate the pain I see.  I write letters as a means to slow down my thoughts and process the world around me.   Continue reading “4 Ways to Reconnect To Your Soul By Writing Letters”

Self-Help Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight

Is this popular self-help book worth giving a f*ck about?

I am a self-professed, unashamed self-help book junkie.

There, I said it.

I read my first self-help book when I was 16.  I didn’t fully realize at the time, but this was my introduction to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy–now a therapeutic approach I use with most clients.  I’ve been hooked ever since. Continue reading “Self-Help Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight”

The Value of Therapy

What is your best life worth to you?

Let’s be honest — sometimes it can be hard to pay for therapy.

How often do you tell your friend or co-worker the following:   “I’m going to the gym today,” “I got a pedicure,” “I went to church/spiritual practice this weekend,” “I had all day to myself to relax,” or “I took a sick day.”

We say this daily to friends, acquaintances, coworkers, and store clerks without batting an eye. Continue reading “The Value of Therapy”

3 Ways To Put Your Brain In Its Place

Don’t believe everything you think.

“I am so worthless.  I suck at everything, especially my job, relationships, keeping my car clean and letting my nail polish dry before I leave the house.”

Does this feel familiar?  Your mind spewing at you an endless litany of ways you fall short in life?  What can you do when this is happening? Continue reading “3 Ways To Put Your Brain In Its Place”

The Only App You Need If You Are In Recovery For An Eating Disorder (And It’s Free!)

If you are in recovery for an eating disorder, you probably know that it takes constant accountability and support to stay on track.  But what if you only attend therapy once or twice a week?  How can you be held accountable and receive support in between? Continue reading “The Only App You Need If You Are In Recovery For An Eating Disorder (And It’s Free!)”

4 Ways To Have A Body Positive (or Body Neutral) Summer

Every time I see a magazine showcasing how to “get a bikini body in 4 weeks” or lose weight for summer, I want to burn it. Not just hold a lighter to the edge, but to create a magnificent bonfire of body-shaming magazines and calmly watch them go up in flames.

Does this fantasy seem extreme?  Perhaps the imagery is, but the sentiment is not.  I am continually outraged how our society, culture, and media tells us only certain types of bodies (generally thin, cis-gender, and white) are allowed to be seen and showcased.   Body-shaming media perpetuates the kind of toxicity which breeds low self-esteem, body image issues and disordered eating in our population.  Unfortunately, the messages amplify in months leading up to summer.   Continue reading “4 Ways To Have A Body Positive (or Body Neutral) Summer”