Cielo House - Best Eating Disorder Treatment Center San Jose
Cielo House offers comprehensive outpatient and inpatient eating disorders treatment.The staff of experts understands desires for the Eating Disorder Treatment as well as affordable options in Moss Beach, Burlingame, San Jose.
At Cielo House were are no strangers to recovery ambivalence. We know all too well the internal tug-of-war between the part of you that actively wants to get better, and the part that isn’t so convinced the gains of recovery outweigh the losses. Not to mention the fact that lasting recovery requires sitting in the uncomfortable mental, emotional and physical place where change takes place …..
At Cielo House were are no strangers to recovery ambivalence. We know all too well the internal tug-of-war between the part of you that actively wants to get better, and the part that isn’t so convinced the gains of recovery outweigh the losses. Not to mention the fact that lasting recovery requires sitting in the uncomfortable mental, emotional, and physical place where change takes place. When motivation wanes, it’s important to have tools in your back pocket that will help motivate you to stay the course. Here are a few to consider: -Make the choice to recover…over and over again.
I have yet to meet a person made a “one-and-done”decision to pursue recovery. In reality, it is something you to choose on a daily basis. It’s easy to give up out of shame, frustration or fatigue. Know that the temptation is perfectly normal, and while you can give in, you don’t have to. Consciously recommit to your goal(s) regardless of what have happened the day before. -Don’t do it alone.
We are designed to live and be in relationship. Seeking external support is vital. Don’t let fear (of being a burden, possible rejection, etc) lead you to isolate. Identify trusted loved ones you feel safe opening up to- it can be hard to feel like they may not ever fully “get”what you are going through, but their support still can be valuable. Connect with others who have been in your position if you can. There’s even a wide breadth of pro-recovery communities and resources online. -Embrace the challenge.
If not embrace it, at least accept it for what it is. More than likely, you’re having to counter-condition yourself away from a way of being that has taken years to become entrenched. By resisting the process or settling for the easy way out, you’re only increasing the time and space between you and your desired outcome. -Consider how you’ll feel if you stick with it.
If you’re at a crossroads, faced with the decision to either give in or keep pushing forward, consider how you’ll feel on the other side of your decision. Giving into your impulse might give you immediate relief, but what about in the long term? Keep in mind, when it comes to recovery and pulling at the weeds which led to the development of the disorder in the first place, the best way “out”is often “through”. -Recognize you have a say in how it goes.
Part of any type of healing and/or recovery involves active engagement on your part. So, to some extent (taking into account circumstances beyond your control) the outcome of this process is up to you. You get to be an active member of the process. Knowing this can be somewhat daunting, but also incredibly empowering. Choose your mindset. Choose to live the way you would if you fully believed you were worth it, and recovery was achievable (because it is!). -Remind yourself why you decided to change in the first place
Perhaps you want to improve your relationships, achieve the quality of life you are capable of, or live a life congruent to your values. Sometimes you need to consider harsher truths, such as the severe impact an eating disorder can have on bone density, heart and other organ functioning, and mental/emotional faculties. These are not fun realities, but eating disorders are serious and life threatening (the most of any mental health condition), even if the evidence is not visible on the outside. -When tempted to give into what you think you’re gaining from your ED, remember everything you’re sacrificing along the way.
It may sound contradictory, but eating disorders can feel like an old friend. They’re familiar and developed for a reason- a way you creatively learned to cope with the need for safety, emotional security, and lovability. But would a true friend tell you to isolate yourself? Sacrifice your values? Tell you you’re only good enough if you keep them around? They served their purpose for you, but they aren’t sustainable. It’s time to let them go, heal the wounds beneath them, and find new ways of coping. Keep these tips in mind, and they will cultivate that magic mental phenomenon we know as motivation.
Makenna Clements, MFT is a Psychotherapist at Cielo House. Using techniques to enhance motivation, and compassion for how difficult that can be sometimes, she works with clients day in and day stay motivated throughout their treatment.
The recent college admissions scandal brought into the spotlight how the “achievement-at -all-cost” mindset is a harmful one for our kids. This mindset, which is imposed on young people in our culture, also has a significant impact in the world eating disorders. At first one might not see how these two phenomena are connected, but the mindset that drives us to reach external …..
The recent college admissions scandal brought into the spotlight how the “achievement-at -all-cost” mindset is a harmful one for our kids. This mindset, which is imposed on young people in our culture, also has a significant impact in the world eating disorders. At first one might not see how these two phenomena are connected, but the mindset that drives us to reach external achievement no matter the cost contributes to the development and maintenance of an eating disorder. The lengths that people went to in order to ensure their child would go to the “right” University, with the best reputation, with the presumed intent of demonstrating externally how successful they are, was astonishing. With eating disorders, the external marker of success is maintaining the “ideal” appearance. And the unfortunate logic that goes into maintaining such an appearance is, ‘I have to look perfect no matter what I have to do. If it means engaging in restricting my food or other eating disorder behaviors, well that end justifies the means.’ This is a dangerous mindset, and one that if the adults in a young person’s life espouse, it is much more likely get transmitted to the child explicitly or implicitly.
Another way in which the college admissions scandal touches the world of eating disorders is that it was a stark demonstration of the excessive amount of pressure placed on teens in general. As humans we can only take so much pressure before our minds starts to find ways to alleviate that pressure. Anxiety is a well-known risk factor and often is at the root of eating disorders. The eating disorder can sometimes be seen as a mis-guided attempt at managing the underlying anxiety. With so much pressure on young people to succeed and achieve, that produces a tremendous amount of anxiety and stress. This is more likely to lead them to engage in behaviors such as eating disorders to alleviate that sense of anxiety. It is also likely to erode a young person’s sense of self-esteem, as they constantly look outwardly for markers indicating they are good enough, successful enough, smart enough etc. Low self-esteem is another common characteristic in individuals with eating disorder, and if the social pressures placed on young people contribute to a sense of low self-esteem, it will contribute to the development of an eating disorder.
So what can you as a parent or a concerned adult do to help reduce the pressure that young people feel? Focus on process versus outcome. When it comes to academic achievement, this would mean focusing on the process of learning instead of on the outcome (the grade). Encourage young people for the effort they put into things versus the outcome those efforts. Collaboration instead of competition: Young people have lots of venues in which they can experience a sense of competition, but not as many in which they can receive the benefits of collaboration. Try to create experiences for young people in which they see that collaboration is important. Experiences such as volunteering, working together as a group, or being part of a larger cause are all instances of collaboration.
Agricultural instead of industrial. The industrial model of child development holds that children are raw material, and if you send them to the right school and teach them the right skills you can shape them into the thing you want them to be: the lawyer, the doctor, etc. The agricultural view is that every child is a seed and if you give it water, sunshine and love (i.e. the basic physical and emotional needs of a child), they will naturally grow to be who they are meant to be. You can’t take a sunflower seed and grow it to become a rose. Similarly, can’t force a child who is meant to be an artist to be an investment banker. A person will be most happy and productive being who they are meant to be. They don’t have to be changed and shaped and molded into what we want them to be.
The college admissions scandal may have been shocking on the one hand, but nor surprising on the other, given the skewed perspective we have and the amount of pressure we place on young people. If we as adults influence them in this way we are doing them and ourselves a great disservice. As we reflect on this latest reminder of the detrimental mindset that we sometimes possess, let’s use this as an opportunity to espouse an alternative view for the wellbeing up the upcoming generation.
Dr. Matt Keck, MFT is the Founder and CEO of Cielo House Comprehensive Eating Disorder treatment. Through the Cielo House Adolescent Treatment Program (CHAT), he works directly with Teens and their families to set standards in life and in recovery that are based on the natural inclinations of each unique individual.
You’re too hard on yourself, and at some level you are probably aware of that. We sometimes think that if we are hard on ourselves we will push ourselves to do better, and thereby become the person we want to be. However, this pattern of critical self-talk often has the opposite effect, and erodes our sense of self, pushing us toward a variety of self-destructive forces…..
You’re too hard on yourself, and at some level you are probably aware of that. We sometimes think that if we are hard on ourselves we will push ourselves to do better, and thereby become the person we want to be. However, this pattern of critical self-talk often has the opposite effect, and erodes our sense of self, pushing us toward a variety of self-destructive forces. An Eating disorder is a complex pathology that often stems from psychological, sociological, cognitive and environmental factors. Although it might be hard to identify when and why the maladaptive thoughts and behaviors around food started, it is clear that people who suffer from an eating disorder are in pain, and they want to find a way to live their life peacefully and heal from emotional wounds. Indeed, clients with an eating disorder often experience anxiety and depression; they suffer from body image issues and insecurities, which are impacting their self-esteem and the way they interact with the world. In other words, behind the food behaviors, different parts of the self that are injured are hiding and are looking for comfort.
One of the ways I have found helpful and extremely powerful to heal the injured parts of the self, is by practicing positive self-talk and being self-compassionate. In order to understand self-compassion, think about how you would talk to a friend who is suffering and asks you for help. Think about how you would respond to a child who needs comfort and reassurance. We are often supportive to others, but when it comes to ourselves we become self-critical and quite judgmental. As Kristin Neff describes it: “Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?”
Self-compassion is something you can practice with your therapist, with a friend or even by yourself. Self-compassion helps us realize that everyone has struggled at a certain time in their life. It can help you be kind with yourself, and help you learn to accept and love yourself for who you are, with your own personality and your own values. Here are three ways you could practice self-compassion:
What are you thankful for about yourself? Think about what you have accomplished during the day and create a list every night before going to bed. Don’t concentrate on what you have not been able to do, or did not get a chance to accomplish, only focus on what you did, and how it impacted your life in a positive way. Remember, some of the best things in life are not things at all, so think about concepts that you are thankful for, or feelings, or people. Gratitude can be extended well beyond the material realm. If you are working toward recovery, think about what you have done during the day that helped you get closer to recovering from your eating disorder.
2) Think about what you would say to a friend:
When friends struggle, when they need to be reassured and comforted, think about what you would say to that person. Would you maybe show empathy and compassion? Write down the sentences and the words you would choose to show love and support to your friends. Perhaps you have even already had this experience, in which you provided support to a friend. You can look back on what you said to that friend during their time of need. Practice using those words for yourself whenever you experience a hardship, or lose confidence in yourself.
3) Practice positive self-talk
Be gentle with yourself, you deserve kindness and love, you are worth it, remember? A great way to practice positive self-talk is by identifying the negative messages that we tell ourselves on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, people suffering from an eating disorder often identify an inner voice constantly criticizing them, and blaming them. By identifying these negative beliefs about ourselves we can learn to counteract these thoughts using logical facts, as well as positive truths in our life. Use positive affirmations everyday, it will help you believe in your abilities, and make positive changes for yourself.
One final thought: when trying to incorporate self-compassion into your daily life and your recovery, you need to be compassionate about your efforts in doing so. It may be challenging to shift your thinking right away, so remember it is a work in progress and be compassionate towards yourself as you strive to introduce more self-compassion into your life.
Elena Covo, Associate MFT is Therapist at Cielo House. She works with clients to find a more compassionate version of themselves, and through that process assists them in finding recovery and establishing the kind of life they truly want to live.
There can be no doubt that what we eat affects our health, and there is a lot of talk in culture about it is important to eat healthily.” As Registered Dietitians, our training is usuallyfocused on how to help people “improve” their diets. In the Dietetics field outside of the Eating Disorder population, this typicallymeans encouraging our clients to reducetheir intakes of some types of foods known….
There can be no doubt that what we eat affects our health, and there is a lot of talk in culture about it is important to eat healthily.” As Registered Dietitians, our training is usuallyfocused on how to help people “improve” their diets. In the Dietetics field outside of the Eating Disorder population, this typicallymeans encouraging our clients to reducetheir intakes of some types of foods known to have negative health consequences when eaten in very large amounts, and instead encouraging foods that are known to offer more beneficial health effects.
But with our ED clients, we often are asked how to find that fine line between “healthy eating” and disordered eating. At what point does a generally healthy eatingorientation become an unhealthy, restrictive obsession? Clients struggling to accept dessertsor other foods that are often given a bad rap in the media, are actually an important part of a healthy, balanced diet.
The trick is in the mindset of the eater. As with many ED behaviors, it’s not necessarily the act of the behavior itself, but the feeling behind it that signals a problem. For example, missing a meal or snack every once in a while because you truly aren’t hungry or just plain forgot isn’t necessarily disordered; that’s real life. On the other hand, skipping a meal or snack because you object to consuming the calories, or because you’re fearful of eating again later, or because you worry that eating will cause weight gain… that’s a different story.
The same is true for the foods you consume in your diet. Choosing to have a reasonable portion of fruits and/or veggies at most meals or snacks is sensible and healthy; it’s a tasty, effective way to meet your body’s needs for micronutrients and fiber. However, feeling a compulsion to have fruits or veggies absolutely every time you eat, feeling guilt or fear when you do not have them, or judging yourself or your meal negatively for including “unhealthy” foods –these are signs of disordered eating.
A key feature of any disordered eating is the amount of time and mental space being occupied by one’s thoughts or actions around food. Dr. Susan Albers, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinicsays, “the biggest red flag … is that you become really consumed – all of your time is about what you eat or what you don’t eat, and the majority of your day is spent thinking about this.”If you become consumed by what your consume, that represents a disorder in your eating.
Another warning sign of excessive “healthiness” is the inability or unwillingness to participate in food-related social activities, such as going out for burgers with friends, having a piece of birthday cake at a party, or going on a lunch outing for work. If your food rules are preventing you from living your life, they aren’t healthy…period.They arealso not likely to be sustainable, either, thus opening up the doorway for guilt, shame, and more disordered eating.
In contrast, honoring one’s genuine food preferences without attaching judgment (e.g. “I really feel like a muffin today with my coffee” vs. “I’m so bad, I shouldn’t be eating this muffin”) is an important way to incorporate those tastier, richer foods naturally into your diet. Having general food valuesthat allow you to enjoy the health benefits of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins without feeling badly for the times when you don’t eat those things is a critical marker.
The safest mantra for a truly healthy diet is “balance, variety, and moderation” – your foods should be roughly balanced across all food groups (grains, proteins, fats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy), include a variety of foods within each food group, and practice moderation in portion sizes and frequency of “treats.” When taking stock of your food attitudes and whether your diet orientation is “healthy,” ask yourself how you feel about the foods that you want to minimize. When it comes to eating healthy, it’s so much about what’s on the plate, it’s about what’s in the mind.
– By Ashlee Gossard, RD
Ashlee Gossard is a Registered Dietitian at Cielo House. She helps clients work with what they put on their plate and in their mind, to find a functional balance of nutrition that provides what their body needs.
At the beginning of every new year, many people across the globe fall into the trap of New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions, which are usually imprecise, lofty are a trap because they lack many of the necessary elements to make these goals achievable. In fact, many resolution-makers have probably already fallen astray of their resolutions by this point in the year. This is no fault of their own, it is the nature….
At the beginning of every new year, many people across the globe fall into the trap of New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions, which are usually imprecise, lofty are a trap because they lack many of the necessary elements to make these goals achievable. In fact, many resolution-makers have probably already fallen astray of their resolutions by this point in the year. This is no fault of their own, it is the nature of New Year’s resolutions that don’t adequately set a person up for success. This year, instead of setting a New Year’s resolution, how about coming up with Annual Plan. An Annual Plan is a commonly-utilized tool in the business world to help set an organization on a specific path for the upcoming year. This method has applications well beyond the business world, and if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to recover from disordered eating or to improve your relationship with food, an annual plan will serve you much better than a New Year’s resolution. Businesses use an annual plan frequently to lay out the various things they hope to accomplish and the ways in which they plan to do so throughout the year. At first glance, a year might seem like a long time to set for a goal, but especially when you’re dealing with a serious condition such as an eating disorder or a significant area of your life such as your relationship with food, then a year really is a drop in the bucket. A year also gives you adequate time to make changes and implement them into your life, and to solidify them so you know they are not just a flash in the pan. Here are some elements of what could go into a successful annual recovery plan.
Objective Measurable Goals
Goals have to have measurable outcomes in order for a person to know whether those goals are being attained. For example, if a New Year’s resolution is to spend more time with one’s family, it would be preferable to set a goal that has objective, quantifiable language. For example, a similar goal on an Annual Plan would be stated as, “Spend an average of 4 hours per week doing family activities”, or “Institute a weekly family outing, and ensure it takes place 85% of the time”. These goals allow you to keep track of your progress, and keep you anchored to specific behaviors that are part of your goal.
Track your progress
Since you now have goals that lend themselves to produce actual data, you will need a system of tracking your progress. There are numerous apps that can assist a person in tracking all kinds of data, or a good old-fashioned annual calendar or a journal can do the trick. Try to institute a tradition, whereby at the end of the day, or first thing in the morning, you take 1 minute to track your progress. In the aforementioned goal, this would involve just notating how much time you spent with your family that day. Through the process of tracking your progress, other useful information is likely to surface, such as taking note that your family generally prefers watching a movie together, as opposed to playing Monopoly. This auxiliary data allows you to make decisions about the goal-oriented actions that are more likely to yield the kind of results you want.
Set Timeframes for review
While the term “Quarterly Review” often evokes some anxiety in the working world, it is a useful mechanism to ensure that goals are on track for attainment. If you set markers for your goals, it also enables you to “ramp up” to the level you want. For instance, perhaps your goal for the first 3 months of the year is to get to 2 hours of family time per week. When you review your goals at the end of the first 3 months, you will get a good sense of what is working, and what could be improved upon. If your progress is not quite on the track you were hoping for, no cause for alarm, just make some adjustments to target over the next 3 months. At the next review period, you can see if those efforts yielded the changes you were hoping for, or re-evaluate things from there. A year is plenty of time to make any needed adjustments and to see your actions start to form the kinds of positive habits you are hoping to create.
We all need incentives in order to stay motivated, and your annual plan should have an incentive at the end of year, when you obtain your goal. Pick an incentive that is related to your goal and one that does justice to the magnitude of your accomplishment. You will have spent an entire year working towards your goal and you deserve to be rewarded. Using the previous example of increasing family time, planning an epic family vacation for the end of the year would be a great motivator, and it might also encourage other members of your family to get on board with your goals. An external motivator can not only fill in the gaps when your own internal motivation is waning, but it can bring other people into your effort to support you.
An Annual Plan doesn’t have to be an elaborate document, it can be something you draft up free-form. However, there are also many excellent templates for Annual Plans available for free on the internet and you can utilize or edit plans that others have created to assist in making this year one in which you accomplish the goals that are meaningful to you.
Dr. Matt Keck is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cielo House. He works with clients on establishing and attaining their recovery and personal goals, year after year.