The National Eating Disorder Association will be having the annual NEDA Walk on April 10th, 2021. This year will be a virtual walk event to help provide a safe way to interact during the pandemic, but you can still get involved by hosting or joining a virtual team or making a financial contribution.
Per NEDA, 30 million Americans suffer from an Eating Disorder and the NEDA Walk is a great way to increase awareness and access to recovery. It is likely that you know someone in your live who is suffering from an Eating Disorder, and the NEDA walk can be a great way to show your support for your loved one and their recovery journey. If you are a person who is suffering from an Eating Disorder, know that there is help out there and that you deserve care and support in your recovery journey.
TheraCare Wellness is participating in the NEDA Walk this year and would love to have you join our team. We are a team of Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Therapists, Registered Dietitians, and Acupuncturists that want to help raise awareness to the Eating Disorder Recovery process. You can join our team or make a financial contribution by going here: http://neda.nationaleatingdisorders.org/goto/theracarewellness
We had the opportunity to chat with Joan DeFilippo, Director of Fundraising and Community Engagement at The National Eating Disorder Association, this week about the NEDA Walk. The year for the NEDA walk, individuals can create their own team, fundraise as individuals or as team members, or donate a financial contribution. There are also many volunteer opportunities if a financial contribution is not accessible for some.
Because this year the walk will not be in person, NEDA will be offering a live zoom session on April 10th at 11 AM PST and will include guest speakers, an MC, a musical performance, and a photo booth. Many people are choosing to meet as a family in the safety of their homes, or safely social distance to be able to engage with loved ones. After the zoom meeting, participants will have the option to walk a mile. For some participants, exercise might be restricted due to their individualized movement plan and needs, so folks are being encouraged to explore with their treatment team or providers if they are cleared for this level of movement.
If you would like to get involved with volunteer opportunities, you can reach NEDA via email at email@example.com Volunteers are needed and can help out by calling participants and reaching out to past participants, posting on social media, or even creating their own recovery journey videos to raise awareness. When someone has a story to tell, their story may impact others and raise awareness to the help that NEDA can provide.
March is National Social Work Month, and this year, the National Association of Social Workers has chosen the theme of Social Workers are Essential. What do you think of when you hear the term “social worker?” It is a phrase we all have heard and yet there are some misconceptions about what a Social Worker is and does.
A Social Worker is a Master’s level clinician who specializes in helping people. Many social workers work for the county, providing services to youth and families who need support and mental health care. Some work in hospitals, correctional facilities and schools. Many social workers provide therapy services and work in private practice or treatment settings. Some provide leadership in organizations through Programs, Clinical, Operations or as Directors.
Social workers can work during their graduate degree program as Trainees, pre-licensed as Associates, or become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Some may even go on to provide supervision to Trainees and Associates.
For National Social Work Month, we took the opportunity to interview our own staff member, Alicia Dominguez, Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Alicia specializes in working with individuals in repairing their relationships with others or themselves.
Alejandra: What led you to the field of social work? Tell us about your journey of becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
Alicia: I was always interested in psychology and studying people’s behaviors and emotions. I thought I wanted to become a psychologist. During my undergrad program, I heard two speakers who graduated from USC’s School of Social Work and they were doing work that I wanted to do! That’s when I decided to pursue social work and I ended up going to USC like those speakers.
Alejandra: What type of work does a Licensed Clinical Social Worker do? What makes the field of social work so essential in your experience?
Alicia: The great thing about social work is that it is so versatile. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker does not just “take away kids” (I used to believe that!). LCSWs can provide services in community clinics, private practice, group practice, schools, County agencies, etc. Our services range from case management to mental health therapy. We can also do macro-level work, such as program development, and public policy and advocacy. In my journey to become a social worker, I was trained to see an issue on an individual level as well as on a community and societal level.
Alejandra: What types of populations benefit from working with a Licensed Clinical Social Worker? What populations do you personally like to work with the most?
Alicia: Any person or agency would benefit greatly from working with a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and having a LCSW on their team. I have worked with so many populations, all age groups, in a variety of settings. I tend to have a “systems” mindset, so I am really drawn to problems that are impacting an individual’s personal relationships and other areas of their life, such as work, school, social, physical health, etc.
Alejandra: What do you wish the world knew more about the field of social work? What myths about social workers have you encountered that you wish people would become more informed on?
Alicia: I definitely want people to know that social workers don’t just take kids away from their parents. In fact, many social workers support family reunification. We provide emotional support, resources, and advocate for our clients. Social workers also follow a strict Code of Ethics to ensure they are providing the best care possible for their clients.
Alejandra: What guidance would you give to a person who is starting on their journey to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker? Is this feedback that was given to you when you were starting on your journey, or is this something that you wish you knew when you were starting your journey?
Alicia: I would encourage a new social worker to be open to any opportunities. I was encouraged to do the same, but I didn’t really understand it until I was working in the field. I ended up working in settings and with populations that I never thought I would, and ended up enjoying it! We may start our journey with one passion, but find new ones along the way.
TheraCare Wellness would like to extend a big thank you to Alicia and all Social Workers this National Social Work Month, and all year long. Social Workers are a necessary part of the mental health field and have impacted the lives of many individuals and families in a positive way. If you are interested in making a difference in the lives of others, the field of social work may be for you.
To learn more about Alicia and her services with Theracare Wellness, check out her bio: https://theracarewellness.com/team/alicia-dominguez-lcsw/
– Alejandra Rose, LMFT
Meditation can be a deeply spiritual practice for many. Whether we connect with a meditation or yoga class, through an app on our phones, or in therapy, meditation can invoke a spiritual experience. There are many forms of meditation, and meditation can look different based on which culture the practice stems from. It can also be uniquely personalized and tailed to the individual’s experience.
Guided Visualization can include anything that feels soothing, peaceful, or healing. Sometimes Guided Visualizations may include looking within the Self to uncover deeper truths or unresolved hurts that need healing. Guided Visualizations can also offer safety, a healthy form of escape, and hope for the future. A regular meditation practice can promote emotional regulation, mindfulness and balance, and a way to fulfill spiritual needs.
One form of Guided Visualization is a Safe Space Visualization. This includes visualizing in the mind’s eye a safe space; this can be some place the person has been before, a place they have always wanted to go, or some place that is completely imaginary but is created specifically for the purpose of providing safety to the person. It might be a space that relates to a spiritual experience one has had in their life. This place might include a protector, or even their higher power, that aid the person in feeling safe. A Safe Space Visualization may include utilizing all five senses to connect with the safety of the space. There may also be a form of ritual included that the person could practice in their safe space. This form of visualization can be powerful in healing trauma, soothing anxiety, and quieting negative self-talk.
Another form of Guided Visualization is a Manifestation Visualization. This includes identifying goals, hopes for the future, or desires that the person wants to invite into their life. The person can visualize in their mind’s eye that they have attained whatever it is they are trying to manifest. They can observe how their life might be different, how their needs might be met, how they would feel, and how they would interact with the people in their life and the world. An element of prayer can also be utilized in this type of meditation to practice faith and increase feelings of hope. This form of visualization can be powerful in gaining insight to the direction we want our lives to go in.
Guided Visualizations may also include Chakra work. The Chakras are spiritual centers within the body and include The Root Chakra (base of the spine), The Sacral Chakra (lower abdomen), The Solar Plexus Chakra (upper abdomen), The Heart Chakra (center of the chest), The Throat Chakra (throat), The Third Eye Chakra (the space between the eyes), and the Crown Chakra (top of the head). This may also include some Affirmation work to heal each Chakra (such as “I am grounded” for The Root Chakra or “I speak my truth” for The Throat Chakra or “I connect with my Higher Power” for The Crown Chakra). It is important that when we practice meditation, we honor the culture and heritage that we borrow this practice from. By learning about Chakras, we can practice this honoring. This form of visualization can be powerful in fostering connection between spiritual experience in the body as well as empowering body acceptance.
Guided Visualization allows us to not only get in touch with out intuition, but also with our Inner Child and the Inner Child’s natural predilection for creativity. Another form of Guided Visualization is to connect with the Inner Child. This might include interacting with the Inner Child in a safe space, as your current age self, assuming the role of the protector. It might include visualizing a painful childhood memory a rewriting the memory by imagining that your current age self, your protector, or your Higher Power intervene in some way and save the inner child from pain. This type of visualization can be powerful in healing trauma or unresolved pain from childhood.
If you are interested in experiencing a Guided Visualization Meditation focusing on healing the Inner Child, please join us on 2/25/21 at 7 PM for a meditation practice specifically targeted at this type of healing. We offer a 30-minute Guided Meditation Class every week on Thursday’s at 7 PM for $15. We would love to hold space for you while you practice this deeply healing experience.
– Alejandra Rose, LMFT