A Letter From Our Founder
Mary Tantillo PhD PMHCNS-BC FAED
We can best support a loved one with the eating disorder by never closing the door on the possibility of connection with that person. We cannot fully control whether the sufferer will walk through that door and accept our invitation to connect and work together in recovery. This is especially true of adults who suffer with the illness, but is also true to a certain extent with adolescents. Parents/guardians of adolescents have a responsibility to ensure their child receives treatment, even if it is by objection. However, bringing our loved ones to treatment does not automatically mean they are ready to partner with us for recovery. While we can't control an adult's or adolescent's decision to partner with us for recovery, we can greatly influence this decision by being available and willing to answer the knock at the door, when the person has accepted our invitation.
It is difficult to watch a loved ones struggle and wait for them to accept this invitation. Therefore, carers need to always attend to their own needs and feelings as they bear witness to the recovery process of others. We are no good to those who need our care, if we do not care for ourselves. We best support those we love when we attend to our own needs and feelings and nurture our own connections with ourselves and others in the world. The illness causes stress and strain for patient, family, and friends because it hopes to create disconnection, conflict, and isolation. The best thing we can do is fight back by strengthening all our connections - physical, emotional, and spiritual. This approach helps the patient do the same. The illness needs to be sent away and by standing together as personal and professional carers, we help the patient experience the courage and confidence to do this. The staff and I at The Healing Connection are committed to working in partnership with you to accomplish this task.
Participation of family members and friends is critical to ongoing recovery and relapse prevention. Supporting your loved one through recovery can be challenging, confusing, and at times, frustrating. The resources noted on our Resources web page are provided to address common questions and concerns faced by the family and friends of patients. We also have website pages for Patients, Families and Friends and Providers that address frequently asked questions. For immediate information on treatment at The Healing Connection, please contact our office manager at 585-641-0281.