We had an amazing Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2020!

This year’s theme was “Come As You Are: Hindsight is 20-20,” so we decided to focus our efforts on the importance of insight. Insight is a gift we receive with increased self-awareness and the opportunity to step back with unbiased eyes to see a more panoramic view of a situation. Check out what this years’ theme meant to us!

Lighting the Path to Eating Disorder Recovery

All of Walden (both patients and clients) participated in an activity that we felt provided an appropriate visual representation of our mission, People Helping People. We were blown away by the valuable information we garnered from our brilliant and reflective clients. They were thrilled to share their experiences and the lessons they’ve learned along the way to encourage other people to seek the eating disorder support they need and deserve.
For the activity, clients wrote on paper ‘footprints’ the important ‘steps’ they have taken in their healing journeys. Footprints were then placed on the floor to create a ‘path to recovery’ for future patients from people who’ve ‘been there.’
Clinicians and care teams were also involved and decorated luminaries (white paper bags) with how they support their patients – this ranged from motivational quotes or their favorite DBT skills to helpful mantras. We then placed tea lights inside the paper bags to ‘light the path’ to recovery. Below is what our talented and insightful teams came up with.

Mindfulness and Enzo-Making

Adolescents at our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for eating disorders in Waltham, MA, took part in a mindfulness and awareness activity involving the creation of an Enzo.
In Zen mindfulness, the Enzo (or Enso) is practiced as a form of drawing and calligraphy and is meant to represent a variety of important themes in life. These include returning to one’s true self, accepting imperfection, impermanence, and the idea of coming “full-circle” – but without fully closing the circle. In some depictions, the circle is the darkest and most layered at the furthest point from the apparent start and end and becomes more transparent as it moves forward.
The Enzo is also used to represent the concepts of infinity, completeness & incompleteness, oneness, personal development, and the idea of a form and void. It also explains the concept of closure and openness being interdependent and therefore defined by each other. In Walden’s Adolescent IOP, these ideas come up frequently in the context of acceptance and change, and the dialectical nature of moving forward, back, and then further ahead at various points in life. This activity is particularly helpful in helping clients explore their own identities and what it means to be at ease with oneself.

Other Fun Eating Disorder Awareness Week Activities!

In addition to the organized Walden-wide activities, our patients and staff went above and beyond to make EDAW 2020 their own. We are so proud of our community of support and continue to be inspired by the outpouring of thoughtfulness and empathy from patients and care teams.
Here at Walden, we are steadfast in our commitment to providing equal access to affirming care for all individuals impacted by eating disorders. Our diverse patient population reflects our passion and expertise in ensuring that ‘no person is left behind.’
We want our patients and their families to know that no matter who they are, how they identify, what they look like, or where they are in their recovery journeys, that here at Walden, they will find a welcoming, inclusive and compassionate place to heal.
To us, “Come As You Are” isn’t just an EDAW theme; it’s the way we present ourselves, care for our patients, and validate experiences that are too often minimized by ignorance and stigma.
We are so grateful to have such a passionate and dedicated team who are fearless advocates for our patients and for the advancement of eating disorder treatment and support. You all are amazing…just as you are.