Calling All CreatorsDecember 7th, 2017

"Calling All Creators" is the mantra of a recent Adidas advertising campaign featured on sports networks this holiday season. These words deeply resonate with me, and remind me how important creativity is in pursuing life to the fullest. 

Four years ago, my life's journey became clear. My path was to create Fairhaven Treatment Center – a place of healing for women with eating disorders. 

Fairhaven would be unique. Our treatment team would recognize the importance of symptom control, while acknowledging that treating symptoms alone is not enough. We would go beyond ED behaviors and address their underlying causes. We would sharpen our attunement skills and approach each client with genuine compassion – the kind of compassion that helps our clients boldly find the boundaries of their comfort zone. We would create an environment of emotional safety that would give our clients the courage to unburden the trauma in their lives. Our clients would be equipped to use their treatment experience as a bridge to forming secure attachments in the "real" world. 

In full creative disclosure, one does not wake up one day and start an eating disorders program. In truth, life prepares you for this journey. Academic commitment creates the foundation. Passion creates the vision. Synchronicity creates the opportunity. 

While pursuing my PhD, I became fascinated by the creative process – particularly with scientists and researchers advancing their work. Like many of our clients, for me, the cognitive part comes easy – and helped me build the foundation while earning my degrees. But cognitive skills are not where the true healing occurs. Instead, it starts with being fully present and connecting with genuine compassion in a shared human experience. 

Recovery from an eating disorder should be more than a cognitive exercise – more than statistics and objective behavioral measures. Although these are important for many reasons, recovery is so much more than that. A life worth living includes the ability to connect with others, radical self-compassion, genuine and secure life-long attachments, and glorious hope for the future. Often, these qualities do not come easily – least of all for those struggling with unresolved trauma and attachment injuries. 

Fairhaven was created with a vision to address both the cognitive work of symptom control and the somatic work vital to unburdening the emotional injury that often precedes it. By calling on the creator within each of our clients, Fairhaven helps them to build an identity independent from their eating disorder – and reclaim their joy in life. 

Teri McCann, PhD, LP, CEDS
Founder and Executive Clinical Director
Fairhaven Treatment Center

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