Spotlight on Recovery: Staff Profile with Llyndsey Reese
Llyndsey Reese, MSW, Clinical Manager of Adult Residential and Partial Hospitalization Services at Eating Recovery Center, shares her passion for working with the eating disordered population as she says, “I love watching the transformation that can occur when our patients really open their hearts to the recovery process.”
1. What is your role at Eating Recovery Center? (also mention how long you’ve worked for ERC and the different roles you’ve had)
I have been with Eating Recovery Center for over four years and have worked in several roles, across several programs during my time here. My current role at ERC is as Clinical Manager of the Pine Program, helping manage clinical teams who support adults in both residential and partial hospitalization levels of care. Previously, I was a Primary Clinician in the Adult Partial program, and prior to that I was a Milieu Coordinator in Adult Partial and Inpatient programs.
2. What inspired you to become involved in the treatment of eating disorders?
I spent many years working in community mental health prior to Eating Recovery Center. Working with adults with a variety of severe and persistent mental illnesses, I often felt discouraged that my patients did not get the care I felt they deserved. I had heard about ERC in that it was an innovative and well-managed facility, better resourced to provide the care people deserve. Despite the fact that I had very little experience with eating disorders, I was pleased that not only did ERC meet and exceed all of my expectations as an organization, but that I also fell in love with the patients we treat. Specializing in eating disorders has been the best happy-accident of my career!
3. What is your favorite or most rewarding part of your job?
Watching patients’ growth and change throughout their time here. It is incredible to observe the resilience, determination, and strength our patients access that they had no idea they had! I love watching the transformation that can occur when our patients really open their hearts to the recovery process.
4. What is the most challenging part of your job?
Observing first hand, day in and day out, how suffocating and demanding these disorders are. It is truly painful to watch others suffer so profoundly.
5. What is one piece of advice you would give to individuals in recovery?
Be patient and keep going! This process will take more time and energy than you can imagine. Don’t create deadlines or over-focus on time frames as the time it takes to heal is never predictable. Treat your recovery like the most important investment you will ever make. Nothing is more valuable than having a meaningful life so be willing to give recovery all the time it demands.
6. What do you feel Eating Recovery Center offers to support “lasting recovery”?
If patience is one of the most important ingredients to recovery-then the strength of ERC is our willingness to support that. The staff at ERC is of the most competent, compassionate, and capable I have ever known. Your team will ALWAYS be patient with your process-in whatever form it takes for you. This patience extends far beyond your time in care with us. Treatment is only a part of the recovery journey-we are invested in your journey as a whole.
7. Tell us about PHP/IOP. How do you feel PHP/IOP is beneficial in eating disorder recovery, and life after treatment?
I believe PHP and IOP are crucial levels of care providing a high level of education, therapy, medical support, and peer connection while allowing patients greater exposure to the valued life they strive for. It is a great opportunity to access a higher level of individualized care and exposure therapy.
8. Any additional information you would like to share? Interesting helpful tidbits or perspectives to share? Inspiring stories or experiences in working with patients?
My hope is that providers, survivors, support systems and those currently battling eating disorders will use their voice, share their story, or provide education to those who are misinformed about eating disorders . There is a high level of stigma and shame attached to living with an eating disorder. In my experience, shame is one of the most prevalent barriers for people seeking the level of care that they need. Talk to your neighbors, your families, your co-workers and any one else who will listen! Be willing to spread awareness to help minimize shame and secrecy so that someone will be empowered to seek treatment!