We Will Meet You Here – Brittany Gilchrist
Brittany Gilchrist, primary clinician of Eating Recovery Center, the Woodlands, gave a talk at a recent fundraising event for the ERC Foundation. She spoke concerning the importance of caring for family members and caretakers as they support loved ones with eating disorders. Brittany shared her thoughts, saying,
“For us, as treatment professionals, these are our ordinary days, but for the families and individuals entering treatment these are some of their most abnormal days. It’s important that we meet them there.”
Today on the blog, Brittany expands on that idea:
Think of the journey that many take simply to enter the front doors of Eating Recovery Center. Patients and their families have already cried, prayed, fought, done their own online research (which everyone knows can be terrifying), and felt despair.
Patients may have already seen other professionals. They may have had to mourn the “easy” life they thought they would have. And now — after all of these intense experiences — this is where we meet them.
I love my office and I love the team with whom I get to work. I believe in the work that we do and I respect the families who trust us to do it.
I believe that a piece of my heart is often left in our offices. However, I recognize that our offices often do not automatically feel like home; they may not automatically feel safe to individuals who are in seasons of life characterized by little that feels homey and safe.
This is the paradox in which we, as clinicians, choose to live our lives. So much of our job is working to let people know that we are in this journey with you; we are present even in the toughest days. Walking through the days with you is a privilege, and one that we will treat with the utmost care.
Caring for patients means caring for their whole family and their whole story. It means caring for all THAT brought them in and all WHO brought them in.
And while my office may never feel like home, I believe compassion changes things. Compassion can make unsafe things feel safe and tough days feel manageable.
Compassion is a necessary part of healing – no matter what a person is going through. In these initial days of treatment, I hope that we can always offer a place of compassion, strength, patience, and grace.
Brittany Gilchrist is a clinician at Eating Recovery Center, The Woodlands.
Donations to the ERC Foundation allow for increased awareness and training in order to support individuals with eating disorders, families, caregivers, and treating professionals.