I am thrilled to welcome Alexcia Gutierrez as a guest blogger this week. Alexcia is a student at Florida State College at Jacksonville, and was assigned to reach out to a local mental health agency to learn more about their services. Luckily she chose The Body Image Counseling Center!
25 January 2018
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Mental Health Agency Visit: The Body Image Counseling Center
Why did I choose The Body Image Counseling Center for my assignment? To be completely honest, I was intrigued with their website and the services they offered. A quick google search yields positive reviews, many publications, and praise for the clinical director, Lori Osachy, MSS, LCSW and her staff.
The small and intimate staff are quite knowledgeable in their respective fields. The featured blog on the website shows dedication to passing on knowledge and education freely in the hopes of bettering the lives of patients and loved ones.
Nestled into a quiet neighborhood of San Marco, just off the main road, you’ll find The Body Image Counseling Center in a converted house. With much of the older neighborhoods’ charm intact, this small office is inviting and comforting as soon as you walk in.
Furniture is welcoming, like you’ve walked into your neighbor’s living room to sit and have tea. The waiting area is clean and home-like.
Offices are quiet and well lit. The flood of sunlight is a welcome difference in contrast with hard lighting and dingy office furniture that you might find in a local clinic. For those struggling with an eating disorder, this is certainly the opposite of uncomfortable and sterile inpatient or hospital waiting rooms to which many are accustomed.
Lori was warm and welcoming. She openly shared knowledge and information openly and gave me the impression that the staff truly care about everyone they help. Going above and beyond with services like home visits and telehealth this center is an excellent resource our community is lucky to have.
Lori Osachy, MSS, LCSW specializes in a focused approach to solve problems and cope with life stressors by challenging the individual with homework assignments and personal responsibility. Emergency parent coaching is designed to help parents who’ve just been made aware of a child’s eating disorder. A recent diagnosis or hospitalization can leave parents overwhelmed and feeling lost or helpless. Emergency parent coaching will address any issues and answer many of questions a parent may have.
Nutrition counseling is just one part of the team approach to eating disorder recovery. Trained nutritionist Elizabeth Lagasse, RD/N specializes in eating disorder recovery to help clients address distorted thoughts and fears surrounding eating and nutrition, and helps clients learn more about nutrition and healthy/unhealthy habits.
A full range of support is available to anyone suffering through an eating disorder.
A team approach is used to provide a comprehensive approach similar to what you’d get in an inpatient setting while remaining in the comfort of your natural environment and surroundings.
Treatment often includes the help of all four clinicians staffed at The Body Image Counseling Center.
Help is offered not only to the individual but for parents and loved ones.
Lori is also a skilled couples counselor. Through webinars, blog posts, and personalized couples counseling courses, she helps couples learn the basics of healthy relationships, strengthening and empowering couples to make the decision to stay and fix or move on and grow. She counsels couples wanting to make their relationship stronger, those on the edge of divorce, and those that are just unsure.
I would recommend a friend, family member, or client alike to this agency for so many reasons. I feel confident that at The Body Image Counseling Center clients are going to get personalized care tailored to suit their needs.
I would also feel confident that I was not sending someone to an overworked, understaffed, or underfunded facility where the client would just be another number, most importantly.
This would absolutely be an agency that I would love to work for, intern for, or volunteer for. To be given the opportunity to make such a personal difference in other’s lives would be a gift. Though this center focuses and markets itself as an eating disorder center, they serve a variety of clients and issues.
As Borst states in the text, Social Work and Health Care Policy Practice and Professionalism, “Social workers are professionally trained to provide services that are based on patient empowerment and the strength perspective,” no truer statement could be said about the services of The Body Image Counseling Center.
According to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), the last two decades have seen unprecedented growth among eating disorders yet research into the topic is largely under-funded, coverage for treatment is simply inadequate, and societal pressures on body image remain rampant (NEDA, 2018).
Clinicians like those who work at The Body Image Counseling Center strive to make a difference in the lives of many, helping as many as 25 to 50 patients overcome eating disorders each year, countless over Lori’s 25 years of experience.
The Body Image Counseling Center not only works to help those struggling with eating disorders, but their two Board Certified Behavioral Analysts and their Registered Dietician work together to help Lori take on clients who need a range of services from helping those with co-occurring disorders (eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, anxiety, depression) to parents who are in search of services to better their parenting skills and coping mechanisms, parents struggling with children who have feeding disorders, those needing nutritional counseling, couples counseling, and more.
The value of centers like these is immeasurable for our communities and society at large.
Role of Mental Health Programs in the Community. (n.d.). Retrieved January 27, 2018, from https://www.onlinepsychologydegrees.com/articles/role-of-mental-health-programs/
General Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved January 28, 2018, from https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/general-statistics
O'Dea, J. A., & Abraham, S. (2000, May 02). Improving the body image, eating attitudes, and behaviors of young male and female adolescents: A new educational approach that focuses on self‐esteem. Retrieved January 28, 2018, from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/(SICI)1098-108X(200007)28:1%3C43::AID-EAT6%3E3.0.CO;2-D/full
Borst, J. (2010). Social Work and Health Care Policy, Practice, and Professionalism. Pearson Education. Print.