I worked as the Eating Disorder Group Specialist in the Eating Disorder Clinic as well as a Mental Health Specialist in a residential setting. As an EDGS, I conducted Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Art Therapy to individuals and groups suffering from Anorexia and Bulimia. Through observation, experience, reading, classes, seminars, conferences and education, I learned about the signs, symptoms, causes and treatment of eating disorders.I found it rewarding to work with adolescents and adults with eating disorders and to witness their growth and recover. I enjoyed my co-workers and appreciated their reliability and support. The hardest part of the job was working under a supervisor who could not provide constructive criticism, who was unpredictable and who had different rules/standards than the Eating Disorder Medical Director. The most enjoyable part of my job was working alongside the Eating Disorder Medical Director who was an incredible educator and mentor (unfortunately she resigned). Witnessing the growth and recovery of patients was the most fulfilling part of my job.
A typical day as a Mental Health Specialist would include conducting groups, administering vitals, weights and EKGS, checking on patients, taking patients to support groups such as AA, educating patients on Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills, art Therapy and providing therapeutic support. Through observation, experience, classes and education, I learned more specifically about mental illness, symptoms, causes and treatment. My supervisor was an exceptional manager who supported, encouraged and appreciated the work done with patients. He was flexible, understanding and provided clear standards and rules to follow. He had faith in his employees and expressed his gratitude daily. My co-workers were incredible team players, who supported, participated and educated one another when needed. The most rewarding part of this job was witnessing a patient (who was hopeless and confused) when arriving, to a patient who (has a clear diagnosis, medication management and therapy support) has joy and clarity about himself and his life.