Strong Body-Strong Mind | Eating Disorder Support Group | Fall Schedule

Sliding fee scale available if needed.

See Fall schedule below.

Please contact Pacific MFT Network directly for information on joining!

www.pacificmft.com

Fall ED Tribe Schedule

Fall Session I

Tuesdays 430-6PM

Sep 6th

Sep 13th

Sep 20th

2 week break

Fall Session II

Tuesdays 430-6 PM

Oct 11th

Oct 18th

Oct 25th

Nov 1st

Nov 8th

Nov 15th

1 week break

Fall Session III / Holiday Session

Tuesday 430-6PM

Nov 29th

Dec 6th

Dec 13th

Dec 20th

SquadTalk & Brunch Girls Group! (Pacific MFT Network)

New girls brunch group in Manhattan Beach! Details below. #squadgoals

New girls brunch group in Manhattan Beach! Details below. #squadgoals

Come hang with the girls and:

When: Sundays at 10:00am, BEGINNING July 17th, for 6 weeks

Where: Pacific MFT Network, 1230 Rosecrans Avenue, Manhattan Beach, CA

How much: $45/session - includes breakfast, coffee, and tea.

Now what: Call or text Pacific MFT Network at (310)-226-2826 for more information*

*Squad Talk and Brunch is a closed anxiety process group for women between the ages of 17 and 24 years old, facilitated by one of our fabulous therapists, Marina Braff, MFT Intern 89340, under the supervision of Tracy Bevington, MFT 53455

Pacific MFT Network is a professional network of highly skilled licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Marriage & Family Therapist Interns that are committed to empowering a sense of self in our clients and helping them achieve goals. 

email me: rachel@pacificmft.com

Gain Clarity This Summer

" Live the life you have imagined" - Henry David Thoreau

"Live the life you have imagined" - Henry David Thoreau

School will soon be out, work schedules may be slowing down, and that June-gloom is hopefully burning off by noon...yup, it's about time to grab those flip flops and beach towels!

For those lucky enough to actually experience a "vacation" over summer, increased leisure time & a less hectic schedule provides the perfect opportunity to hit the beach, get off the grid, and do more things that make you happy.  Hooray! 

Summer break is also a chance to reflect and create positive change for yourself.

We're about half-way through 2016...How are your resolutions going for this year? Are you accomplishing steps towards your big-picture goals? And most importantly, are you honoring yourself, your wellness, your family, and your visions?

Whether you are in search of something more, feeling defeated by life or relationships, or simply would like to explore and understand yourself more deeply, we encourage you to reach out & learn more about how one of our skilled therapists can support you here at Pacific MFT Network.

We are here to serve our local South Bay/LA Community, empowering strength in self and encouraging whole-hearted passion and participation in life. 


You have the Power to Live the Life You Want

We are a network of highly skilled licensed Marriage and Family Therapists and Interns who are committed to cultivating a sense of empowerment in our clients, to help increase self-esteem, identity, and actualization of goals and visions for a fulfilling life.

We do so by creating a relationship that is based on genuine care and concern, non-judgment, and support. Our mission is to help you help yourself live a happier and more satisfying life.

Individual Therapy - Adults, Teens, Children

Couples Therapy

Family Therapy

Group Therapy

...click here to learn more about our services and specializations...

Contact:

310-226-2826

www.pacificmft.com

Letting Go: "Perfect" is not a real thing

While I've been taking some time off from sitting down to reflect and write in the past month, I can't stop thinking about this particular article by Lee Neagle, MA & RiverMend Health, and have decided to share some of the wealth of wisdom I've been coming across lately!

One of the major themes I see coming up in my own personal sphere, as well as with many of my clients, is the glorification of being overworked, overwhelmed, over-scheduled, and going above and beyond...all.the.time. We are praised for having packed schedules, working 50 plus hours a week, pulling constant all-nighters to stay at the top of the class, etc. etc.....I notice this especially with adolescents and young adults, but regardless of age or stage of life, that pressure and drive to constantly achieve, do, succeed, or win seems to be hammered into our brains as necessary and honorable - but at what cost? 

My own experience with letting go of obsessing and striving for perfection makes me particularly passionate and close to this topic. It may seem counterintuitive, but thinking you have to do everything perfectly all the time, and trying to be the perfect version of yourself (whatever your version of that is) may actually be destroying you and doing the opposite of moving you forward.

Perfectionism can lead to a variety of serious physical, emotional, and mental hardships, eating disorders being one of them. This article says it all, and I encourage you to read it if you or someone you know fits the description of "perfectionist"..... that life isn't as easy or glamorous as it may seem. 

http://www.rivermendhealth.com/resources/life-for-the-perfectionist-can-be-imperfect/

P.S. - by no means do I undermine the importance of hard work, dedication, goal-setting, and follow-through...the key is finding a healthy balance, which is a whole other important topic in itself...stay tuned for more on that!

False Ideas of Self-Worth

One of my favorite quotes from Brené Brown - Researcher and Storyteller

Where do you find your worth? 

Yesterday, i attended a wonderful *local training event about substance abuse and eating disorder recovery, and one of the many points that caught my attention was the idea that people who struggle with these issues have extremely low self-esteem and a false sense of self-worth (even though they can seem confident, independent, or strong on the outside). 

Specifically with addiction or eating disorders, self-worth is often linked to long-standing cemented beliefs that their value and worthiness are dependent on false ideals and extrinsic factors completely unrelated to their actual identity as a person. Many times, these distortions can be linked all the way back to even the smallest messages received in childhood. 

Whether or not you struggle or have struggled with a mental health disorder such as addiction or an eating disorder, self-worth is a very loaded topic for us all. So this gets me thinking, where do we find our worth? 

I think that this answer will vary person-to-person, but some ideas that come to mind from my experience working in this field, and just from being a person myself, include:

  • how much wealth and $$ you have - this one seems obvious, and can be pretty controversial and sensitive. All I have to say is that yes, money has value - it is what our economy and human livelihood is built on - but the value that has been put on wealth (and the skewed distribution of it) is pretty corrupt and devastating (that's just my opinion). And no, money does not = worthiness. 
  • how many friends you have - or instagram likes, facebook or twitter followers, etc. 
  • from the number on the scale, to the number of calories you eat/don't eat a day, to the number of push-ups you can do or miles you can run, to your latest plastic surgery, this is a big one in our society.
  • what others think of you. let's not pretend that we haven't all dealt with this one at some point in our lives. separating our own opinions, desires, goals, or likes & dis-likes, from those of others - especially people we naturally seek belonging, love, and approval from - can be a very difficult balance. 

Okay, so maybe all of these can be controversial and sensitive - and it really is about balance. Some of the things I mentioned can be healthy to a point, but, more than likely, quickly turn into a slippery slope, demanding unrealistic expectations or ideals about things that may not actually define who you are on the inside, as a human, a friend, a parent, a child, an advocate, an explorer, or a believer. 

So, my hope is that as a community, we will continue to be cognizant of the tempting, yet dysfunctional, ideas of what makes people valuable or worthy of love and belonging. There are far healthier and more productive ways for us to define our worth, and while I can't tell you what those things may be for you, I encourage you to reflect on how you tend to measure you worth, and where your worth really lies. 

"You're imperfect, and you're wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging" - Brené Brown

  

* The event I attended was put on by Clear Recovery Center, a comprehensive addiction recovery center in the heart of the South Bay, and A New Journey eating disorder recovery center, located in Santa Monica. 

Making Meaningful Resolutions for a New Year

It's just a few days until we ring in the New Year and start fresh with 2016. I know I'm not the only one with New Years resolutions on the mind...and this year, I want to approach it a little differently.

I am all about embracing new beginnings and setting goals, but it seems to me that these resolutions are oftentimes arbitrary and unrealistic (I speak for my own experiences here too). Every time I see a list of resolutions or hear people talking about it, they seem to be focusing on things like saving x amount of money, losing weight, or cutting some random food group out of their diet. And hey, if these are healthy resolutions that are realistic, purposeful, and important to your personal life context, who am I to discount that?

Whatever your resolutions are, the key is to set yourself up for success, perhaps with baby steps by making your resolutions small and manageable, but still meaningful to you. Don't make unrealistic expectations of yourself that will either discourage you from trying at all, or will cause shame or guilt if you don't reach them.

Remember that sometimes the smallest steps forward are the biggest victories.

Try to think big picture, rather than a "quick fix" to a problem you're having or something you are dissatisfied with in your life. Most importantly, make sure your resolutions align with your values, your wellness, and your long-term goals in life.

What we hope to accomplish and change in the future is relative person to person, but one thing that I believe is very important across the board is not to forget about the year(s) past...

If you are going to take the time and thought to make a new years resolution (or a few), be mindful about it. In the process of making goals and promises to yourself for the year to come, think about the past 12 months and what you have accomplished, learned, and experienced that has molded you to the place you are sitting right now. The past, present, and future are all intricately connected - so whatever your resolutions may be for 2016 - be sure that they honor you, those you love, and the big picture of what is most important to you.


Experiencing Joy When Your Cup is Empty

It is mid-December and we are in the middle of the holidays, also known as the "most wonderful time of the year". A time when we are supposed to be full of joy, surrounded by love, and at peace. But the disheartening truth is that our world is suffering from a lack of such things.

The irony is that right now I should be running a therapy group with 7 middle-schoolers, leading them in an activity intended to encourage reflection around "intangible gift-giving" (such as kindness, hope, gratitude, and trust). Instead, these children are not able to be at school due to threats of violence targeting the LAUSD, resulting in 900 school closures across Los Angeles today. Yes, we have a violence problem, a terrorism problem, a gun problem, but at the root of it all we have a humanity problem.

In these moments I wonder: how do we stay in the holiday spirit (or any kind of positive spirit) when there is such pain, fear, and tragedy happening around and within us?

As I sit at my desk feeling discouraged and saddened, I have to make the conscious choice to see the word "joy" printed on my tea-cup, to smell the "balsam fir" candle burning next to me, and to hear Frank Sinatra's rendition of "I'll be Home for Christmas" playing in the background. Here are a few simple ways to experience joy, even if your "cup of joy" appears to be empty...

1. Get outside. As tempting and cozy as it may be to stay indoors during this "harsh" California winter, getting outside can be the perfect redirection from negative feelings. Whether you take a five minute work break for some fresh air, find a beach to sit on, or go for an hour long walk, getting a taste of nature is a great "pick me up".

2. Snuggle a furry friend. Spend some extra time with your pet. Experiencing unconditional love and affection from a dog (or any animal you share a bond with) is actually an evidence-based way to feel a multitude of renewed uplifting emotions.

3. Tell someone you love them, and tell them why. In my opinion, the first step to feeling joy and combating the negativity in the world, is to open our hearts to others, spread the love, and remind people why they are cherished.

4. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for. Glad you have hot water to take a warm shower with later? Thankful to have someone who loves you despite how weird you really are behind closed doors? Blessed with money to pay for other things you enjoy and/or need? ... Perspective is the key to happiness.

5. Give back to your community or a charity. Because giving feels good. And the world needs our time and money invested in things that actually matter. Every little bit counts.

6. Exercise. What's that? Physical activity is good for the body AND the mind? Yes! exercise = endorphins = happy.

7. Make use of that mistletoe. Speaking of endorphins...if you're looking to self-medicate, kissing is one dopamine-producing drug I'm actually willing to support.

8. Remind yourself that it's okay to be happy, and that you deserve to be. Make a conscious decision to allow yourself to experience joy, however that may be for you. Mindfully living with intent, purpose, and awareness of the positive things, however small, is part of breaking down the walls that can prevent your heart from feeling happy.

There are many ways to experience joy, but sometimes it can seem impossible to find joy in things that normally bring us pleasure. Personal therapy is a good way to rediscover that ability in yourself. If you are interested in considering therapy, I encourage you to contact me to discuss options for therapeutic services.

Emotional Self-Care: Bridging the Gap Between Physical Health and Mental Health

Throughout my education, training, and personal and professional experience in the mental health field thus far, something has become very apparent to me: there remains to be a significant gap between the value of physical and psychological health. We live in a society where billions of dollars are spent each year on things like changes in health care, new ways to improve physical appearance, anti-aging techniques, and extreme weight-loss diet and exercise regimens...but psychological self-care is often de-prioritized and overlooked, maybe even labeled as "hokey psyco-babble". This is an important subject that I hope to research and explore further in my personal life and my career as a mental health clinician. 

Let me clarify that I am certainly not de-emphasizing the importance of physical health - I consider medical and biological history in every case in my practice. However, I do strongly believe that our minds and our bodies are innately interconnected, constantly influencing one-another and contributing together to overall quality of life.

Guy Winch, Psychologist and author, presented an excellent TedTalks on this issue, discussing the incredible benefits of addressing our psychological pains, in order to not only heal from them, but also build "emotional resilience and thrive". Guy outlines some common ailments of the heart and mind which are so often trivialized, but in fact often contribute to health issues. With his perspective on the human nature of mental and emotional challenges, such as loneliness, failure, rejection, shame, and negative thinking, he encourages us to look inward, take action, learn new responses, and treat the psychological pain caused by these wounds.     *See Guy Winch's bio and full TedTalks video below*

***If you get nothing else from this, please take this one reminder: treat yourself with the same compassion and kindness that you would expect from a caring parent, a very good friend, or a nurturing doctor.

There are many ways to engage in emotional self-care...personal therapy being one of them. If you are interested in looking into therapy, I encourage you to contact me to discuss options for therapeutic services.