— Albert Einstein
(allegedly, but a stellar quote regardless)
Together we can establish fresh intentions and authentic objectives.
Coaching provides clinical-oriented support in real time with on-call availability.
Mollie Birney has worked in the Addiction Recovery field since 2009.
Come join Mollie for the Energi in Bali Retreat in November
Often in the process of recovery we may reach a point where we believe we are simply stupid… or doomed.
Despite our best efforts we can’t stop bingeing, we can’t stop drinking, we can’t stop procrastinating, we can’t stop getting into relationships that we already know will absolutely sink our battleship. We can’t stop. We can’t shift.
We can’t seem to find the freedom that others seem to have. And not for lack of trying – nearly all the clients with whom I work have either been through or are currently in some kind of treatment, whether it’s individual therapy, a residential program or anywhere in between. Their effort and desire for recovery is clear. They have fought to climb that tree in every way possible.
Although we have been armed with tools and skills – CBT, DBT, ACT, 12-steps etc. – actually using them in moments where we’re hooked, craving, anxious and impulsive, is extremely difficult. The skills themselves are solid and evidenced-based, but if an individual hasn’t adapted them to their own needs, language, even their own style, it will appear they are ineffective. I work with my clients to support those intense, triage-like moments, individualizing the tools they already have in their arsenal, and helping them develop their own personal strategies that are more suited to their inherent skill set.
Often I find my clients have been presented with a very clear definition of what their version of freedom is supposed to look like. Their goals, whether internally constructed or externally imposed, can be stale and inflexible, sometimes impossible, and yet they have chased after them. Ironically, it is usually in pursuit of such goals that we fall into self destructive patterns, and find ourselves in a feverish effort to achieve some iconic version of ourselves we’ve been trying desperately to become. That’s quite a tree to climb with fins, so again we feel stupid. Again, we feel doomed. I guide my clients in the process of approaching recovery authentically and organically, in some cases perhaps redefining it altogether. I invite my clients to examine their relationship to their definition of freedom, daring them to engage with the very parts of themselves that their old “goals” had demanded they amputate in order to achieve. Together through a lens of irreverence and compassion we expose blind spots, challenge old narratives, reshape self-talk and cultivate creative resources, generating a whole new template by which to establish fresh intentions and authentic objectives.
So you’ve got fins. Now what?
As this is not traditional therapy, sessions are not limited to the boundaries of a formal office setting or a 50 minute time limit. The structure, timeline and activities over the course of working together will be tailored to the frequency which best supports each client’s treatment plan. If necessary, in addition to the ongoing therapeutic conversation, coaching may include exposure to collaboratively planned, challenging activities designed to address the client’s struggle, so as to practice utilizing coping skills with clinical support.
For example, a larger-bodied individual who struggles with binge eating may avoid exercise due to feeling shame when in the gym. For this person, coaching may include on-call support for cravings to binge and strategies for managing compulsive food behaviors. Coaching may later include exploration of their relationship to exercise, investigating the experience of moving their body in a non-gym environment, and if appropriate, some gentle workouts in the gym environment together, tracking triggers, and observing the ensuing feelings and cognitive distortions while utilizing distress-tolerance skills.
Scheduling is flexible so as to accommodate the client’s needs and is available outside the normal 9-5 workday and Monday through Friday workweek. Coaching also includes 24/7 availability by phone (call and text), and in-person crisis management.
She comes by her specialization in Eating Disorder Recovery honestly, having battled her own ass-kicking bulimia for years, from which she has been in recovery since 2007.
She holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in addiction and eating disorders from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and a BA from Tufts University. Additionally, she has completed the certification coursework in Intuitive Eating, the modality she employs most often with clients.
Her treatment-oriented and therapeutic experience includes work with the Multi-service Eating Disorder Association in Boston, Primary Therapist/Group Facilitator positions at both Axis Addiction Treatment Center and Breathe Life Healing Center’s Binge Eating Disorder Program in LA, and coaching with Joie Meal Support. Most recently she was a Recovery Consultant with Patrick Hart Consultants doing case management and coaching for families and individuals suffering from complex mental health, providing counseling, psychoeducation, crisis management and treatment placement. Her extensive experience, both personally and professionally, grants her a unique insight into the battle faced by individuals and families suffering from a full range of disorders. She is a frequent speaker at schools, treatment centers, and recovery-focused organizations. Most recently she was the keynote speaker at the 2018 National Conference for the National Council for Addiction and Drug Dependence in Washington DC, and this spring will speak at the 2019 North Carolina TIDE Annual Conference on Behavioral Health.
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© 2018 Mollie Birney Clinical Coaching.