Turning Great Loss and Struggle into a Powerful Message!

There are beautiful examples in the world all around us of people who have turned experiences of great loss and extreme struggle into a meaningful and powerful message. Psychiatrist and holocaust survivor Victor Frankl believed that the primary motivation of a person is to discover meaning in life. Meaning can be discovered both in suffering and in blessing. In our meaning making group at Montecatini we explore different avenues that help to describe and tell our story in a meaningful way.

We recently shared intentions we are making in our own lives by writing them on our hands and using photography to inspire others to live these intentions out too. Seeing each woman’s words carried in her own hand is very a powerful example of the meaning found through the struggle and recovery process of an eating disorder.

Another concept shared through photography was a Dear Body letter. Each woman wrote a letter to her body to express regret, struggle, hope and a promise of what is now to come through the recovery process. It is a way to share and tell the story of all the emotions experienced as we begin to connect to our bodies. The women were able to recognize their bodies for both the suffering it has endured and the resilience and willingness to heal in recovery.

We also discover meaning and purpose in our lives by giving back to others. This year we launched our own ETSY store. All the products are hand made by patients and staff. The proceeds go to raise scholarship funds for someone else to receive the gift of treatment. It is a hands on real life example of how each of us can contribute something with our own ideas and hands to help others in the world. even in treatment we can find ways to give to others. This is how we fill our own spirit. This is how we both find and create meaning in our life. This is what meaning making is all about!

Below are more photos:



About Jennifer Palmer

Jennifer recovered from an 18 year battle with an eating disorder with the help and guidance of staff at Montecatini. She is now using her experience to help others as a group therapist at Montecatini and as an MFTI in private practice. She has also pursued her passion and creativity through her photography business.

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