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Welcome to a Mindful Meal, dedicated to improving mind/body health through the application of empirically supported compassionate-awarenessinterventions.

My name is Dr. Dawnn McWatters, Psy.D., and I’m a licensed psychologist in independent practice in downtown Portland, Oregon. I offer individual psychotherapy to clients 18+ years of age as well as educational classes, workshops, and groups.

Summer 2018 hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. I am currently prioritizing new clients who are seeking help for binge or “emotional” eating issues, although I am happy to consult with other individuals as well. Please note that I am no longer accepting Cigna insurance plan members.  

If you are interested in working with me, please take a look around and read this post to learn how to become established as a client. Once we’ve scheduled our initial intake appointment, you can download the new client packet.

Thanks for visiting, and do return soon!

Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness bookI was delighted to receive this book in the mail recently – not only is Dr. Treleaven’s book a long-awaited and valuable contribution to the field of scientific mindfulness-based programs, but it is also a timely exploration of the relationship between trauma, privilege, power, and oppression.

From an article he wrote recently:

“Trauma is not just an individual tragedy—it is rooted in larger social systems that shape our lives. When we peel back the layers of a traumatic experience, we find that they’re bound up within a larger social context.” Safety is an essential ingredient in the development of any self-awareness practice.

Sharing-meal-eating-habits_blogCheck out the NPR podcast, the Hidden Brain, interviewing a social scientist who has spent his career investigating our relationship with food.

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/618941407/619011338

Rainbow heart of fruits and vegetables

https://newfoodeconomy.org/culinary-meal-as-medicine-mindful-eating-trauma-anxiety-disorder/

A must-read article, which explores the notion that “food, and the very rituals of eating, could also have the power to heal afflictions of the mind.” Check out the following statements by Jeffrey Zurofsky, the culinary director of a treatment center in California, who also sits on an advisory board at the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts:

“It’s not just that food can affect and change emotions…but that the entire act of eating, the physical process—farm to table in the most literal sense—can be analogous to the trauma healing process.

We talk about understanding of, and comprehension around, what is the true healing power of this food,” he says. “The ideas around the transformative power of not just food, but the table, and the context in which we enjoy our food, and the memories we create, and the social connections that we make in that experience—how powerful that is to heal us.”

Zurofsky even has a name for the approach: the meal as medicine.

 

Words to live by, in 2018 as well!

a Mindful Meal

between stimulus and response.jpg

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For 2018

Love After Love

The time will come

when, with elation,

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror,

and each will smile at the other’s welcome

and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you have ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

 

Derek Walcott, Collected Poems 1948-1984.

A reminder

Family Eating Breakfast

Not White, Not Rich, and Seeking Therapy: “Even for those with insurance, getting mental healthcare means fighting through phone tag, payment confusion, and even outright discrimination…”

If I can’t see you, I’ll direct you to someone who can. Don’t give up. Therapy works.