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celebrating women’s history month at galen hope

Because Galen Hope is a Woman-Owned Business, can think of no more fitting way to close Women’s History Month than by celebrating three incredible women who paved the way for the work that we do today to treat eating disorder and mental health diagnoses.

Adding to our Black History Month discussion of Dr. Inez Beverly Prosser, Dr. E. Kitch Childs, and Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark, we’d like to introduce you to:

Dr. Hilde Bruch: Dr. Bruch was a pioneer in the study of eating disorders, and particularly Anorexia Nervosa. Dr. Bruch was born in Germany in 1904, received her MD in 1929, and came to the US in 1933. According to Jewish Women’s Archive, “Once in the United States, Bruch studied psychiatry and began practicing psychoanalysis. Beginning in the early 1940s, she conducted groundbreaking research on […]eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa.”

In 1973, Dr. Bruch released her foundational book Eating Disorders: Obesity, Anorexia Nervosa and the Person Within.

A 2017 article in European Eating Disorder Review details some of Dr. Bruch’s major contributions in our field, saying that her 1982 lecture on anorexia nervosa was “a milestone from which to survey current theory and treatment for anorexia nervosa. Bruch described problems in body perception, emotion processing and interpersonal relationships as core theoretical aspects of the illness and built her theory of psychopathology on these aspects.”

While we have moved away from some of the stigmatizing language that Bruch used in her analyses and writing, we celebrate Dr. Bruch for guiding us in the treatment of eating disorders as medical problems.

Dr. Mary Ainsworth: A hugely influential developmental Psychologist, Dr. Ainsworth was vital in the understanding of mother-child bonds and other types of human attachment. VeryWellMind explains that, “Based on her observations and research, Ainsworth concluded that there were three main styles of attachment: secure, anxious-avoidant, and anxious-resistant. Since these initial findings, her work has spawned countless studies into the nature of attachment and the different attachment styles that exist between children and caregivers.”

Dr.  Ainsworth was born in Ohio in 1913, earned her PhD in Psychology at the University of Toronto in 1939, and spent time researching, practicing, and teaching in London, in the US at Johns Hopkins, and at the University of Virginia.

For her monumental achievements in the field, Dr. Ainsworth was awarded the American Psychological Foundation Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Science of Psychology in 1998, the official citation for which read:

“Mary Ainsworth stands out as one of the major figures of the twentieth century in the study of the relations between young children and their care-givers. Her work on the nature and development of human security, her exquisite naturalistic observations of attachment—care-giving interactions, her conceptual analyses of attachment, exploration and self-reliance, and her contributions to methodology of infant assessment are cornerstones of modern attachment theory and research. The patterns of attachment that she identified have proven robust in research across diverse cultures and across the human lifespan. Her contributions to developmental psychology, developmental psychopathology, and ultimately to clinical psychology, as well as her teaching, colleagueship, and grace, are the secure base from which future generations of students can explore.”

We celebrate Dr. Ainsworth’s important and pioneering work in our field.

Dr. Karen Horney: Another wildly influential pioneer in psychology, Dr. Karen Horney has shaped a wide array of psychological theory and practice, ranging from feminist psychology to the study of self-help.  Her theories of neurosis, which she describes as a “psychic disturbance brought by fears and defenses against these fears, and by attempts to find compromise solutions for conflicting tendencies” is still prominent and widely used.

A recent article in Scientific American described Horney as “one of the most underappreciated psychologists of all time. Many of Horney’s ideas about personality development are backed by modern personality psychology, attachment theory, and findings on the effects of traumatic experiences on the brain.”

Embedded in all of Dr. Horney’s work was the idea that people can change, and grow, and heal. She championed a type of therapy that she called “wholeheartedness” which she defined as “to be without pretense, to be emotionally sincere, to be able to put the whole of oneself into one’s feeling, one’s work, one’s beliefs.” On this, she explained “Our daring to name such high goals rests upon the belief that the human personality can change. It is not only the young child who is pliable. All of us retain the capacity to change, even to change in fundamental ways, as long as we live.” At Galen Hope, we echo this sentiment in our idea that our patients can achieve wellness, and in our own mission to help others to belong. Heal. Grow.

Built on the principles of assertive community treatment, Galen Hope is an eating disorder and mental health treatment center offering individualized treatment options that include Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP). As a “Community of Integrated Wellness,” we pride ourselves in fostering a thoughtful and meaningful care experience that can guide our clients on their road to recovery and increased quality of life, regardless of diagnosis. Galen Hope currently offers separate, age-specific programming for female and transfeminine adolescents ages 12-17 and adults 18 and up, as well as a gender-specific programming for males and transmasculine individuals with eating disorders and primary mental health diagnoses.

To learn more, or to join our community for integrated wellness, please contact us today.

Belong. Heal. Grow.

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