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Networking with a Purpose by Equip

February 23 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

“The Power of Mentorship: Bridging Theory and Practice in Eating Disorder Recovery”

Presented by JD Ouellette, Director of Lived Experience, Lainy Clark, MA, LPC, Therapist Lead, and Maris Degener, Director of Peer Mentorship

This virtual presentation will bring together voices of lived experience and clinical expertise to demonstrate the benefits of integrating mentorship into eating disorder treatment. During eating disorder treatment, it’s essential to build trust with a patient, but this can be exceedingly difficult; mentorship adds an element of lived experience that helps enhance trust-building. What’s more, research shows that peer support has a positive impact on both patient and clinician experience, and can improve quality of life and decrease psychiatric symptoms associated with a variety of conditions.

JD Ouellette (she/her) is Equip’s Director of Lived Experience, formerly Director of Mentorship and an educator who came to this work after the youngest of her four children developed anorexia nervosa in 2012. Grateful that her family benefited from early, aggressive intervention with evidence-based care, she channeled her gratitude and personal and professional skill sets into ensuring all families have access to the same psychoeducation, skills coaching, and support that made the difference for her family and enabled her to daughter to achieve full, robust, long term recovery.

Lainy Clark, MA, LPC received her Master of Counseling degree at Dallas Baptist University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in multiple states and works as a clinical supervisor for Equip Health. She has received specialized training in Family Based Treatment, Emotion Family Focused Therapy, Enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders, Adolescent Focused Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Before joining Equip, Lainy worked in multiple levels of care including IOP, PHP and outpatient mental health treatment centers. Lainy is passionate about helping individuals heal from the oppressive forces of diet culture. She incorporates the principles of Health at Every Size (HAES) into her work with clients looking to recover from disordered eating and heal from their fight with body image. Lainy is a native Texan who resides in the Dallas area with her partner, two toddlers, and two dogs.

After recovering from anorexia nervosa as a teenager, Maris Degener is passionate about harnessing her lived experience to support others suffering from eating disorders. Her story was featured in the documentary, “I Am Maris,” formerly available on Netflix, to spread hopefulness around recovery and destigmatize talking openly about mental health challenges. Maris studied psychology at UC Santa Cruz and currently serves as Equip’s Director of Peer Mentorship.


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