Sandee Nebel, The Recovery Village
In this podcast, Sandee Nebel talks about treating eating disorders and how tools like yoga can be a big part of treatment for both mental health and substance use disorders.
Gina Thorne: Hello everyone, this is Gina Thorne with the Lakeview podcast series and I’m joined today with Sandee Nebel, with the Recovery Village and White Picket Fence Counseling Center. She just completed her lecture with us on the role of eating disorders in dual diagnosis. And I want to first welcome Sandee to our podcast.
Sandee Nebel: Thank you. I’m so happy to be here.
Gina: Could you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into the world of eating disorders?
Sandee: Sure. Well, I was doing some recovery work and of course I’ve done my own inner work. And basically it evolved to bringing some groups to a local treatment center. And then it evolved more so into developing a program there and that was years and years ago. And basically having the interest in developing it more and more. Opening a private practice, went back to school in my 40s, and got a master’s degree, knowing all along this is what I wanted to practice. And even found an internship site where it just happened to be that one year that someone–that they had a grant for a dietitian that someone brought in and she worked with me that whole year.
So everything kind of evolved in that way and the internship was in an old house in a small town. So I duplicated something like that in a bigger city of Orlando for my private practice. And just have a passion for working with people that are afflicted by any kind of eating, food, weight, body image issues, along with addictions.
Gina: You also embed quite a bit of yoga into your practice, and that’s fairly unique. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Sandee: Sure. Well, way back I started taking some classes back in the 70s when my mother took some classes and enjoyed it. And so on and off for the last 42 years I think it is now, I’ve been practicing all different types of yoga. Gone through my power yoga stages and things like that, but really found that it was incredibly effective for people coming back into their bodies without judgment, with lots of acceptance from doing a slower form of yoga.
So I practice with the patients a lot of yin yoga, a lot of restorative yoga, because that’s part of physical recovery is restoring oneself and what’s called yoga nidra, which is guided imagery, which helps to change the belief system. So in essence, it’s just a wonderfully effective tool. It’s really hard to do yoga and then want to be unkind to yourself, your body or mind, after yoga.
Gina: Sounds like a great experiential component to your work. So you also represent a lot around the Recovery Village, in addition to your private practice. Can you tell us a little bit about the Recovery Village?
Sandee: Yes, it started out that I started leading yoga therapy and facilitating groups, seeing a couple of individual clients as the eating disorder program developed. And so, in fact, from my private practice I had referred several people, as well, which was nice because I could advocate for them and watch them go through the process inpatient.
And then as the program grew and some changes also in personnel circumstances, it evolved that I supervised the program, which started actually as supervising people so that they could get more training and certification because we really want to apply best practices and coordinate with the substance use disorder end of the program. And so I was able to incorporate both and very much enjoy it. It’s extremely gratifying. And watching not only the patients grow but the clinicians as well as been just amazing.
Gina: And you’re in Umatilla, Florida?
Sandee: Umatilla. Yes, small town.
Gina: It does sound like it. Right outside of Orlando, correct?
Gina: OK. So you also have a private practice, White Picket Fence Counseling Center. I assume you specialize in eating disorders. Are there other aspects of your work that you do there?
Sandee: Eating disorders, addictions and relationship issues. So, once people slow down or stop using–an addiction or any type, the behaviors from their eating disorder–many, many relationship issues bubble up to the surface, so we work a lot on that. And a lot is communication skills and building confidence. So it’s really a multifaceted approach from week to week that’s done at different times. We utilize groups and individual work, as well as many times incorporating family systems. And this is mostly for adults.
Gina: That’s great. So this is your first time visiting Lakeview Health. What are your thoughts and impressions of the program?
Sandee: Very, very impressed. It’s such a comprehensive program and I am almost blown away by nice–maybe they’re supposed to be–but how nice all the techs are to everyone. Friendly, smiling, all the miscellaneous staff–everyone’s busy, but yet, they stop to be friendly. And I can see that in my little glimpses of how they do patient care. And that’s really wonderful. So validating and warm for people. Creating an environment for people to get better. Besides, it’s a nice facility.
Gina: Thank you. We appreciate your feedback on that. So if someone needed to access your services at the Recovery Village, how would they get in touch with you?
Sandee: First of all, if they’re interested in services for themselves they would call just the general line or the call center. But the main number, which I can be reached through as well, is (352) 669-8000. And anyone is welcome to email me also. It’s just my first name Sandee (at) therecoveryvillage.com. I can also help people with resources as well. If our center isn’t a fit, I can refer them to someone that can help them find that. So I’d be happy to answer any questions that I possibly can.
Gina: Wonderful. Well, thank you, Sandee. We appreciate you taking the time to talk with us today.
Sandee: Thank you. It’s been nice.
Gina: For those of you that are interested in learning about Lakeview Health, we invite you to visit us online at LakeviewHealth.com. If you are struggling with substance use disorder or dual diagnosis mental health issues and you need help right away, we invite you to call us at 866-460-8416.