I am in awe of our clients.  Not a day goes by that I don’t find myself inspired by their gutsy work.  Every day, they walk towards what they desperately fear and then show up the next day to do it all again. It is an absolute honor to have a daily bird’s eye view in to this triumph of the human spirit. I am at ease to know that clients have incredible, caring staff surrounding them as they do this difficult work of eating disorder recovery. If there is one thing that is for certain at Opal, it is that we care deeply about our relationships with one another. We will go the extra mile to take care of our relationships.  I know that clients would likely not challenge themselves if they did not trust in the cushion of the therapeutic relationships surrounding them.

Yet, this work is not easy and can often times be overwhelming.  Therefore, I have been stunned to learn that many of our clients over these last two years have commuted up to four hours each day just to show up to treatment and do the hard work.  Their dedication astounds me, but I, along with Kara and Julie, began to wonder: is there another option for these clients?  So, it gives us great pleasure to offer a non-clinical lodging option that is just one block away from Opal to clients who live some distance away, making their daily commutes much more manageable. This lodging option also allows clients from out of state to attend our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). I know I am completely biased, but I do believe Opal has one of the best PHP/IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) programs in all of the United States, and it is worthy of travelling out of state to attend our PHP. Further, our unique focus on athletes in eating disorder recovery tends to draw a more national crowd so now we can offer a “home away from home” in conjunction with daily programming for athletes or anyone who can benefit.

Now that Opal is two years old, clarity about our identity is emerging. Our mission is to provide a counter-cultural, relational framework for recovery where both vulnerability and strength are celebrated.  The apartment is one of many expressions of our mission. With relationships as the bedrock of who we are, we have shifted gears to also expand our outpatient services in order to better allow for long-term therapeutic relationships.  Stay tuned for announcements regarding the opening of our outpatient clinic.  Opal is on a journey along with our clients!

To me, there are few aspects of life more meaningful than walking along side our fellow humans as they face the challenges before them. To think, I get to do this on a daily basis!  I am a lucky person and endlessly grateful to all of our clients who have allowed us to be with them during their darkness.