Detachment in Love

“In true love, you attain freedom.  When you love, you bring freedom to the person you love.  If the opposite is true, it is not true love.” 

Thich Nhat Hanh, True Love

unnamedIt’s no secret that romantic relationships are complicated.  So many of us strive for perfect relationships based on unrealistic standards, or love out of familiar family patterns.  We may find ourselves feeling stuck in our relationships – mindlessly living day by day in unhappiness or feeling trapped by our partner’s expectations.  With so much relationship advice floating around, how do we find the right tools to cultivate true love in our own lives?

When clients seek me out for relationship guidance, I explain attachment versus detachment.  In unhealthy relationships, partners are attached to each other.  Partners may be unclear as to what keeps them connected, and might be fearful, jealous, or afraid of being alone.  Symptoms might include constant bickering, insecurity, or jealously.  Partners may attempt to regulate each other, or project issues onto their partner.  Codependency may be the foundation of the relationship.

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Living in Wise Mind: DBT Skills for Everyone

One of the tenets of DBT (Dialetical Behavior Therapy) is recognizing Wise Mind.  We all have moments in life where we are overly emotional, moody, or reactive.  In DBT, this is called Emotion Mind.  “When in emotion mind, you are ruled by your moods, feelings, and urges to do or say things.  Facts, reason, and logic are not important.” [1]

The opposite of Emotion Mind is Reasonable Mind, a state in which we operate “by facts, reason, logic, and pragmatics.  Values and feelings are not important.” [1]  In this state, we might approach people in the same way that we might handle an arithmetic problem – systematically. 

Wise Mind Chart

Both states of mind have useful attributes; however, when an individual spends too much time in either Emotion or Reasonable Mind, they are bound to experience frustrations in their interpersonal dealings and within themselves.

The overlap between Emotion and Reasonable Mind is called Wise Mind.  Wise Mind is the perfect balance between reason and emotion.  Individuals living in Wise Mind are able to utilize both reason and emotion, taking the middle path to cultivate emotional sensitivity and a calm, cool collectedness.   A Wise Mind lives intuitively, taking the time to observe and practice mindfulness.  Finding this balance is one of the primary goals of DBT practice.

[1] Quotes from DBT Skills Training, Marsha M. Linehan


In May, Team Oasis had the pleasure of meeting Lindsey Averill, feminist activist, scholar, and filmmaker.  Averill, a PhD candidate at Florida Atlantic University, is currently working on her first documentary.  Fattitude explores representations of overweight people in popular culture, which often include unflattering stereotypes, discrimination, and ridicule. Through interviews with scholars and activists, Fattitude reveals to viewers that every body is worthy of love, pleasure, and acceptance.

Ms. Averill shared the Fattitude trailer, as well as unreleased clips.  After viewing, we spoke passionately about the objectification of women’s bodies, the false correlation between thinness and health, and even fatkinis.  It was evident to all in attendance that cultural perceptions of body image need to be examined and discussed openly, regardless of the reactions of others.

Fattitude is an ambitious project currently in its post-production stages.  Fundraising efforts have already generated over $44,000; however, costs have proven to be higher than anticipated.  Here is what we ask of you:

  1. View the trailer at:
  2. Help spread the word!  Discuss Fattitude with friends, family, and co-workers.
  3. Follow Fattitude on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  4. If you feel compelled to give, make a tax-deductible donation.

Just this past weekend, body shaming made national news.  We cannot wait for Fattitude to change minds and hearts.  What are your thoughts?

2nd Annual HEArt Show Fundraiser a Huge Success!

It wasn’t your typical fundraising event.  Fancy invitations were not sent to a targeted donor mailing list, nor was the event publicized months in advance.  Directed by Clara Bossie, LMFT, the “event committee” consisted of a group of staff members dedicated to a nonprofit organization close to their hearts.  An abundance of creative vision combined with passionate and enthusiastic supporters resulted in the HEArt Show (Healing Through Expressive Arts), benefitting The Body Positive.

Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches was transformed for the sold out event, which took place on February 6th, 2015.  Our building twinkled against the sunset’s dusk, with the landscaping highlighted in hues of blue and purple.  Guests were greeted by live harp music and invited to explore multiple galleries.  While enjoying specially prepared culinary creations, attendees participated in body art, live videography, and hands-on art in our collaborative painting studio.

Over forty featured artists contributed pieces to the HEArt Show.  Whimsical décor and special lighting complimented artwork, which included mixed media, photography, jewelry, fashion, and sculpture.  Featured local artists included Salvatore Principe, Ona Steele, Charles Soto, as well as art students from both Atlantic Community and Boca Raton Community High Schools.  The live auction featured two one-of-a-kind pieces created during the event in our live studio.

Whether attendees were just enjoying the sights or purchasing exquisite artwork, everyone who participated helped to support The Body Positive.  Founded in 1996, The Body Positive’s mission is to teach people how to overcome conflicts with their bodies so they can lead happier, more productive lives.  The organization’s mission is spread through public workshops, student leadership training and mentoring, professional training, and online activism.  Connie Sobczak, Executive Director of The Body Positive, was thrilled to attend the HEArt Show.  Guests were able to receive signed copies of Ms. Sobczak’s book, Embody: Learning to Love Your Unique Body (and quiet that critical voice!).

The personal touches and intimate atmosphere of the HEArt Show made it truly unique in comparison to other fundraising endeavors.  Generous underwriters, caring volunteers, and talented artists worked together to create a memorable evening, with over $7,000 raised to support The Body Positive (visit  The HEArt Show proved that Einstein was on to something when he shared that: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”  All of the fundraising expertise combined couldn’t have reproduced the heart and soul that went into this extraordinary event.  We hope we have inspired you to become involved in next year’s show!

Sara Goldstein, Staff Writer



The Affordable Care Act: What’s New in Mental Health Coverage?

By Asia Adams

“Obamacare”…It’s a phrase we hear all too often.  The overarching goal is to expand insurance coverage, improve quality of services, & make healthcare more accessible overall.   Now, while this all sounds great in theory, what does it really mean? And what are its’ implications for mental healthcare consumers?

The law is expansive, to say the least; 974 pages, addressing everything from health quality measures, to improved design of emergency care.  It’s far too lengthy for any ordinary person to sift through, much less fully understand.  However, it is important to note that mental health has recently become one of the “10 Essential Benefits” that are required in those insurance policies which are sold on the federal health exchange. With more emphasis being placed on the importance of mental health, some big changes will be happening in terms of coverage within this population.  For starters:

  • Health insurance plans are not able to apply yearly OR lifetime dollar limits on coverage of essential health benefits, whereas they often did in the past.
  • In Florida alone, $5,887,000 in grants have been awarded in order to increase behavioral health screening and push for integration with primary health.  More specifically, this money goes toward “expanding suicide prevention activities, screening for substance abuse disorders, and integrating primary care services into publicly funded community mental health, as well as other community-based behavioral health settings”.
  • A pre-existing condition may no longer be used as grounds for denial of an individual’s future insurance policy.

While the Affordable Care Act still has much room for improvement, the recent provisions regarding mental healthcare are certainly a big move in the right direction for those affected.



What is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?

The Institute of Medicine identifies registered dietitians as qualified professionals for nutrition therapy. According to IOM, “the registered dietitian is currently the single identifiable group of health-care professionals with standardized education, clinical training, continuing education and national credentialing requirements necessary to be directly reimbursed as a provider of nutrition therapy.”

A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD or RDN – these credentials can be used interchangeably) is a food and nutrition expert who has at least a Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and has completed a rigorous training with supervised practice in a variety of clinical settings.  The majority of Registered Dietitians work in the treatment and prevention of disease (administering medical nutrition therapy, often part of a multi-disciplinary team), in private practice, hospitals, other health-care facilities, as well as research, business and sports nutrition. All Registered Dietitians are nutritionists, however not all nutritionists are Registered Dietitians.

The following criteria have to be met to earn the RD or RDN credential:

  • Completion of a ACED (American Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics)-accredited supervised pre-professional experience program including practicing at a variety of settings such as healthcare facilities, community agencies, and foodservice institutions.
  • Passing an extensive national Registration Examination for Dietitians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
  • Completion of continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.

Additionally, nearly all states have their own licensure requirements which further helps regulate standards within which the dietitians must practice.

How does a Registered Dietitian differ from a Health Coach, Health Counselor, Nutrition Coach or Holistic Wellness Provider?

As people have become more interested in nutrition and overall health, there has been a rise in programs and services disseminating nutrition information.  Additionally, online nutrition schools are emerging, many of which have no prerequisite to enter.  They usually do not require or produce a Bachelor’s degree and can be finished in less than a year online.  There is typically not a licensure governing the practices of Health Coaching or Nutrition Coaching, and they are not reimbursable by insurance plans.  Registered Dietitians have a minimum Baccalaureate degree granted by a U.S. regionally accredited college or university, or foreign equivalent.  There are a variety of specialty certifications available within the field, including sports nutrition, eating disorders, pediatrics and diabetes to name a few.  Many RDs practicing in outpatient or private practice settings employ a therapeutic approach as a Nutrition Therapist, guiding their clients toward balanced and normalized eating patterns.

Christie Caggiani, RD, LDN, CEDRD is Co-Founder of Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches in Delray Beach, Florida. Christie is a Registered Dietitian within the State of Florida and is certified as an Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian from the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP).

Handling a Hurricane – Tips for Parents

With numerous activities involved in preparing for hurricane season, don’t neglect to spend a few minutes safeguarding your most important asset- your children. The “unknown” can create stress for families both before and after the storm. Taking the time to prepare you young ones for the hazardous weather can save you from unwanted meltdowns.  Children who have been prepared, and whose parents handle the disaster well, have a greater ability to cope with the stress. The following are some tips to help you teach, prepare, and play-out the storm.

Teach: Talking with your children prior to the hurricane can help to alleviate their fears. Be sure to explain why people board up their homes, what goes on outside during the storm, the sounds they will hear, and the likelihood of loosing power. The Internet has many resources that can help you teach basic concepts about the weather and its effects in terms kids can understand. Try

Prepare: Make preparations for hurricane season, just as you would for a house fire or other family disaster. Create a family plan that includes home safety, your family’s needs, and emergency actions. Allow children to participate in family preparations so they may feel less vulnerable. Simple tasks for children may include checking the yard for loose material, shopping for provisions, preparing a “safe place” with supplies, cleaning perishables items from the refrigerator, assembling an activity box for the storm, and being in charge of their own flashlight. Keep your family informed of evacuations, open shelters, government aide, and storm updates.

Play-out: In addition to a little wind and raid a hurricane brings time.. and lots of it! Schools and businesses can remain closed for days after the storm as they deal with unexpected repairs. This gives you plenty of time to be at home with each other so make it a fun memorable experience by thinking outside of the box! Keep to routines as much as possible and incorporate fun activities for the downtime. Here are some ideas to start you on your way:

  • Safe Camp: To make bunkering down even more fun, allow your children to set up a tent in your safe place.
  • Activity Kit: Gather family games, art supplies, and your child’s favorite toys together for easy access during the storm.
  • Entertainment: Have your children develop imaginary products that would be useful in the storm and the act out silly commercials.
  • Daylight Advantage: Let’s face it, there is more for children to do during daylight hours. Avoid sleeping-in and mid-day napping! Have your children go to bed early and rise early so that they do not find themselves restless and bored during the evening without power.
  • Driveway Movies: If you happen to have a laptop adaptor( or built in DVD player) for the car, you can go to the movies in your driveway.
  • Fondue Fun: Think of ways to make dinner a fun experience. Fondue, s’mores over candles, and grilled fruit can be sweet dinner adventures.
  • Explore: Take advantage of those bicycles or roller-skates you have always been meaning to use.
  • Volunteer: Encourage your children to help neighbors clear their yards and make repairs. Keep track of their unpaid volunteer hours during the storm. Many schools have volunteer coordinators who keep record of your child’s hours for future scholarship requirements.

Clara Bossie, M.S., B.Ed., LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches in Delray Beach Florida.  She works with children and teens both individually and in groups, including DBT Skills Group for Teens and Pre-teens.

From Illness to Wellness

Most people who know me, know that I am an avid reader of spiritual, psychological and health & wellness books.  A book I frequently use in my work is “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” by Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D.  The title isn’t so appealing to most lay people, but the content is a treasure for all humans who endeavor to live life with fullness and passion.  Don’t get me wrong, it is not about sex, but living according to the practices will certainly improve all relationships, especially intimate ones.  During a recent perusing of the pages (as I often read tidbits from my favorite books each evening), I was caught by a quote that says, “Don’t do anything that is not play.”  And he really means ANYTHING!  I have read those words before, but this time it hit me differently because I’m in a different place in my life and what I consider play has changed dramatically.  We are programmed to “work” hard at everything and believe that having success, fame or a relationship will bring us joy and happiness.  However, those who actually have money, success, fame or great relationships and are truly happy, healthy and fulfilled would probably not chalk it up to hard work alone.  Most would say they loved the journey and had fun.  The connection between emotional wellness and physical health are well known in health psychology and related fields.  Since humans are social animals it is no surprise to know that healthy relationships can provide deep fulfillment and unhealthy relationships can cause deep pain.  Here is an exercise to help you understand the values behind how you choose to spend your time and energy:

  1. Make a list everything you do that you do not consider “play”
  2. Rewrite each item as: “I choose to_________”
  3. Acknowledge the intent behind your choice  and rewrite again as:  “I chose to _____________ because _____________”

So what is the difference between illness and wellness?  It’s as simple as the difference between “I” and “We”.

Dr. Patricia Shutt is Co-Founder and Clinical Psychologist at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches in Delray Beach, Florida where she helps clients achieve lifelong wellness.  For more information, call  (561) 278-6033.

Savor the Flavor of Nutrition: Olive Oil

I knew I liked olive oil, but after visiting Spain and Italy, I developed a newfound interest in it, something so basic.   As I think about being an intuitive eater, I am reminded that our bodies enjoy foods that are healthful for them – sometimes we simply need to slow down, pay attention and taste.   So take a moment to do so, knowing that olive oil is also helping you in a variety of ways, by providing:

  1.  Anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which may prevent development of heart disease and stroke (by reducing the damage to the heart by atherosclerosis, or the build up of fatty deposits in the inner walls of arteries)
  2. Anti-oxidants, i.e. vitamin E, which reduce oxygen free radicals in the body, reducing risk of cancer development 
  3. Polyphenols, whichreduce LDL cholesterol levels, and may lower overall cholesterol levels
  4. Monounsaturated (good) fat–your body needs fat to carry out daily processes, but not harmful saturated fats and hydrogenated oils–monounsaturated fats are helpful in preventing chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, whereas other types of fats contribute to their development
  5. Skin health- UV radiation causes oxidation of skin cells, which accelerates appearance of aging and sun damage–antioxidants in olive oil prevent this process
  6. A few studies have found that olive oil consumption, instead of hydrogenated oil, trans fat, etc. is associated with alower risk of depression, possibly related to anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of olive oil that boost overall healthy brain functioning.
  7. May reduce risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, due to  oleocanthanal which breaks down neuron-damaging proteins that contribute to the Alzheimer’s development.

The next time you drizzle some olive oil on your salad, or dab it on some fresh bread, notice its flavors and savor the fact that you’re giving yourself something that is truly making your body smile, inside and out.

 Christie Caggiani, RD, LDN, CEDRD is Co-Founder and Registered Dietitian at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches in Delray Beach, Florida.