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Special Events at The Center for Eating Disorders


Event Detail

February 22, 2015

**Breakout Session B: Eating Disorders: Creating a More Includive Recovery Culture

 This is one of several recovery workshops taking place as part of the larger event, "Recovery in Real Life" **When registering, please select ONE (1) Breakout session AND the main event  


TIME:  2:30 - 3:30 PM  (Immediately following the main panel event which begins at 1:00 PM)


B_OkeefeBenjamin O'Keefe is an actor, activist, and writer.  Born into very humble beginnings with his single mother, twin brother, and older sister, Ben quickly realized his passion for performing. After enduring intense bullying in school, Ben turned to his school's theatre program as a safe haven. It was there, in searching for the voices of the characters that he portrayed, that he found his own.  Besides working as a performer, Ben has been extremely active in activism work, particularly in the topics of LGBT rights, Youth Rights, and Body Image. He has worked with organizations such as GLSEN, The Trevor Project, NEDA, Proud2Bme, and many more. Ben has been responsible for creating many major movements of change. Most notably, an International Movement against size discrimination by Abercrombie & Fitch. As a writer, Ben has contributed to some of the largest publications in the world including; The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The LA Times and many more. He has begun writing his first book "Our Stories: A Voiceless" and has also been featured in hundreds of publications around the world such as; The New York Times, People Magazine, NPR, Forbes, MTV, and The New Yorker. Appearing on several 20 under 20 and 40 under 40 lists it is well known that is Ben is using his passions to make an impact on the world, one person at a time.  Find Ben on Twitter @benjaminokeefe.

Matt_WetselMatt Wetsel is an eating disorder and body image writer and advocate.  He focuses on the intersection of gender constructs, mental health, and body acceptance. Matt has degrees in Psychology and Religious Studies, and holds a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University.  After suffering from anorexia as an undergraduate in college, Matt Wetsel got involved with the Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) doing volunteer grassroots lobby work. Inspired by the people he met there, he became active in his local community organizing occasional guest speakers and giving talks to help educate others about eating disorders. He currently is a member of the EDC Junior Board and has been interviewed for various news outlets, including the Huffington Post.  He started his blog, …Until Eating Disorders Are No More, in early 2011. The name was inspired by the legislative efforts of the Eating Disorders Coalition to help end eating disorders through effective policy reform, public education, and properly funded research. You can check out Matt’s blog at and follow him on Twitter @MattWetsel.


Niccole McGowens, Psy.D.

Dr. McGowens has a Doctor of Psychology degree in Clinical Psychology (emphasis on family and children) from the Alliant International University/California School of Professional Psychology located in San Francisco, California.  As of July 2008, she is currently employed as a Mental Health Counselor for the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt Health Systems.  Her responsibilities consist of providing group therapy and individual therapy for patients in the inpatient and partial hospital programs; she is also a consultant for the child and adolescent unit.  Dr. McGowens provides training to externs/interns.  Dr. McGowens’ expertise range from working with child/adolescents to seniors with various mental/behavioral health concerns, including individual, couples, and group therapy.  She has a therapeutic background in CBT, DBT, behavior modification, conflict resolution, adolescent trauma, and substance use.  Dr. McGowens’ research interests range from understanding parental involvement with toddlers and preschoolers in preparation for kindergarten and beyond, the effects of divorce on young African-American children, feeding issues with children and the effects of eating disorders and obesity on the African-American population.

more upcoming events

Free Weekly Support Group

Join us each week from 7:00 to 8:30 PM for a recovery-focused support group open to anyone struggling with any type of eating disorder as well as friends, family and support people. This group is FREE and facilitated by a licensed clinician.

Every Wednesday

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#LetsCheckIn VIDEOS

These four video vignettes provide examples of real-life interactions, negative self-talk and disordered eating behaviors that indicate it might be time to check in more closely with a friend or family member.

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