Meet Our Staff

 
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Melinda Brett, LCPC, LDN/RD
Owner, Therapist, Dietitian

My story includes a very long, protracted battle with a binge eating disorder. I began dieting as a preteen after being told numerous times by my doctor and family that I was too heavy. I remember having periods of time when I could follow the diet and then the inevitable failure of breaking the diet and regaining all the weight. An ongoing battle began between my longing to look like my family and friends against the strong cravings and desires I had to eat. Life turned into pretending to eat healthy in front of others and sneaking, hiding and hoarding food to be eaten when I was alone. I had developed a binge eating disorder by the time I was a teenager and as adolescence progressed my weight increased and my self-image and self-esteem plummeted.

I decided to study nutrition in college and earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in Nutrition and became a Registered Dietitian. My hopes were that if I could learn and understand the science behind metabolism, body weight and food I could learn how to eat healthy and lose weight and be thin. It didn't work. Actually I loved many aspects of the career of dietetics, but dreaded working with people seeking weight loss. I felt like a hypocrite.

The frustration with my own progress and those of my patients led me to begin studying eating disorders. Beyond the nutrition content of food, I learned of the depth that our emotional lives play in our food choices. As a result, fifteen years ago I opened up ReConnections for people like me. We treat food addiction and disordered eating like the multifaceted emotional and physical disorders they are. More importantly, we treat it with compassion, humor, deep listening and the occassional tough love. It's the place I want to come to work every day and spend time with the kind of people I love.

We have grown and continue to expand which is so exciting. The positive energy that we have created here has expanded to work with people on a variety of issues beyond eating disorders. We now have a team and a multitude of services to help people create whole, well balanced lives. We continue to be guided by the belief that we must get reconnected to who we were before we decided we weren't ok.

 
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Farah Vangenderen
LCSW-C

 When people experience severe life stressors and change, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel in the shakeup.  My passion is bringing healing to those in these seasons of life and to help in supporting and promoting healthy growth and change.  I also have a love of teaching and supervision and on the Maryland Supervisors listing.

Knowing that no single approach is meant for every individual or situation, I have been trained in a range of modalities and am an EMDRIA certified EMDR therapist.  I have extensive work with grief and trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy (GF-CBT and TF-CBT) and am certified in the later.  I am also trained as a level one mediator and have been trained in motivational interviewing and art to promote processing and healing.  

My educational background includes a MSW in Clinical Mental Health from University of Maryland Baltimore and a BSW majoring in Social Work and Philosophy from Salisbury University.

 
 
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Lilly
"Pet Therapist"

This is Lilly our "Pet Therapist." 

Available for play, hugs, and to promote smiles and joy.