“New Diabetes Programs Provide Support”
by Dr. Liana Abascal, PhD, MPH
As the newest member of the BDI team, I wanted to introduce myself and tell you a little about what we have planned. First off, I am very excited to have joined BDI. My mother had Type 1 diabetes so I have seen firsthand how diabetes can affect the individual and the family. I feel really lucky to now be in a position where I can help others. I love working with people with diabetes and I fundamentally believe that anyone can work to feel better and do better; sometimes a little outside help and support is all that is needed.
Starting in January 2010, my BDI colleagues and I will be providing a variety of programs focused on teens and parents. Adolescence can be a trying time for teens and families in general. When diabetes is added to the mix, well that just gives families even more things to have conflict about. With our new programs, I am hoping to arm both parents and teens with skills to manage diabetes-related conflict and improve communication in general. As the scientific research has shown us, mastering these skills can help with current family issues, prevent future conflict and lead to better diabetes outcomes. Another benefit of these programs is that it allows people who are struggling with similar issues to come together and provide support to each other.
In addition to the programs for teens and parents, we will also be providing programs for people with diabetes who are struggling with disordered eating problems. Disordered eating can include a whole range of symptoms like emotional over-eating, binge eating, insulin omission (in Type 1 diabetes) and severe restriction of food. As you know, diabetes can be a very lonely disease and the addition of eating problems can increase the sense of isolation and frustration. I have been working in the field of eating disorders for a long time and have found it incredibly rewarding to help people in their journey to well-being.
If you are a teen or parent looking for a little bit of support, or someone who has been struggling with eating issues, you are not alone. I hope to meet you at one of our upcoming programs.
Dr. Abascal, PhD, MPH is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in behavioral health issues in teens and adults. Dr. Abascal received her PhD from the San Diego State University/University of California San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology and her MPH from San Diego State University. She has been involved in both research and clinical work related to chronic disease prevention and management, especially related to diabetes, obesity, and eating disorders.
If you would like to contact Dr. Abascal directly, you can reach her at email@example.com.