What is the Mind Acceptance Power Spirit (MAPS) program? This is a 12-week wellness program that blends nutritional counseling, clinical psychology, and personal training. Each week, we work with participants to enhance different areas of the mind (mood, focus, energy, and pleasure) while empowering clients to improve their personal goals for nutrition, emotional processing, as well as movement and physical activity.
Here are some important differences between our wellness model and the disease centered model: While the disease centered model seeks to treat individuals once a diagnosis has been given, our model seeks to identify warning signs to prevent illness from developing in the first place. This difference is important! In the disease centered model, laboratory studies and tests are ordered by physicians for treatment purposes, with a diagnosis in mind. This means many biomarkers that constitute warning signs that your body is getting sick are, often, not included in the clinician’s assessment. A good example are measures of depression, insulin resistance, and cortisol levels as they relate to diabetes. Depression has been shown to increase the risk for progressive insulin resistance and incident type 2 diabetes mellitus in multiple studies. Similarly, the stress hormone cortisol (specifically the flattening of the cortisol curve) is also associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Even though this is well documented in medical research, the typical lab panel ordered by primary care physicians do not look at these processes. This is because the disease centered model aims to diagnose and treat illness, not necessarily prevent it. In the context of type 2 diabetes mellitus, your primary care physician will likely look at your fasting glucose, not your insulin resistance, when drafting a care plan. Therefore, even if diabetes is likely to be in your future if certain changes are not made, you will not know about the problem until it is further along and more difficult to address. Patients often present with symptoms such as fatigue, pain, and unexplained weight changes that are not thoroughly investigated and told “they are fine” while an identifiable problem is progressing, but not detected by standard labs. Our evidence-based approach to health and medicine blends both models. The optional biomarker assessment participants can undergo in our program takes into consideration the principles of preventive medicine.
Why are restrictive programs so appealing? From a Psychological standpoint, restrictive programs are very attractive to the consumer looking for a quick, cookie cutter solution to their health problems. The promise that following a carefully formulated set of rules will make us feel better quickly catches our attention because rules are easy to understand, leading to the assumption that they are easy to put into practice. Quantitative measures (e.g., weight, calorie intake) are also attractive because they appear to provide quick feedback regarding how well we are following those rules. Simplicity, along with the false beliefs that the restrictions are easy to follow has turned the quest for wellness into a multibillion-dollar industry. Diets have been shown to create a short term sense of control, which releases endorphins in the beginning of each new diet plan. Since the diet is unsustainable, the restriction often leads to overindulgence as the body’s way to compensate for the lack of calories. This is often followed by shame associated with the feelings of guilt and failure. And, as appealing as it may be in the beginning, science shows most restrictive models fail. It is not in the best interest of this industry to reveal that truth to consumers. Our clients tend to come to us after participating in many of these programs with no meaningful results.
How is our program different: Our program is based on decades of scientific research in the field of nutrition, psychology, and physical education. The reality is, our health needs are as unique as our story and our DNA. Following principles related to intuitive nutrition and self-worth, our program will help you discover your unique roadmap to health, your values, and your life. Human beings have an inherent need for personal alignment and our health reflects choices that align with our internal narrative. If you struggle with unworthiness and the belief that you are not good enough, you will tend to gravitate towards behaviors, foods, habits, and people that confirm that narrative for you. It is called confirmation bias. A psychological process where we accept information that confirms our frame of view and filter out information that contradicts it. Human beings also have a need for community, connection, and accountability in a safe as well as supportive environment. Our program will allow you to connect with others as you shift your internal narrative towards a healthier, worthy self, and guide you to implement choices that nourish your body and soul.
What to expect: Initial wellness evaluations by Dr. Denise Dutchak (medical practitioner & psychiatrist), Ashley Sobolewski (licensed dietitian nutritionist), Dr. Patricia Barreto (clinical & medical psychologist), and Professor Christina Wright (M Ed personal trainer) will be followed by weekly group sessions with Dr. Patricia, Ashley, and Christina Wright. For 12 weeks, our team will track your progress towards health as you add foods and behaviors that empower you to live out a healthy lifestyle of nourishment, movement, and satisfaction that resonated with your unique blueprint.
Initial assessment includes:
Biomarker Assessment: Dr. Dutchak will order laboratory tests that measure endocrine and metabolic functioning. Labs will be discussed during a visit with the provider before and after the program. Referrals to specialists may be issued if needed. Cost includes labs and visit with our clinician. This service and labs are covered by most insurance plans.
Nutrition Assessment: Includes a one hour client assessment interview with Ashley after completion of nutrition assessment forms (including medical history, eating disorders/food imbalances, family medical history, social environmental factors, as well as food logs).
Psychological Assessment: Assessment includes a one hour clinical interview with Dr. Barreto (clinical psychologist), as well as psychological measures of depression, anxiety, self-esteem, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mental health status examination.
Physical Assessment: Includes a 30 minute assessment with Christina Wright (personal trainer) to determine physical abilities and limitations.
Cost of the Program:
Pay weekly: 12 installments of $110/week We offer a discount to those who pay for the 12 weeks upfront via credit card: $100/week, Total $1,200
We offer an additional discount for those who pay cash or check, Total $1000.
*Biomarker Assessment packages are optional and included for an additional cost.
Wellness visit (includes biomarker labs and visit with clinician) $329. Our team will work with your insurance company to determine if these services are covered.