Kacey & Katie met in 2017 working with adolescents and young adults in eating disorder recovery at the Intensive Outpatient and Partial Hospitalization levels of care. Working closely as part of the same treatment team for many individuals and families, they developed trust in each other’s work and realized they were aligned in their approach to treating eating disorders. They connected over their passion for helping people of all sizes with ending the diet cycle, becoming comfortable in their own skin, building resilience to shame, and working towards compassionate self-care. Kacey & Katie are keenly aware of how brave it is to do the work of healing from disordered eating while living in a larger culture that puts certain body types and foods on a pedestal and devalues others. They are inspired by the courage of the people they have worked with and feel committed to trying to create a safer place for all people to live freely and joyfully as they are. Kacey & Katie wanted to continue to work together to provide a space that welcomes and supports people in all bodies to cultivate meaningful and nourished lives. They envisioned opening a practice that was strongly rooted in a Health at Every Size philosophy, and thus the idea of Willow slowly bloomed.
Finding a name for our collaboration was not an easy feat. We spent weeks thinking through every option possible and having a hard time finding the right words to depict our mission and vision for our practice. When the thought of a willow tree crossed our paths, we both instantly connected with it. The more we explored its meaning, we were certain it was the name for us!
Willow trees represent life, learning and growth. The trunk signifies strength, stability and standing firm in the ground. The trunk’s foundation and its roots allows the willow tree to withstand some of the greatest challenges. In working towards food & body peace, we often depend on a strong foundation of self-respect and supportive relationships to provide resiliency in order to withstand life’s challenges. We shift from being rooted in a place of fearful self-control to a place of authentic self-care. When we are able to stand firm in who we are and offer ourselves compassion, often we find ourselves stepping more boldly and freely into the lives we live.