Safe Harbor understands the greater needs of today. We are dedicated to provide our patients with individualized care in a nurturing and structured environment. Our supportive staff strives for creative excellence in providing the best care available in the profession. We are committed to the long term health and well-being of our patients.
From the Director...
Watch Darlene Joy Manick's interview with Dr. Carol Francis.
Darlene Joy Manick, M.A., LMFT
Executive Clinical Director
On the reason why for Safe Harbor Programs:
It’s simple. I’ve been there. I almost died. I lived daily doses of the insanity of anorexia, bulimia and compulsive eating. I was desperately alone. I felt utterly defeated, shame beyond belief, uncared for, a burden to all, and yet still there was a small shimmer of light inside that barely sparked life. I just didn’t know how I could go on, nor did I believe anyone would be able, or even more frightening, willing to teach me how. I thought everyone else simply knew how to do life. I just wasn’t blessed with that gift. In fact, I was weary about having been born with any gifts at all.
The struggle to get to where I am today has led me down many paths. Most of which lead me into more despair. I began to realize that my disease was a disease of secrecy. I was literally throwing up 90 times a day without anybody knowing it. I didn’t know what would kill me first: the disease or the pain of holding on to such a big secret and having no one to talk to. In the end, I created my own program even though I didn’t realize it at the time. The first and most important step was to find that one person I could trust with my secret. Something inside of me knew that if I could actually say to someone (who would not abandon me once they knew my secret), “This is what I am doing to myself and I need help,” there might be hope. I found that person. I told her how I was purging up 2 pounds of MM’s at a time. I waited for her to react with disgust or horror. She didn’t. She looked at me and gave me a hug and told me how sorry she was that I had to go through this alone for so long, and that there had been no one and nowhere safe to go to. She WAS that person.
Today I know every experience, both good and bad, has helped me become who I am as a human being and as a therapist specializing in Eating Disorders. It is not always simple and I know there are times when giving up seems easier. As much as we want to change, there is a strong pull to maintain homeostasis, as change is scary and uncomfortable. I understand the struggle to fight for your life. I fought for what seemed like forever.
During my worst years, the treatment I received often seemed impersonal and the staff incompetent. I wanted to feel cared-for and be seen and heard. Unfortunately, I was not. I promised myself to someday create that special place I never found when I was suffering. Safe Harbor is the result of my own labor of love. I hope it will be a safe place for you.