is Payson Road?
- Payson Road is a global organization providing resources,
tools, information, support groups, workshops and creative outlets in
support of expanding awareness and prevention of eating disorders and
advancing recovery through the art of creative expression.
- A place where people can be part of a community that
encourages them to express their creative voice in a supportive and
nourishing atmosphere. Payson Road is dedicated to the individual
story. Although there may be common links, these diseases grip
each person individually. Payson Road
understands that each person takes a unique path to recovery and
promotes a personalized road map.
- Seeking to create an innovative and more progressive resource
for prevention and awareness of eating disorders, Sarah E. Mason
founded the Payson Road Organization in June 2000. After battling
Bulimia for over 20 years, Sarah turned her life around and used her
own painful experiences to effectively advocate for eating disorder
prevention and awareness. Sarah is a fierce activist for the
cause—flying frequently to Washington D.C. to tell her story before
congressional briefings and hearings and fighting for new legislation
for eating disorder prevention and awareness.
- According to the
National Association of Eating Disorders, in the United States, as
many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life
and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia.
Approximately 25 million more are struggling with binge eating
disorder (Crowther et al., 1992; Fairburn et al., 1993; Gordon, 1990;
Hoek, 1995; Shisslak et al., 1995). This
statistic is incomplete as it is based solely on those people who are
in treatment or therapy. It does not account for the thousands of
people who do not have access to treatment or the even larger number
who still suffer in silence and shame. This is evident by the over
50,000 hits-per-day Payson Road receives, making it one of the leading
resources for Eating Disorders online.
So what do we do:
We find new ways to
Road takes an innovative and progressive approach to recovery by
implementing creative tools such as writing, visual arts, theater arts
and unique recovery exercises. Our mission:
awareness and education of eating disorders and
advancing recovery through support of creative expression.
is very personal to me." States Payson Road Founder, Sarah Mason whose
year battle with Bulimia Nervosa
inspired her to create
Payson Road. "It was developed out of my passion for
arts and my frustration with the lack of awareness and resources for
what do we think:
Disorders are personal and complex.
too easy to blame the media. And frankly it's a cop out--yet
to avoid really diving into this issue as a problem to take
seriously." Remarks Mason.
root of all eating disorders is deeper than low self-esteem and a
image. These are by products of more complex issues going on
eating disorder, Bulimia in my case, became a metaphor for what I was
starving for in life" States Mason. "Like other addictions
such as alcohol or drugs, something is missing and so we try to fill
the void with food." Explains Mason. "The difference for those of
us struggling with an eating disorder, as opposed to drugs or alcohol,
is that we can't choose to give up food so that we can go on and live a
healthy life. We have to negotiate a new relationship with food.
Forming this new relationship is a life long challenge."
fact, makes eating disorders harder to recover from than any other
addiction. Payson Road is here to help people discover they
are not alone in their suffering. That their story is unique
despite common risk factors and they are worth far more than this
So how do we implement:
resources, tools, information, support groups, workshops, creative
expression such as writing and other creative art forms.
Payson Road believes creative expression plays a key role
recovery. By fostering creativity
and helping people to discover themselves not through the eyes of their
but through the things that inspire them, we can help support healthier
methods, help create goals and develop new patterns for living.
Currently, there is no one cure for eating disorders. The
treatments that are
out there simply aren't working. Payson Road' approach is to
individuals unique story through creative resources. Helping
define who they are from their own desires, talents and needs rather
disease. "Everyone has a different story even if we share common
traits. Writing has always been my soul's window to the
gives me hope and reminds me that I have so much more to offer than an
disorder." States Sarah who believes that focusing on the disease
only nurtures the attachment to being a victim.
Find your center
at Payson Road. We encourage your ideas and feedback and
referrals! Even if you do not
suffer from an eating disorder you will be enlightened and engaged by
You can read Sarah Mason's story at Our
Story. For more info also check out Our Programs, News
section and Charitable Donations page.
*** Please note that we are not a
treatment center. We recommend our program in conjunction with
therapy. For treatment referrals visit our Resources page.
Programs and Services
Eating Disorder Resource Programs
Butterfly Fighting Circle (BFC). It's a progressive recovery program
drawing from the Chinese Martial Art of shuai-chiao (pronounced swhy
form of Kung Fu. We are using the Kung Fu concept to help bridge
between mind and body by instilling a sense of empowerment physically
mentally - even if it is symbolic.
Like the Kung Fu tradition, to mark the journey, we use different color
incentives to move up through the program. The belts are achieved
accomplishing things from the Happiness List, an exercise from our Recovery
Bookstore has a unique and eclectic collection of
recommended books that includes books on the subject of eating
disorders and books that we feel are supportive toward promoting
recovery and creative expression.
Events - Payson Road is
dedicated to getting the word out on how serious the problem of eating
really is. One way to spread that word is through events.
In addition to Payson Road's own events, our Event page keeps people
informed about Events pertaining to Eating Disorders across the
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
provides comprehensive information and hard facts about eating
disorders. There's also a link to a PDF Flyer that can be printed out
and distributed. It contains comprehensive
information about Eating Disorders.
The Mind and Body Program, directed
and created by Jennifer Campbell, a
Boston area Massage
Therapist, Reiki Master, and Yoga instructor, delivers a holistic approach to healing, Yoga
and Meditation techniques and other alternative methods of recovery
using the mind/body connection.
Our Story is Payson
Road Founder, Sarah Mason's personal
story about her 18-year battle with Bulimia Nervosa. More information about Sarah Mason Read
The Recovery Journal
provides proactive exercises for recovery. Contributed by Payson
Road's advisory therapist and Registered Nurse, Susan Ricker, M.F.T.
and other members of the Payson Road Council.
Resources offers links, treatment referrals,
eating disorder articles with the latest
information and treatments, information and resources for
professionals, recovery commitments & testimonials.
support group - unlike other support groups, Payson Road's
online group is extremely focused on recovery. Although there are
always set backs, each day everyone takes a closer step toward
Family Support - Payson Road is dedicated to helping everyone
affected by Eating Disorders, this includes family and friends trying
to help support their loved ones. We have an interactive support group
to help people with this and information on what to do and how to help a loved one or friend
with an eating disorder.
One of our goals is to help people work toward
expressing themselves in a healthier way through our creative
corners. Here's a run down of our
- The Truth is
dedicated to sharing personal experiences and stories about eating
disorders in editorial format. This column is truly where you can
lay it all on the line. Articles can be submitted
anonymously. It can be viewed as almost a formal journal entry,
yet one that can be shared with others who understand. There's an incredible sense of freedom that
comes with stepping into our truth.
Corner features editorial articles from varied
topics, local-national-to world wide. The column's focus is widespread
so to give people the opportunity to flex their creative muscles which
we believe is an important part of the recovery process. We
encourage people to write about things that inspire them or make them
feel--whether it's positive or negative. That feeling of being
alive again helps once re-discovering their sense of self.
Voice is a monthly editorial column focusing on social,
political and cultural issues. It's an opportunity to express
ourselves and use our voices fully. Persons struggling with
eating disorders often get stuck in their own world of their disease,
unable to see the world around them. Writing about issues that
affect everyone and being able to think critically about the world at
large helps take the focus of being a victim of a disease.
Road Poetry Wall. This section has been incredibly
successful. Updated quarterly, contributors can submit as many
poems as they like. You don't have to be a poet to write a
poem. You won't believe how expressive poetry can be. It's
a genuine healer.
Please note: While we do not guarantee that submitted
articles will be
posted, we accept unsolicited material for review for all of the
Professional Referral Network - We believe that a successful
treatment program is the result of the combined efforts of a
dedicated team. We encourage all of our members to seek therapy
and we are committed to the professionals affiliated with Payson
Action Committee (EDOAC) is made up of professionals and
members of the
Eating Disorder Community working together, sharing experiences and
for the common goals; gaining deeper understanding of eating disorders,
developing prevention strategies, bringing large scale awareness to the
If you are a professional working with eating disorder patients or
the cause of eating disorders, take this opportunity to join something
special. We're all in this together.
Click to subscribe to the EDOAC
These are programs, that with your help, Payson Road hopes to
Sponsorship Program -
People struggling with eating disorders will be paired with someone in
recovery. The person will act as a sponsor. The sponsors
are not therapists
or qualified mental health professionals. They are recovering
disorders themselves. Their goal is to help mentor someone who is
with an eating disorder by sharing their experience, checking in with
on a regular basis and establishing a system of goals and
sponsor will be available to the sponsored via
The Buddy System - For
those who want more of a one-on-one exchange, we are developing a Buddy
System. The Buddy System will pair people up with an email buddy
can contact directly. The match will be determined by a short
the participants fill out. All participants are either recovery
struggling with eating disorders and are not therapists or
24-Hour Support -
working on creating a program in which people can log on to a
board and connect to a therapist 24 hours a day. This will be a group
that is monitored and authorization to join required.
ultimate goal would be to develop
this program so that people could interact one-on-one with a therapist
My Journal - Payson Road
hopes to add member/user accounts that will include My Journal.
will be able to log on and work on their own writing journal that they
and update. My Journal encourages people to use writing as a
expression rather than eating disorders.
Scholarship Programs - Payson Road hopes to award
scholarships to writers that are recovering from an
eating disorder. The terms of the awards are being
Make a contribution today and
help Payson Road develop more great programs.
On March 1, 2001 Payson Road
launched the first of it's creative workshops for Eating Disorder
Awareness Week. The
Art of Healing workshop,
held at Payson Road's Los Angeles location, was an artistic fusion designed to help
with eating disorders utilize creative expression to help them cope
workshop included a
Discussion Group, creative writing exercises,
improvisational acting exercises,
mind and body work with a
ASK - Art Speaks for Kids
Creative Workshops -
child's spirit through the art of creative expression.
Fusing their collective talents and backgrounds,
Founder, Sarah Mason and actress Kerry Remsen, along with a team of
theater and film making
professionals, will launch ASK in 2004.
The workshops, designed to help build children's self-esteem by
creative spirit, are not pre-scripted so the children are given the
to fully express themselves beyond their addiction and/or normal
insecurities. "I think every kid needs a cheerleader to help them
realize their dreams." says Mason. "We want to show kids how to use
their voice so if they lose their cheerleader, they've got themselves."
Details for the program including costs are still being
more information and/or how you can enroll your child, please contact
Mason 310-364-1660 or email, ask(@paysonroad.com)
read the press release
Payson Road's Crew
member of the Payson
Road Crew volunteers their services to Payson Road. We are completely
to these exceptional people.
Sarah Mason - President
and Founder, Payson Road
Boston native Sarah
Mason makes her home in Santa Monica,
California where she is a freelance writer with
numerous credits including the award-winning television series a&e Biography.
thirty plus years she has
established herself professionally as a dancer, choreographer, writer
She has written and choreographed her own plays and published
numerous magazine articles. Currently she is focusing her
attentions on writing screenplays and directing and producing her own
video projects. She is currently at work on her first
novel, Life in a Toilet, a
of her 18 year struggle with Bulimia.
Sarah is involved
with several charities but
is dedicated to helping teens and young women who suffer with
Bulimia. She lectures (Lecture Info) in
high schools and junior high schools across
the country and continues to play an active role in helping teenagers
healthier ways to express who they are.
You can read more about Sarah's own personal struggle with Bulimia on Our
Story. You can also read her personal welcome letter at Editor's
Letter and her Full Bio.
Alexei Gerulaitis - Chairman,
Payson Road Board of Directors, Technical and Security Supervisor
the love and support of Alexei Gerulaitis, Payson Road would not
exist. His expertise on web design and content has been
invaluable. And his creative input and his unyielding support are
crucial to the growth of Payson Road. As the founding Board
Member to Payson Road, we could not exist without him.
Alexei left Moscow, Russia in 1990 for the
United States on a Visa he obtained through his Moscow Break
Troop. The dance troop never made the trip they were
supposed to make
across the ocean but Alexei did. Alexei put his degree from
in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science to work for him n 1992
when he founded Computervice, now DV411,
a successful Digital Video Integration company specializing in
high-end systems for non-linear editing as well as professional
equipment - cameras and decks etc.
knowledge and expertise in this industry are widely known and
respected. A reputation that DV411 is proud to put to use through
it's unsurpassed service, products, and support.
Moscow praised Alexei's break dancing
talent's awarding him with numerous trophy's including National
Champion in 1985 and 1986.
DV411 may have him by day,
Alexei's still loves to dance. You might even be able to catch him
Promenade in Santa Monica along with his dance partner Larry
performing their popular break dancing rendition of Enigma's
Board of Directors
Gerulaitis, Chair, President, DV411
Carolyn Aldwin, PhD, Development Psychologist and
Professor of Adult
development and aging,
and Stress and Coping, University of California Davis
Charlotte Bornstein, RN, President, Charlotte-James Clinic
Jonathan J. Busa, RFC, CMFC, Partner and Founder, Ceres
Michael R. Levinson, PhD, Research Social Scientist and Professor,
University of California Davis
Susan Ricker, MFT, RN
Sarah Mason, President, Payson Road
The Managing Team
Jodi Beuder -
Jodi is a Los
Angeles native, but don't hold that against her. She's one of the most
talented writers and copyrighters anywhere. And we're grateful for her
witty and gifted contributions. Jodi spent the beginning of her
professional career at the American Film Institute where under her
direction she increased the membership dramatically. She has since
changed directions and has excelled in several companies as a Marketing
Director, most recently for a high-tech company in Reno, Nevada where
she lives with her husband Chris. 2003 was an extremely exciting
year for Jodi. She gave birth to her first child, Brody and her
first novel, Kingdom of Rain.
Jodi has been part of the Payson Road team since its inception.
She served as Editor for both the
Corner and The Catch columns
for three years and continues to run Payson Road's advertising
programs. In addition to juggling motherhood, a full-time job and
Payson Road, Jodi is currently working on writing a children's book
with her husband. She recently begun work on her second novel. This
very busy, multi-talented woman is a major component to Payson Road's
continued success. We are grateful to have her on board!
Campbell - Director, The Mind and the Body
Campbell is a massage therapist, Reiki Master, and Yoga instructor
living and working in a seaside town south of Boston. Having
struggled with both anorexia and bulimia, Jennifer has reconnected with
her True Self and is now successfully in recovery. She credits
alternative therapies and mind/body integration as having played an
important part in her healing process.
Knowing she will never
be a 9 to 5 kind
of girl, Jennifer has learned to embrace her free spirit and has
creativity to be a driving force in her life. Jennifer believes
innate wisdom people posses within themselves to heal, and she
continues to work
to help others connect with and access that wisdom.
firm believer in the mind body connection, Jennifer approaches her life
with a holistic perspective. A dancer at
heart, she finds peace in the power of movement. As
a writer, Jennifer finds an avenue for self-expression and a new way
to connect with people.
the Director of Payson Road's Mind and Body section, Jennifer
Campbell brings an exciting new dimension to the site and Payson Road's
progress recovery program. She also graces the pages with her
Cindy Corbellini -
Cindy lives in Southwest Florida with her husband Michael and
their two Birman cats. Before moving to Florida, she spent many years
as a professional legal secretary in some of the most prestigious law
firms on the East Coast. Since getting married she has taken a break
from the legal field and currently focuses her attention at home.
Having just joined the Florida Medical Association Alliance (a
organization created for the spouses of doctors) Cindy hopes to create
awareness of eating disorders in her county. She feels strongly that
there is a niche for ED awareness that might someday include
incorporating Payson Road as a tool for recovery in her community.
Cindy has been with Payson Road since 2000 and served as the on-line
group moderator for quite some time. She continues to share her
experience of recovery with all who reach out in the on-line group. I
don't know what I would do without Cindy. Her dedication, loyalty and
commitment to Payson Road is truly amazing.
Leslie Freeman - Editor, The Truth column,
Payson Road Council, Contributing Writer
Freeman, like many woman, was taught at an early age that her wants and
desires were at best "unrealistic" and has worked hard to prove that
theory wrong. She started working at 16, in the typical fast food
market, and by the time she was 17 became their youngest manager. Her
hard work and ambition of helped her excel in several key companies and
she recently finished her bachelor's degree in Business
Management. Leslie is currently a production manager for a
Olympia Restoration in Northern California.
Leslie's own struggles with Bulimia led her to Payson Road over three
years ago. She has been a major contributor to all of the support
groups and council. Her considerable talents have been a Godsend
to Payson Road. She was the catalyst for rebuilding and expanding
the Poetry Wall,
and is a major contributor to the group and the site
in general. She incepted and organized the Recovery Chat program.
energy, enthusiasm and dedication is beyond compare.
Mindy Silbergleid - Payson Road
Mindy lives in the suburbs of Chicago,
Illinois, where she is a full-time special education teacher and is
currently pursuing her masters in elementary education.
Developing the idea at a young age that her thoughts and feelings
didn't matter, Mindy is learning more each day about the importance of
listening to her body and sharing her thoughts and emotions with
others. Learning to do so has truly helped facilitate her own
recovery process from both anorexia and bulimia. It had enabled
her to begin meeting her own needs instead of engaging in eating
disordered behaviors. Her input and commitment to Payson Road is
Sarah-Louise Stancer - Editor,
Payson Road Poetry Wall, Payson Road
Sarah-Lou has been a
member of Payson
Road for over three years--commuting, (online) from North Yorkshire in
Sarah-Louise has been a coordinator of an out of school kids club, an
teaching assistant for children with special needs, physical, emotional
mental. Sarah-Lou currently works as a nursing assistant in an elderly
mentally ill respite unit and day unit. Sarah-Lou has been
Bulimic for 15
years and in that time has tried many different therapies, but has
most successful to be writing. As a result she spends most of her spare
writing poetry and studying towards her B.A. in English
award winning, critically acclaimed poetry is featured in the Payson
Wall. Sarah-Louise brings her poetry skills and talent to Payson Road
newest Editor for the Payson Road's Poetry
We are thrilled to have her officially on board!
P.h.D. - Development Psychologist and Professor of
development and aging, and Stress and Coping at UC Davis
Ed Bishop - Film Editor/Writer
Jonathan Busa, RFC, CMFC
- Financial Advisor/Investment Specialist
Janet Campbell - Writer, Banking Associate
Kristen Herbert - Public Relations/Marketing Manager
Michelle Plakas Kaiser - Writer
Nina Smith Lindqvist - Communications Assoc., Erikkson Worldwide
Susan Ricker, M.F.T. - Psychotherapist and
designed and administered by Sarah Mason. Website Logo and
Graphics Designed by Tahara Hasan. Payson Road was created
Copyright © June 2, 2000. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2012
Home | New Site