SHINE philosophy and mission statement

The aim of all our programmes are to help young people to understand their weight problem so that they can manage it more effectively in an independent way. This is achieved by not only concentrating on food and eating, but by promoting a complete attitudinal change to lifestyles. For this purpose the programme incorporates the three interventions advocated by all obesity guidelines namely: nutritional therapy, physical activity, and behavioural modification, which includes psychological therapies to address issues related to anxiety, depression, low self esteem and confidence, body image and bullying. We aim to develop emotional literacy and social skills to enable young people to explore any psychological issues or potential underlying causes of obesity, which may be on a group basis, or in 1:1 sessions. Due to the nature of the programme we expect interpersonal conflicts. Young people are encouraged to address and resolve conflicts as they arise in a mature and sensible manner.

Our programmes are based on the understanding that each person is a unique individual. We provide an introductory  twelve week educational programme (psychosocial intervention (PSI)), followed by a selection of further twelve week maintenance programmes, which promotes a better understanding of obesity and its presenting problems and we provide a non-prescriptive ‘no diet approach’ focusing on healthy nutritional eating. Young people are then able to design their own eating plans and make informed choices on food selections.

We introduce the concept of intake/output expenditure, encouraging young people to become more active by providing the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of sports activities. No activity is considered compulsory and young people develop their own activity plans in relation to their fitness level and sports competency.

We promote a family orientated programme. We are non-judgemental and have a ‘no blame’ culture. We believe that families require help, support and understanding rather than criticism and we help families to change at their own pace, in relation to individual circumstances. This encourages high levels of success and promotes longer term outcomes.

The relationship between the young person and the professional is crucial. We are non-hierarchical believing each person to be an equal regardless of age, status, academic ability, size, race, culture, religion or sexual orientation and we are respectful of differences. We are a team of highly skilled and professional practitioners in a privileged position to learn what works best for overweight young people. We are led by the young peoples’ experiences and make changes to the programmes accordingly. We therefore provide services that young people tell us they need, rather than what we the professionals think they need. We sincerely believe that this humanistic, holistic approach will enable young people not only to lose weight but to enter the adult world in a more confident and assertive manner, regardless of their size or shape.