How The Emily Program is Working to Raise the Industry Bar on Eating Disorder Treatmentby Mark Warren, M.D.
A recent article in The New York Times, "Centers to Treat Eating Disorders are Growing, and Raising Concerns," discusses the rapid growth of residential eating disorder centers across the country, but questions their integrity and program effectiveness.
This confusion is a natural consequence of the attempts by so many to find more and better ways to help those who suffer from eating disorders. For most of the history of eating disorder treatment, there were no efforts made at prevention, involving families or outreach into the community. In fact, there was widespread unavailability of treatment options for most patients.
However, as the eating disorder treatment community matures and looks to expand access to treatment, we are seeing a lively and much-needed debate about how to get the best preventative care and treatment to patients.
It's estimated more than 32.5 million Americans will have an eating disorder in their lifetime. Many have no or limited access to care delivered by trained eating disorder professionals. Families struggle to find quality care for their loved ones.
The good news is there is work being done to raise the bar and seek standards for these eating disorder treatment centers. One such group is the Residential Eating Disorders Consortium (REDC), which represents 85 percent of the centers and is proud to be leading the way in raising the bar for quality residential eating disorder treatment.
REDC led the call for stronger standards for 24/7 care, with numerous REDC members instrumental in the process of the Joint Commission and CARF adopting these standards. Across the board, REDC programs maintain accreditation through Joint Commission or CARF and commit to high ethical standards in treatment and business practices.
The Emily Program is proud that Jillian Lampert, PhD, Chief Strategy Officer for The Emily Program, serves as REDC's president and is working hard to bring these organizations together to seek standards for all residential centers for the betterment of clients and families. We appreciate the acknowledgement of her work and the work of REDC in The New York Times.
As part of the work to improve care and bring access to everyone who needs it, The Emily Program is working hard to expand upon the following:
Setting standards across The Emily Program's own treatment and residential centers
The Emily Program is guided by a set of principles that offer patients a greater chance for eating disorder recovery. Our eating disorder treatment programs are backed by more than 30 years of industry-leading research and incorporate scientifically proven techniques: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Family Based Therapy (FBT).
All of our therapists are trained in these scientific-based therapies and receive ongoing supervision to ensure that their practice delivers the highest quality care.
Also, The Emily Program's multidisciplinary approach utilizes an interdisciplinary team of specialists to ensure the best chance of a successful recovery. Teams are comprised of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, dietitians, nurses, and more, who work with the individual and family to optimize quality of care.
Making community outreach a part of our mission
The Emily Program is committed to raising awareness and educating patients, families, medical professionals and the general public so clients get the appropriate care they so desperately need.
We make it our mission to spread the message that eating disorders are the most lethal psychiatric illness, yet more must be done to educate the public and health professionals.
The average doctor only gets four to five hours of training about eating disorders during their entire medical education. Other health professionals, such as therapists and dietitians, who are often the first line of treatment, get scant education on eating disorders in school or training.
Working to provide care in your community
The Emily Program is working with multiple client and family groups to brainstorm and work towards bringing the best care possible to your community. It has been shown that the more treatment happens within one's own support network, the better the outcome. The literature is clear that ongoing connection to family, community and treatment systems are predictors of better outcomes. The Emily Program remains committed to being rooted in these community settings to provide excellence in care for people with eating disorders and their families.