August 2015 - Monthly News & Tips
IN THIS ISSUE
"I overcame so much here. When I feel myself slipping backwards I can help myself back up again. A great feeling. I love this place." - A Former Emily Program Client
Being a support person for a loved one struggling with an eating disorder can be complicated and unnerving. Your internal voice may have questions like, "How can I talk to them about my concerns?", "How else can I help?", "Are those eating disorder behaviors and how do I address that?" ... So many questions and uncertainties can wear on a person.
Recently, Dr. Lampert was asked to address how to support someone who used to get help at The Emily Program, but moved away and no longer lives near an Emily Program office. Additionally, this person is engaging in behaviors that are different from her initial diagnosis of anorexia.
Dr. Jillian Lampert answers this inquiry in our latest "Ask Emily."
At The Emily Program, we know that support people are imperative to a person's recovery. And because eating disorders are complex illnesses, we believe you need support too. Our Understanding Eating Disorders, Treatment, and Recovery (ED 101) as well as our Friends and Family Support Groups provide a safe, non-judgmental setting for you to connect with other support people going through similiar situations. You can learn more about these free support options here.
Prior to their first visit at The Emily Program, some clients have been in therapy for an eating disorder for a long time. In many cases, their previous therapist had been listed by their insurance company as having expertise in eating disorder treatment. For clients who are looking to recover from an eating disorder, the question of whether they are seeing a therapist who has the proper training and competency to truly help them is an absolute vital one.
In our current world, there is no accepted certification for competency as an eating disorder therapist. (The Academy for Eating Disorders and several other groups have thought deeply about how to establish a measure of competency, but there is no accepted standard at this time.) This puts both clients and therapists in a very complicated situation.
Many therapists who treat eating disorders have, unfortunately, not kept up with current treatment models. Therefore, they may not have the level of competency necessary to treat eating disordered clients. Other therapists have done a terrific job of staying up to date, educated and aware of research, and they practice in a collaborative way with an effective eating disordered team.
But, how is a client or family to know which of these therapists they are seeing? Below are the questions I believe every client should ask their therapist:
- Can you describe to me all the training you've received in eating disorder treatment?
- How often do you attend conferences on eating disorders?
- Can you tell me what evidence-based treatments are and how you integrate them into your practice?
Answers received that should make a client or family concerned that their therapist is not current in eating disorder treatment include the following:
- I have a lot of experience working with clients with eating disorders (as proof that they are up to date).
- I believe the therapeutic alliance is the most important part of treating any psychological illness.
- I practice in an eclectic style and I'm aware of many types of therapies.
These kinds of statements demonstrate that the therapist most likely does not know how to re-feed and stop eating disorder behaviors effectively. They may have skills at different phases of treatment, where evidence-based care is less developed.
After re-feeding has occurred, negative behaviors have ended, and issues surrounding body image and self-confidence are primary, therapists who are trained in other ways may be of value to you. But for an active eating disorder, only those who have trained in evidence-based treatment should be considered as the first line of care.
Although there may not be certification for eating disorder treatment, there are competences for treating eating disorders, such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Maudsley Family Based Therapy, that can be demonstrated. Start there, then reevaluate for next steps.
Mark Warren, MD
Chief Medical Officer, The Emily Program
The Emily Program addresses common misunderstandings about eating disorders and related issues in our Did You Know section.
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
In fact, the mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate associated with all causes of death for females 15-24 years old. Eating disorders cause medical complications, such as cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, brain damage, osteoporosis, and in some cases death. What's more, people who suffer from anorexia are 57 times more likely to die of suicide than their peers.*
*This information was gathered from the Eating Disorders Coalition and the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.
Laurie Schaetzel-Hill, Registered Dietitian
Laurie Schaetzel-Hill joined The Emily Program in August of last year for the opening of our South Sound location. She had been treating eating disorders in her private practice for 18 years, but she felt there was a greater need for a higher level of care in the area.
"I also wanted to continue to grow professionally and be challenged by contributing to a more intensive treatment," she said. "Treating eating disorders and helping women feel empowered in their lives is my life's work."
Laurie spends her days as TEP's lead dietitian, helping younger dietitians achieve excellence in treating eating disorders and offering compassion to every client.
She graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor's degree in nutrition and dietetics and a master's in human nutrition.
Learn more about Laurie and why we think she stands out!
TEP: What's one tip you offer clients at mealtime?
Laurie: How to arrive at the table with grace. Arriving at a meal with intent, acceptance, reverence for the food, with a higher power as defined by an individual and with community can give clients a sense of connection bigger than themselves.
We know this can be so difficult for clients, and yet I feel it is so important to give that little seed of thought that I hope will grow into a tree of living strength.
TEP: What have your clients taught you about eating?
Laurie: "Food is food." I love this statement that clients repeat and share with others who are struggling at the table because it is so simple.
TEP: What's your favorite dish?
Laurie: Moroccan eggplant. Anything with those delicious Moroccan spices!
In St. Paul, MN:
Tuesday, August 11 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at 2265 Como Ave, St. Paul, MN
Speakers: Mikaela and Kasey
Mikaela: Mikaela grew up in suburban Minnesota, and came to fall in love with the Twin Cities when she moved for college. She is an eating disorder recovery advocate who battled anorexia for eight years while in high school and college. Through facing her disorder head on with immense, invaluable support from The Emily Program, Mikaela found happiness, health, and regained the life that she had once led.
Kasey: During her freshman year of college, what started as a desire to get more in shape, turned into a severe eating disorder. Kasey spent over five years in and out of treatment, dealing with all the many forms eating disorders can take. She truly believed that full recovery would never be possible. She couldn't imagine life without her eating disorder. Yet, here she is; she made it. There is nothing Kasey is more passionate about than letting those struggling with eating disorders know that recovery is absolutely possible. Kasey is a 27 year-old Minnesota native who is recently married, and recently employed at The Emily Program as an HR assistant. She's an avid yogi, board game player, and Netflix addict who loves cuddling with her kitty and eating guacamole.
Join us the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 6:30-8pm to hear stories of inspiration and hope.
In Seattle, WA:
Upcoming Recovery Nights will be held from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at 1700 Westlake Av N, Ste 700, Seattle, WA: TBD
In Spokane, WA:
Upcoming Recovery Nights will be held from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at 2020 East 29th Ave, Ste 200, Spokane, WA: September 22
In Lacey, WA:
Upcoming Recovery Nights will be held from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at 673 Woodland Sq Loop SE, Ste 200, Lacey, WA: September 24