There’s Help. There’s Hope! The Emily Program is a warm and welcoming place where individuals and their families can find comprehensive treatment for eating disorders and related issues. This blog is a place for us to share the latest happenings at The Emily Program, as well as helpful tidbits from the broader eating disorder community. Subscribe via RSS to receive automatic updates. We want to hear your story. Email us (blog@emilyprogram.com) and ask how you can become a contributor!

Breaking the Silence

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

By Kirsten Kochheiser

I do not know if I remember how to speak. My voice still cracks, I still stutter. I think my heart broke alongside my throat. I miss the ways I could sway people. Now all I hear are disjointed sounds mimicking someone incompetent. I watched as my body grew and my emotions and soul shrunk. It’s hard to breathe now, without a throat to swallow the oxygen to fill parched lungs. Words won’t come out right, but I am learning, re-teaching myself how to speak.

My first ever therapy session went smoothly. She asked questions, I answered them, and that was that. Our second session did not go as well. I was quiet. Not the quiet type who does not speak loudly. No. I was the type of quiet that barely said two words. I was a closed book with a chain wrapped tightly around it, locked with an iron latch. She patiently waited while I learned how to shape my mouth into words. Over time, I began sharing more information but remained mostly silent.  

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Genes and Environment: Embracing Complexity in Eating Disorders

Genes AND Environment; Nature AND Nurture

It’s Time to Replace those Or’s with And’s and Embrace Complexity in Eating Disorders

The 10th Annual Veritas Collaborative Symposium on Eating Disorders, co-hosted by The Emily Program, will unite healthcare professionals and eating disorders experts around this year’s theme, “Engaging Science, Unifying Voices, and Transforming Access.” In this article, Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED, a speaker at this year’s Symposium, explores the complexity of the genetics of eating disorders.

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The Role of the Multidisciplinary Team in Eating Disorder Treatment

A therapist taking notes and listening to their patient

Eating disorders are biologically based illnesses that have both psychological and physical manifestations. This is why The Emily Program employs a multidisciplinary team of eating disorder specialists to deliver the best comprehensive care to every client. We know that no two people have the same eating disorder, so we also personalize our treatment to best fit each client’s unique situation.

Our team is able to look at eating disorders from every angle and plan treatment accordingly. In addition, we know how important it is for all of our team members to collaborate to ensure that everyone is on the same page with the client’s care. Every role is essential to the treatment and recovery of our clients. Read on to learn more about the diverse roles that make up our incredible team of professionals.

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How to Support Your Child Returning to School With An Eating Disorder

3 students in school

As a parent, you just want the best for your child. You would do anything for them. And when they are struggling or in pain, it is likely that what you want to do most is to simply make the problem go away.

While parents and families cannot “fix” an eating disorder any more than they can fix another illness, they can take an active role in a child’s recovery. In fact, support from loved ones is integral to the healing process. As your family transitions back to school this year, there are several things you, as a parent, can do to support your child’s recovery. In this blog, we’ll cover some challenges commonly experienced by students with eating disorders and provide strategies for parents supporting them in recovery.

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Episode 58: Advancing Eating Disorders Education with Shikha Advani

Shikha Advani

Episode description:

Shikha Advani is an incoming master’s student and dietetic intern at Boston University who is passionate about eating disorders awareness, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion in the nutrition and eating disorder fields. As a teenager, Shikha battled anorexia and orthorexia. She hopes her story can help others with eating disorders, no matter where they are in their recovery process.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Shikha discusses what her relationship with food and her body was growing up, how professionals and her loved ones responded to her eating disorder, and how she believes nutrition and eating disorders curricula in universities could be improved. She talks about the weight bias and racism she experienced as a South Asian woman living in a larger body, including the praise she received from doctors for weight loss. Shikha also emphasizes the importance of therapy in addition to any other kind of treatment for eating disorders. In addition, she dives into what her dietetics curriculum at her university was lacking, including topics like social justice, fat positivity, and more, and what it was like to push back against outdated ideas. Finally, she discusses her hopes for the future of the dietetics and eating disorder fields.

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Acomputer with a letter resting on the keyboard

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

While navigating her own recovery journey at The Emily Program, Teresa Schmitz discovered a hidden gift in being known as a great listener with a compassionate heart. Being earmarked as an IT Leader who was more into the people on her teams than the technology they were building, she realized her purpose was beyond her title. She connected the dots and soon realized her purpose was to help empower others. She pursued her dreams of becoming a coach and launched her own coaching business, My Best Self Yet. She now helps women feel empowered to navigate the journey of loving themselves unconditionally. She also empowers others to know and use their character strengths in the In It Together group coaching program. Learn more about Teresa’s story and follow My Best Self Yet on FacebookInstagram, and her blog.

A tradition of mine was started on August 13, 2017. That was about a week shy of when my daughter was heading off to college for the first time and moving away from home. It was also a little more than two months shy of my official eating disorder diagnosis.

At that time in my life, I was struggling with not only my eating disorder (unbeknownst to me at the time), but also underlying depression and anxiety. It was a time when I tried hard to find small bits of hope in the everyday of life yet would come up short many days due to the depression and loud eating disorder. That summer, I had been painfully counting down the days until my daughter would leave (as if my life would stop when she did), rather than counting up the hours I had with her in the present moment. I was finding all the things “wrong” rather than all the blessings I had. To say it was a tough time in my life is an understatement.

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