Welcome

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!

How Does Bulimia Affect Your Teeth?

A dentist speaking with a patient

**Content warning: This post includes discussion of purging behaviors. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed. The following information is not intended as dental or medical advice or as a substitute for professional treatment.

By Dr. Kumar Kolar

With over 14 years’ experience, Dr. Kumar Kolar is a dentist in London, England. He is focused on empowering readers to learn about their dental health and have confidence in their teeth and smile. You can learn more about him on his website and read more of his articles on his blog

Like all eating disorders, bulimia nervosa is a mental health disorder that also affects the well-being of our physical bodies. One of the first places that exhibits physical signs of damage is the mouth and teeth. People with bulimia may experience pain, discomfort, and sensitivity when chewing as a result of bulimic behaviors.

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Episode 30: The Basics of Eating Disorder Lawmaking with Katrina Velasquez

U.S. Capitol

Episode description:

Attorney Katrina Velasquez is the Founder and Managing Principal of Center Road Solutions, a public policy firm that works with the Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action (EDC) to advance eating disorders as a public health priority on Capitol Hill.

Katrina takes us through the federal legislative process in this episode of Peace Meal. She outlines how ideas are introduced as bills, discussed and amended by committees, and ultimately voted on to become laws. Describing the influence of politics, timing, and leadership, she shows how the process can be lengthy and involved. Citizen participation, however, is vital and not as intimidating as it may seem.

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Beyond “Eating Disorders Don’t Discriminate”

A Black woman looking to the side

When those of us in the field say “eating disorders don’t discriminate,” we’re trying to express that eating disorders affect everyone. The intention is to challenge the stereotype of the thin, white woman and recognize a diversity of experiences and identities.

And while it’s true that eating disorders affect all social groups, this statement is inadequate. Much like “eating disorders see no color,” it lacks nuance and complexity. Taken alone, it doesn’t advance meaningful conversation about race-related body, food, and illness experiences. 

The conversation about eating disorders in the Black community cannot stop here. 

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A message from Dave Willcutts, CEO of The Emily Program

To our communities, friends, and colleagues:

The events that have occurred in the Twin Cities and across the nation are heartbreaking. The Emily Program is a member of the communities in which we live, work, and serve. We stand in solidarity with the community’s call for change and we are seeking ways we can listen, learn, and participate to fight systemic racism and injustice.

We have been asked about concrete actions that we are taking, so I will share that here. I want to emphasize that this is the beginning of our response; it is not a one-time response. There is a necessity for real action to have a real impact across the country, and we, as an employer, as community members, and as caregivers play a critical role in that action and the extent of its impact.

What I describe below is what we’re doing today. Over the coming days and weeks, we must listen, learn and open up to understanding, so that the plans we make, the actions we take, the participation we engage in is effective and informed. We don’t want to see the impact fall short, as so often seems to be the result.

Here are a few actions we are taking now:

1. The Emily Program will be donating $10,000 at this time towards two activities: a) Engaging with The Urban League to join with their national and local efforts addressing institutionalized racism. b) Supporting local clean-up, support, and rebuilding efforts in our communities.

2. We have engaged the Director of Programs at Avenues for Youth, Dr. Zayed Ahmed, to facilitate process groups specifically for our BIPOC staff members.

3. Staff members who choose to take time off work to participate in community efforts will not be required to use PTO.

4. Last week we initiated process groups for all staff as an open forum for support and sharing, led by Liz McCabe. Ph.D, one of our most experienced social workers. These will continue through the week and beyond, as needed.

5. Our executive team will be participating in local clean-up and community support this week in Minneapolis and St. Paul and are seeking ways for staff to participate in each of the communities.

Going forward we will continue to seek to engage, listen, and learn. From these efforts, we will develop further action plans focused on our communities and The Emily Program. I feel it is important I say that I recognize that I am a white man, that TEP is a predominately white-led and white-staffed organization, and that it is from this position, so different than George Floyd’s position, that we must listen and learn. I know this is a journey that takes a commitment of time and focus. I recognize that this is a starting point and we need to do more.

I am extremely grateful for our staff, working through so much every day in so many different ways to care for clients while they care for themselves and for our leaders across the organization persistently working to support their teams.

Our journey through 2020 continues and I am proud to be here with all of you finding our best path through.

Dave Willcutts, CEO

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Episode 29: Eating Disorders in College Athletes

A soccer player holding a soccer ball

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, we chat with a Division 1 soccer player, Cece Muskovac, about eating disorders in student athletes. Cece shares how sports have impacted her relationship with food and body, and how her eating disorder once held captive the personality traits that make her a strong athlete. She describes how she came to appreciate, fuel, and listen to her body and find recovery with the support of her coaches and teammates.

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Family-Based Therapy via Telehealth

A family preparing a meal in a kitchen

Family-Based Therapy (FBT), also known as the Maudsley method or Maudsley approach, is widely considered the treatment of choice for adolescents with eating disorders. Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of FBT, and indeed, at The Emily Program, we have found that adolescent clients who participate in FBT have the best outcomes of any treatment modality we utilize for this age group.

FBT is based on the understanding that families know their children better than anyone else and is anchored by the idea that parents are often fully capable of feeding their children. In the FBT model, parents have control of their child’s weight restoration and are actively involved in their child’s recovery process. The role of the professional is to support the family as they work toward restoring their child’s health.

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