Eating disorders are mental illnesses with serious consequences. We are committed to providing the most current information about the signs, symptoms, and treatments. Learn more by attending an upcoming event or connecting one-on-one with a member of our Outreach Team.
U of M – TEP Dietetic Internship
1. Why choose The University of Minnesota’s Dietetic Internship – Eating Disorder Concentration?
Eating disorders are complex, difficult, challenging, and sometimes fatal. Because food and eating are at the center of eating disorders, dietitians are essential to effective treatment and recovery.
This internship is unique because ED-TEP interns work directly with experienced eating disorder dietitians to observe, learn, and participate in the specialized practice of treating clients with eating disorders. Through hands-on experience, interns develop and draw upon their skill, ingenuity, and resilience to help clients progress along their recovery from the cunning, baffling, and powerful force of their eating disorder.
The portion of the internship focused on eating disorders takes place at a variety of residential and outpatient Emily Program sites throughout the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. The Emily Program provides outstanding personalized care with passion, integrity, and respect for clients and one another. The Emily Program work environment supports wellness, creativity, research, commitment, and flexibility.
2. What should I expect during the Eating Disorder portion of the internship?
You should expect to be challenged. You should expect to be frustrated and inspired by our clients. You should expect to have an experience unlike any other dietetic internship in the United States.
Among other things, you will be exposed to and work with:
- The full spectrum of eating disorders: compulsive overeating, anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, Avoidant/Restrictive Feeding Intake Disorder, and other eating disorder not otherwise specified
- Various levels of care, from individual outpatient appointments to intensive daylong outpatient programs to 24/7 residential treatment
- Adults, adolescents, pre-adolescents, and their loved ones
- Multiple ethnicities, classes, sexual orientations, faith traditions, beliefs, and values
- Psychological comorbidities, including:
- chemical dependency
- bipolar disorder
- social dysfunction or awkwardness
- body image dysmorphia
- GI disfunction
- other psychological, emotional, and physical disorders
- Multidisciplinary treatment teams that include therapists, physicians, psychiatrists, and medical staff
- Therapeutic meals, nutrition and therapy groups, individual counseling, team consultation
- Skills needed to provide basic nutrition counseling and therapy (open-ended questions, mirroring, etc.)
- Skills needed to identify and address eating disorder behaviors
- Client goal setting, nutritional needs, meal planning, tube feeding recommendations, etc.
- Skills needed to assess a client’s readiness to change
For eight weeks, you will be immersed in The Emily Program’s process of providing comprehensive, personalized treatment for eating disorders and related problems.
You will be expected to model normal eating. You will also be expected to be able and willing to eat a variety of foods, while at the same time learn to coach clients through challenging situations that arise during therapeutic meals. Modeling balanced eating is a key component of the client’s recovery, providing a safe place for the client to challenge eating disorder thoughts and beliefs. Any and all food aversions/intolerance must be disclosed to the preceptor before beginning the rotation.
3. What advantage would this internship provide me as a future dietitian?
The U of M’s ED-TEP internship is one of the only dietetic internships in the United States that specializes in eating disorders and related issues.
This opportunity gives you the real-life experience of what it’s like to be a dietitian working in eating disorders treatment, working with clients of all diagnoses and at every stage of the illness, as well as other mental and physical health issues.
Unfortunately, the incidence of eating disorders is on the rise in the U.S. Fortunately, the options for treatment are growing. A dietitian specializing in eating disorder treatment will be in high demand because they can provide uniquely valuable services for eating disorder programming in treatment centers, hospital settings, schools, workplaces, community education, and many other areas.
One of the most important advantages of this dietetic internship concentration is the least tangible: a greater appreciation for the human condition. You will be called to draw upon—and discover among your peers—new reserves of patience, compassion, understanding, and acceptance.
4. What challenges might come up for me during this internship rotation?
Food and eating are central to all of our lives. Meanwhile, the prevalence—and normalization—of disordered eating behaviors is on the rise in our culture. Given these realities, it’s no surprise that challenges and concerns arise when an intern actively participates in this rotation. Some of those challenges may include:
Discovering personal eating and/or body image issues
If an intern is struggling with their own food or body image issues, spending time with eating disorder clients can trigger one’s own eating disorder thoughts and behaviors. It is essential that you are aware of and are addressing your own food or body image struggles—and that you have a support plan in place if those problems arise during the rotation.
Unearthing personal preconceptions and bias
Our culture is rife with positive and negative preconceptions, prejudices, and biases based on a person’s size, weight, and appearance. We are all influenced by this cultural environment. To be effective with our population, you will probably need the support of preceptors and colleagues to explore, challenge, and revise some of your existing (if still unconscious) preconceptions and biases.
Discussing uncomfortable topics
Many clients in treatment for an eating disorder have a traumatic personal history or a challenging past that contribute to the eating disorder. You are likely to hear sometimes graphic conversations about domestic violence, sexual abuse, suicide attempts, self-induced vomiting, self-harm, extreme exercise abuse, laxative, and drug abuse, and other serious mental health and physical health problems. You are likely to interact with individuals whose appearance has been altered by starvation or self-harm.
Taking It Personally
Emotions can run high for a client, especially before, during, and after a meal or snack. For example, a client may be experiencing high levels of anxiety, anger, sadness, fear, frustration, mistrust, and excitement when a meal is presented or eaten.
Sometimes, clients direct these emotions toward the dietitian or intern, blaming them for how they feel. You will need to work with your preceptor and colleagues to learn how to best manage the situation and not take it personally. You will need to develop and use skills like humor and helping a client reframe perspective.
It is important to remember that it is often a good thing when a client is able to express their emotions with a provider. It can be a sign that they trust the treatment team and are willing to allow the team to help express their emotions in a more beneficial way.
Of course, other unforeseen challenges may arise. We encourage interns to discuss any and all challenges with the preceptors.
5. What is expected of our interns?
All eating disorder concentration interns are expected to act in a compassionate and professional manner. This includes dressing comfortably yet professionally, arriving on time, meeting weekly with your preceptor at their clinical sites, and completing projects and assignments by the due date. We expect a complete commitment to the internship, our clients, and our personalized treatment approach.
We expect high motivation and a desire to help this population. We expect an ongoing willingness to learn, accept challenges, and grow in skill and compassion. We expect—indeed, we require—that interns uphold the confidentiality of our clients, and abide by The Emily Program’s confidentiality, compliance, and human resource policy and process.
To learn more about the nine-month U of M dietetic internship and concentrations, visit the University of MN Dietetic Internship site.
Postdoctoral Fellowships at
The Emily Program, Twin Cities, MN
Regrettably, the 2022–23 scholastic year plans for our organization do not yet include doctoral and post-doctoral level training positions. Please check back for ongoing updates in the future.
The Emily Program, Twin Cities offers Postdoctoral Psychology Fellowships in adult eating disorder specialty services. The Emily Program provides advanced clinical therapy training with a primary concentration in the treatment of eating disorders. This fellowship will include direct contact with clients with eating disorder diagnoses as well as team involvement with therapy, dietetic, psychiatry, yoga, art therapy, and medical professionals. The position responsibilities include individual and group interventions, with much of the group work being intensive program therapy and therapy meals.
All applicants must have:
- Completed all requirements for their PhD/PsyD, including dissertation defense or equivalent and internship (preferably APPIC member) prior to beginning their appointment;
- Stated desire to work in the field of eating disorders; and
- Stated desire to work with clients and their families.
Training term, stipend, and benefits
This full-time fellowship involves approximately 24 hours per week of client contact, with one hour of individual supervision and multiple group supervision opportunities per week, and 2-3 training specific didactic experiences per month. Stipend is $47,000 for the year and benefits include health insurance options, education hours and paid time off accrued throughout the year.
How to apply:
Please submit your application including contact information for three references, a cover letter and CV. Specifically, in your cover letter, please be sure to address the following: your interest in eating disorders treatment and in the Emily Program specifically; prior experience and interest in co-morbid disorders; any prior experience and interest in working in intensive programs (full and partial day-treatment programs); experience co-facilitating groups; any prior experience and interest in training and development; your working and evolving philosophy on the self as therapist; and, shorter-range and longer-term career goals. Applications can be submitted by sending your cover letter, references contact information and curriculum vitae as attachments to Dr. Arikian at the email address below. Reference persons can also forward any additional letters of recommendation to the email provided below. Please also direct any questions to the Postdoctoral Training Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 651-645-5323 ext. 1294.
Expand your professional training
with The Emily Program
As leaders in the field of eating disorders, The Emily Program faculty shares in developing the most up-to-date and effective eating disorder treatment through multiple research projects with the University of Minnesota. Our staff also participates in programs of the Academy of Eating Disorders, the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, and REDC to provide the most effective and comprehensive treatment, care, and training. Talk to one of our professionals today at 1-888-364-5977 to learn more about our advanced training opportunities.
Professional development opportunities
The Emily Program offers a variety of educational opportunities for professionals:
Internships, fellowships, practicums, and dietetic training
The Emily Program provides progressive care that inspires courage and change. Founded in 1993 by psychologist Dirk Miller, we have become the leader in personalized treatment for all individuals struggling with eating disorders.
We’re committed to strong evidence-based practice and excellence in training. All clinical staff members are highly trained in eating disorder interventions and participate in regular supervision and training to enhance skills, maintain excellence, and learn emerging techniques and therapies.
The Emily Program, in conjunction with The University of Minnesota Department of Food Science and Nutrition, also offers the nation’s only eating disorder-specific internship for dietetic interns.
Our professional training program emphasizes evidence-based practice on a multidisciplinary team in the treatment of adolescents and adults with Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN), Binge Eating Disorder (BED), and Compulsive Overeating (COE). The multidisciplinary team includes psychologists, psychiatrists, primary care physicians, dietitians, nurses, social workers, and family therapists.
Our treatment training goals
The individualized focus of treatment at The Emily Program also applies to our training approach. Supervision goals are set at the start of the training term, and amended quarterly to address the intern’s specific skill development and acquisition. Training progressively moves the individual toward increased autonomous practice through the succession of each quarter. The individualized training supports the development of future practitioners who:
- practice competently and ethically,
- are able to provide psychological services in diverse clinical settings,
- are motivated to continue their own personal and professional growth,
- welcome collaboration with practitioners of other disciplines,
- have attained particular skill in working with clients who have eating disorders,
- are aware of their own strengths and limitations and the impact of those strengths and limitations on their practice of psychology, and
- are sensitive to individual differences and to the possible effects of multicultural issues upon diagnostic, therapeutic, and consultative relationships.
Training at The Emily Program maintains a strong focus on the interpersonal development and awareness of the future practitioner. Eating disorders are complex and dynamic; people suffering have often survived aspects of physical or relational trauma. In an effort to train future practitioners to best provide care, we believe it is necessary to provide adequate focus on the practitioner’s sense of self as a developing therapist. This focus on the self as therapist is maintained throughout the training: in supervision, didactics, and the intern group.
The application process varies depending on each practitioner’s educational requirements for their field of work. Click on the professional training option below to get more information and find out how to apply for that specific opportunity.
Our team is passionate about helping individuals struggling with eating disorders. Together, we can bring your patient hope and healing. Please contact us at 1-888-364-5977 with questions.
The Emily Program’s medical and psychiatry services team has decades of experience managing the unique medical and psychiatric complications of eating disorders. Outstanding leaders in the field, our medical and psychiatry services team continues to develop and draw upon the most up-to-date and proven methods of treatment, providing The Emily Program clients with the best in eating disorder care. Take the first step. Schedule an eating disorder assessment or call us today at 1-888-364-5977.
Comprehensive care for eating disorders
Anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, compulsive overeating, or other eating disorders rarely occur without other physical and mental concerns. Eating disorders take a serious, often dangerous, toll on the body. For recovery to happen, the body’s organs and processes have to recover, too. It’s also not uncommon for individuals to experience accompanying mental health issues, such as chemical dependency, anxiety, depression, and trauma. That’s why The Emily Program’s medical and psychiatry services team provides exceptional comprehensive medical and psychiatric care.
The Emily Program’s medical team includes family practice physicians, child, adolescent and adult psychiatrists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and medical assistants who provide specialty care for evaluating and treating eating disorders. We have decades of experience managing the medical complications that persist with eating disorders.
As an affiliate of the University of Minnesota Medical School, The Emily Program offers the best evidence-based therapy methodologies as part of our integrative approach to eating disorder care. The Emily Program is proud to have Dr. Jen Gaudiani and colleagues at the Gaudiani Clinic of Denver, Colorado contribute to our medical staff training and collaborate via ongoing consultation with medical staff across The Emily Program’s multi-state treatment centers.
We work closely with other members of the care team to continually monitor and address your physical health complications, as needed. Our focus is to:
- Medically stabilize individuals in care
- Monitor weight, blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, labs, and EKG
- Prescribe first-level antidepressants/anti-anxiety medications
- Refer to psychiatric care at The Emily Program and outside of The Emily Program
- Prescribe medication for GI issues such as heartburn, gas, bloating, fullness, constipation
- Prescribe supplements
- Assist clients getting off laxatives
- Recommend appropriate activity level
- Assist with applying for disability or FMLA
- Provide referrals for bone density testing
- Provide referrals for physical therapy
- Refer to primary care physician, dentist, or specialists in GI, cardiology, endocrinology, women’s health
Our highly regarded team of psychiatrists has years of experience treating and researching eating disorders. Psychiatrists are involved in all of our intensive programs and residential care.
For clients receiving medication management through The Emily Program, please take note of our Prescription Refill Guidelines.
Education and support
The medical and psychiatric team at The Emily Program is committed to providing as much education and support as you need. Some issues come up more often than others, especially regarding physical health. Ask us about anything. We’re here to help.
Answers to some common health concerns
The following PDF downloads help to answer some common health concerns.