Houston Eating Disorders Specialists 2013 Conference: The Journey of Hope – Highlights from the Room Moderators

Also in this issue:

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Room A – Andrea Gaspard, MEd, LPCI

Meredith Cook, LPC, presented tips for families and friends on how to support their loved one struggling with an eating disorder.

Debbie Grammas, PhD, and Chris Webb, CPRP, MT-BC, provided great information on the role of body image in the development and treatment of eating disorders.  Chris Webb provided a variety of creative ideas to engage clients and make them more aware of how their body image plays a part in treatment.  Audience participation was solicited for a couple of these activities and members of the community volunteered to demonstrate activities, such as the trust walk and musical conversations.

Aaron Fink, MD, provided a wealth of information on the use of psychotropic medications in treatment of eating disorders.  Dr. Fink educated attendees about which medications have been approved for the treatment of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder as well as which medications to avoid and why they can be harmful.

Keesha Broome shared her story of how her father influenced her life.  Fathers Mike Polan and Don Blackwell then shared their stories of navigating their way through their own daughters’ eating disorders treatment.  It was apparent that many fathers in the room viewed this information as extremely helpful and found validation in hearing that they were not alone in their experiences.

Room B – Nancy Wilson, MEd, LPC

Laura Laine, RD, LD, was the first presenter. Laura has worked as a dietitian and spiritual director, and is founder of the Sophia Grace Center for Nutrition, Health & Spirituality. Her presentation was entitled, “Follow the Yellow Brick Road: The Spiritual Path to Hope.”

Ovidio Bermudez, MD, was the second presenter.  Dr. Bermudez is the Medical Director of Adolescent Services and Chief Medical Officer at Eating Recovery Center, as well as a founding member of the Houston Eating Disorders Center and Houston Eating Disorders Specialist. Dr. Bermudez presented on “Updates in the Refeeding Process for Adolescents with Anorexia in the Inpatient Setting.”

Brandi Powell, RD, LD, and Jill Sechi, RD, LD, were co-presenters for the third break-out session. Jill is a dietitian who works in private practice as well as at the Houston Eating Disorders Center. Brandi  and Jill presented on “Supporting Recovery with Nutritional Rehabilitation: Utilizing an Interdisciplinary Approach.”

The final presentation, conducted by Caryn Honig, RD, LD, and Amy Waldner, LCSW, was entitled, “It’s not about food or weight: Combining Traditional/Non-Traditional Approaches for the Treatment of Eating Disorders.” Caryn is a dietitian and owns The Healthy Weigh, a private practice offering nutritional counseling where she counsels patients who struggle with eating disorders.

Room C – Linda Chase, LCSW

Our keynote speaker, Craig Johnson, PhD, FAED, CEDS, a leading mind in the research, development, and implementation of eating disorders treatment, made a comprehensive and informative presentation titled, “New Developments in the Understanding and Treatment of Eating Disorders.”

During lunch, Shern-Min Chow, KHOU 11 News, lead a panel discussion titled, “Stories of Hope.” The panel members, four individuals in various stages of recovery from various types of eating disorders, shared their own powerful and courageous stories of the journey to recovery.

Deborah Michel, PhD, CEDS, and Kathy Veath, RD, LD, BSN, presented on the important topic of “Eating Disorders in the Age of Anti-Aging:  Implications for Treatment and Hope for Recovery in Women Midlife and Beyond.”

What is Mentalizing and Why Eating Disorder Patients Should Do It:  How Mentalizing Based Treatment Can Strengthen Recovery From Eating Disorders,” an interesting and helpful topic, was presented by Theresa Fassihi, PhD, CEDS, and Heather Murphy, LPC-Intern.

Carolyn Costin, MEd, LMFT, CEDS, presented “From Disordered to Recovered: Taking a Client Through the 8 Keys to Recovery,” a very insightful and practical approach to the treatment of eating disorders for clients and/or professionals.