Changing Habits in Treatment Development for Anorexia



Brain imaging research has advanced understanding of biological mechanisms underlying anorexia, and yet this information has been slow to impact treatment. Integrating this knowledge can improve treatment dramatically by helping those who suffer with anorexia to understand their behavior, and thereby increasing empowerment and empathy to critically change their lives.

The presentation, “Neurobiologically Based Treatment for Anorexia: A Novel Approach to a Chronic Disorder” will review life-changing strategies to explain and target anorexia symptoms from a neurobiological framework in a way that is translatable to clinical practice. It is one of more than 60 other presentations offered at the 2018 iaedp™ Symposium in Orlando, Florida, March 22 – 25, at the Omni at ChampionsGate.

Anorexia nervosa is a pernicious psychiatric illness associated with significant medical risk. Approximately 50 percent of individuals develop a chronic and relapsing illness characterized by significant physical and psychological impairment. Given the magnitude of the illness, the development of effective treatment is of critical importance.

The Symposium presentation, offered by professionals with industry-leading experience, will address a core and central issue for eating disorder treatment providers – that anorexia nervosa is a dangerous illness lacking in effective treatments. To date, there are no treatments that have been proven to reverse core symptoms and currently available treatments for adults with anorexia have limited efficacy.

The insight into anorexia treatment will be offered by a four-member team:

  • Primary Presenter: Stephanie Knatz-Peck, PhD

Dr. Stephanie Knatz Peck is Assistant Clinical Professor and program director for the Intensive Family Treatment (IFT) Programs at the UCSD Eating Disorders Treatment and Research Center. In addition to directing the adult and adolescent IFT programs, she also is involved in translational clinical treatment research focused on translating neurobiological research into applied clinical treatments for eating disorders. Dr. Peck is responsible for the development, testing, and oversight of novel clinical treatments for both adolescent and adults with eating disorders including NEWFED-TR (Neurobiology Enhanced with Family Eating Disorder Treatment).

  • Co-Presenter: Christina Wierenga, PhD

Dr. Wierenga is an Associate Professor and Clinical Neuropsychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego. She is an expert in the neurobiology of eating disorders, in particular related to the neural circuitry supporting cognition and behavior. She co-directs the Research Program at the UCSD Eating Disorder Treatment and Research Program, where she conducts neuroimaging and neuropsychological research examining the brain basis of disordered eating with an emphasis on cognitive control, reward processing and interoception. She also is involved in treatment development efforts for eating disorders guided by a neurobiological understanding of behavior.

  • Co-Presenter: Laura Hill, PhD

Dr. Laura Hill is the President and CEO of The Center for Balanced Living, a free standing not-for-profit organization that specializes in the education, treatment and research of eating disorders. Dr. Hill is the recipient of Muskingum University Distinguished Service Award in 2014, the National Eating Disorders Association 2011 Lori Irving Award for Excellence in Eating Disorders Prevention and Awareness and was a TEDx Columbus speaker in 2012. She is an original founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders in 1993 and was Director of what is now known as The National Eating Disorder Association from 1990 to 1994. She is the lead author of the Family Eating Disorder Manual, 2012 and has conducted research and spoken internationally over the last 35 years. She is a recipient of the national Feeding Hope award by NEDA in collaboration with UCSD Eating Disorder and Research.

  • Co-Presenter: Walter Kaye, MD

Dr. Walter Kaye was recruited to the UC San Diego faculty from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he was research director of the eating disorder program, and where he received a NIMH senior scientist award. He has an international reputation in the field of eating disorders and is the author of more than 300 articles and publications. Dr. Kaye and his clinical team are treating anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders with an innovative, intensive program that approaches the problem on multiple levels, including medical, psychological, psycho-educational and counseling of the family as key support group.

About the iaedp™ Foundation: Since 1985, the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals has provided education and training standards to an international and multidisciplinary group of various healthcare treatment providers and helping professions. The Presidents Council provides leadership to the organization and includes: Center for Change; Eating Recovery Center; Green Mountain at Fox Run;Laureate Eating Disorders Program; La Ventana Treatment Programs; McCallum Place Eating Disorder Centers; Monte Nido & Affiliates; Pine Grove Women's Center; Remuda Ranch at the Meadows; Rogers Behavioral Health; Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders; Selah House; The Renfrew Center; Timberline Knolls; and Veritas Collaborative.

The iaedp™ Foundation proudly announces the supporting sponsors for the 2018 iaedp™ Symposium:
Silver and Event Sponsor: Avalon Hills
Bronze Sponsor: Breathe Life Healing Centers
Bronze Sponsor: Montecatini Eating Disorder Treatment Centers
Bronze Sponsor: Fairwinds Treatment Center
Bronze Sponsor: Pine Grove’s Women’s Center

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