I’m excited to share all the nitty gritty of what I uncovered, learned, discovered, and wish I hadn’t seen about IAEDP 2019!! This one is for all of my fellow eating disorder treatment providers who did or didn’t get to attend this year’s IAEDP conference.
My favorite session highlights:
Evelyn Tribole could talk all day about anything, and I think I would be engaged. Her presentation on interoceptive awareness was stellar: the key points – we have to reconnect to our bodies if we want to be able to eat intuitively, and interoceptive awareness (the ability to connect to the bodies sensations) is something we can all learn to connect deeper with. Through practice we can begin to label physical sensations in our body like our need for food, water and sleep, and also the physical manifestations of our emotions (because yes every single emotion can be felt in the body)
Chevese Turner, Amy Pershing and Carmen Cool: Needed to be a keynote! Their discussion of eating disorders for those at higher weights was flawless. After the rest of the conference, I also realized how badly the entire attendee population could have strongly benefited from hearing the Health at Every Size message.
Learning all about Telehealth was extremely informative and helped me see that I can always learn more, especially when it comes to technology! It was extremely inspiring and hopeful to see the outcomes of Eating Recovery Center’s Telehealth intensive outpatient program. We need resources for so many that don’t have easy access to specialists and this is a huge step for the field.
Emotion Focused Family Therapy is likely going to be my new jam after Adele Lafrance gave a stunning presentation, that reminded us all how parents/caregivers need to be involved and do have the ability to be some of our clients greatest supports.
Can you be Vegan and in recovery? The research is bleak, but the presentation from Tammy Beasley and Melanie Rogers made us all think. My take away, this is never black and white as it rarely ever is in the eating disorder field. There may be a potential for individuals to be vegan and recovered, and clinicians need to sharpen their assessment skills, and drop some of the presumptions and judgment when supporting a client who presents with the desire to be vegan.
And now for the ugly parts I wish I hadn’t seen:
A conference of professionals who support the recovery of individuals with eating disorders seems to have a lot of its own fat phobia baked right in. Several presentations are still using different treatment planning for those with different body sizes, and the assumption that those with anorexia are in small bodies and those that binge are in large bodies was pervasive. More than one presenter outwardly said that pursuing dieting for weight loss, health, or to look better was good as long as it didn’t go to far (straight up face palm). Oh and for an inclusive organization can we address how the chairs were tiny and locked together in most rooms giving no ability to adjust them to allow space for people in larger bodies. We keep getting the message that our field needs to be more diverse and then we limit the access or comfort to individuals who may not fit a very, very small percentage of the population.
I’m a foodie what can I say I have to make some comments about the food offered at the conference. Daily breakfast was awesome, especially the waffles on the last Sunday! Lunch was satisfactory, but I mean no carbs at lunch one day had this dietitian scratching her head. 3:30 dessert every afternoon was a serious hit, but in the future continued coffee service throughout the pm snack would be ideal (I mean coffee and chocolate am I right), apparently there was also wine and apps every evening after the final session – way to go IAEDP, this pregnant lady did not partake
The community/good company:
Can I just say that I FREAKING LOVE eating disorder professionals? So many legends and new clinicians in one space for 4 days sharing, learning and laughing, all with a side of reinforced judgment free zone. I will attend IAEDP again for the company alone.
Shout out to Alsana, Rosewood, and Avalon Hills for some fancy meals and great conversation.
Nice big rooms and bathrooms, friendly staff, and the scenery was gorgeous. Bonus!! They had flamingos!!!
I had to share that I ended up stranded in the airport on my way home because of a severely delayed and finally cancelled flight. 3 other clinicians from the conference and a very sweet couple all grouped up. Eating disorder professionals are resourceful, committed and maybe a bit strong willed. We rented a van and drove 4 hours through the night so that we could all catch connections and eventually make it home. Just a sign of how awesome this community works together, and laughs together (after the fact)
Cheers to 2019 IAEDP – and official request to consider having the conference in TEXAS one year instead of always the east or west coast!