Critical Benefits of Therapeutic Support Groups for Eating Disorders Addressed at 2017 iaedp™ Symposium

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In the presentation, “The Significance of the Therapeutic Support Group for Eating Disorders,” Joann V. Hendelman, PhD, MA, BSN, RN, FAED, CEDS, CEDRN reveals how clinicians can use the therapeutic process as significant element in the treatment of eating disorders.

Support groups are effective adjuncts to the treatment of eating disorders. Benefits include decreased isolation, expression of feelings, improved coping skills, increased investment in treatment and enhanced self-esteem. Yet, surprisingly, support groups are not a regular part of the therapeutic team. In the presentation, “The Significance of the Therapeutic Support Group for Eating Disorders,” Joann V. Hendelman, PhD, MA, BSN, RN, FAED, CEDS, CEDRN reveals how clinicians can use the therapeutic process as significant element in the treatment of eating disorders.

The presentation is slated for opening day of the 2017 iaedp Symposium in Las Vegas at the Green Valley Ranch and Spa during March 23 – 26. Early registration rates are still available and can be found at iaedp.com.

In fact, the therapeutic support group may be the first introduction the patient has to treatment and the backdoor that parents and friends have to introduce the idea of treatment to their loved one.

During the workshop, Dr. Hendelman will address several effective feature elements of support groups, including developing various types of support groups, maintaining successful support groups, and supporting therapeutic groups as a unique community.

While it may be somewhat unexpected that support groups are not a regular part of the therapeutic team, according to Dr. Hendelman, their impact can be felt in all aspects of the therapeutic process and are a significant to the significant treatment of eating disorders.

Therapeutic support groups allow members to provide support to one another, gaining understanding and empathy as well as support and gentle pushing, which allows members to experience themselves through the eyes of others. Goals include increased self-awareness, increased social comfort, exploration of new behaviors, emotional support, skill development and practice in interaction and communication with others.

This presentation will address why a support group is a necessary part of the therapeutic process, differences between a support group and a therapy group, how a support group is a therapeutic community, setting up a support group and determining who should attend, developing guidelines/rules, understanding group dynamics associated with the support group, utilizing support groups to get an individual into treatment and dealing with problems which may occur.

About iaedp: Established in 1985, iaedp is recognized for its excellence in providing education and training standards to an international multidisciplinary group of healthcare treatment providers who treat the full spectrum of eating disorder problems, from anorexia to bulimia to binge eating and obesity. The organization offers a rigorous certification process for those who wish to receive specialized credentials in their work with people with eating disorders. For more information about iaedp, visit http://www.iaedp.com.

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