Those of us who work with the eating disorder population are acutely aware that developing a treatment team is key to an optimal outcome. On an outpatient basis I believe that, at a minimum, the core team is a therapist, physician and nutritionist. Other psychotherapy may be indicated such as group therapy, family therapy or a psychiatrist. There are times, however, when that is still not enough. It is reassuring to me, as a solo practitioner, to be able to partner with an institution like The Renfrew Center to provide the full spectrum of services when the proverbial higher level of care is indicated.
I have been working with the eating disorder community since 1983 and in private practice since 1993. When my patients require this higher level of care, it has been gratifying to collaborate with The Renfrew Center because it offers those of us in outpatient practice the ability to assure our patients access to comprehensive treatment services. Because of the often complex emotional and medical components associated with eating disorders, therapists should anticipate that a course of treatment can potentially require more structured services at times. I always have been confident that I can assure my patients a smooth transition from outpatient therapy to Renfrew and back to outpatient care. The Renfrew team is invariably responsive to my input, and keeps me apprised of my patient’s progress.
Like good therapy, good collaboration demands mutual trust. The relationship I have developed with the Renfrew staff has enabled me to offer the option of more extensive care when indicated, knowing that I can be confident that I will remain part of the treatment process. This continuity of care is always in the patient’s best interest. This inclusiveness allows me to truly feel a part of the extended Renfrew team.
I’ve been working in the eating disorder field since 1980 both in a clinic setting along with other addictions and then subsequently in private practice since 1985. I have also been doing prevention work in the schools, training of other therapists in this specialty and presentations along the theme of “It’s Not What You’re Eating; It’s What’s Eating You.” Specializing in this population is exciting and fulfilling but also isolating and scary because of the often complicated medical and psychiatric dynamics.
What I encourage my clients to work towards; I find that there is a similar parallel process to my needs as their therapist as well. Since 1985, the Renfrew Center has provided excellent and comprehensive services to both my clients and to me. Practicing in Orange County New York is a challenge due to the scarcity of services for eating disordered clients. Renfrew provides a full continuum of in-patient, day treatment and intensive outpatient treatment along with nutritional and psychiatric consultations. My clients who are in need of a higher level of care have an opportunity to participate in both the group model and intensive family sessions. Renfrew customizes each client’s treatment and consistently collaborates with me during the entire treatment. This is an excellent model of connection and healthy partnering for my clients and families
Speaking of healthy refeeding, Renfrew’s Professional Relations Representatives fuel therapists by being a liaison with and expediting client services and providing professional training right here in our community. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the ongoing Renfrew Webinars and workshops throughout the country. The ultimate fulfillment emotionally, professionally, spiritually, and physically is the yearly Renfrew Conference in Philadelphia every November. It‘s truly an honor to be a part of that experience; it’s truly a gift to my clients and to myself.
I am a psychotherapist in private practice who specializes in the treatment of girls and women suffering from eating disorders. I have been referring patients to the Renfrew Center for over 28 years since its inception.
I have found that the Renfrew Center is an excellent treatment facility, providing comprehensive treatment tailored specifically to the unique needs of each individual who is treated. This enables patients to begin the process of recovery and to work on gaining a deeper understanding of the conflicts that lie beneath the unwanted negative behaviors and symptoms that they present. Renfrew encourages group participation in the treatment community which helps facilitate interactive skills which many of these girls and women have lost as they've sunk deeper into their illness prior to admission. Renfrew also addresses the needs of the support system for each patient, providing a forum for families to meet and work together on issues that are relevant to the family system or to the relationship that the patient is in at the time. It also offers an excellent nutritional component in the program helping patients with anorexia to begin to eat again, and helping patients with bulimia to stop the binge-purge cycle.
The communication at Renfrew between the therapist who treats each patient and her outpatient therapist is exceptional. Usually the Renfrew therapist will contact the outpatient therapist on a weekly basis to provide an ongoing report on the patient’s progress. This is critical in helping the patient to make the transition from the inpatient setting back to the outpatient setting, helping to avoid recidivism.
Renfrew's alumni services and recovery weekends are also extremely helpful in the big picture. Former patients return voluntarily for "tune-ups" and to reunite with familiar faces among the patient population and the staff. This tends to keep former patients on a healthy road, reminding them of the importance of staying on track and working hard to stay well.
I highly recommend the Renfrew Center without reservation for patients with eating disorders who need more intensive treatment than is possible in an outpatient setting.