The start of a new year offers us an opportunity to think about plans for the future, goals, hopes and dreams. It is a great time to be working on recovery.
Many of our patients are working on eating disorder recovery and will be working hard in the coming year. For many, part of the recovery process is beginning again. Some patients are in a second or third course of treatment. Their perseverance and determination is admirable for the courage and strength it takes.
Fortunately, research shows that the average time it takes to recover is getting shorter.
In 1997, Mike Strober’s research indicated that the average length of time an individual was in treatment until achieving recovery was five years. Recently, evidence based treatments are emerging, showing increased and quicker recovery rates.
Sixty percent of patients recover after one to three years in outpatient care. This is amazing progress and offers much hope for patients and their families.
Eating Disorder Recovery: A New Year
Our patients will have a variety of experiences, thoughts, and feelings as we enter this new year. I want to share a few of my own hopes:
- Improve access to care for people with eating disorders. We need more facilities in more locations that can treat eating disorders effectively and affordably. [Find an ERC location near you here.]
- Remove obstacles to treatment, including cost and distance to providers. [Get information about virtual treatment here.]
- Enhance early identification and referral for treatment by first-line providers (general practitioners and pediatricians).
- Expand research-based prevention programs to more schools and universities.
- Improve the integration of research findings into clinical practice.
At ERC, we are working hard towards each of these goals.
- We have treated patients from every state.
- We have programs throughout the country with a shared commitment to excellent care.
- We have research leadership to ensure that program development is research-driven.
- The ERC Foundation funds prevention education and improved access to treatment.
- Conferences and training are offered throughout the country year-round to treatment providers on all aspects of eating disorders and their treatment.
My hope is that this coming year brings even more contributions to the field that will help reduce the impact of these terrible illnesses on patients and their families.
- Theresa Fassihi, PhD, FAED, CEDS
Source: Lecture by Dr. Craig Johnson “Lessons Learned from Family Education.” Given August 22, 2015, 7th Annual Eating Recovery Center Foundation Eating Disorders Conference.