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Recap: 2021 Eating Recovery Conference

Our annual Eating Recovery Conference, presented by the Eating Recovery and Pathlight Foundation, was a success, and we're already looking forward to the 2022 Eating Recovery and Pathlight Conference. If you joined us this year, we hope you gained some tools and tricks that you're already implementing. If we missed you this year, we hope to see you next year!

This year's conference featured nearly 20 leaders in eating disorder treatment disciplines over the course of two days. Some sessions took place live from our conference center, while others were recorded in advance and are available on-demand. Let's take a peek at our speakers and their sessions.

Describing the Conference in Three Words

We asked a few of our presenters to describe the Eating Recovery Conference in three words, and here's what we heard:

Interesting, educational, and fun!
Dr. Allison Chase
Stimulating, inviting, and interesting with the topics that are being shared and presented on.
Dr. Rocio Avila
Educational, innovative and collaborative.
Brooke Butler
I just need two words: of the highest quality.
Ovidio Bermudez
Worth your time.
Lisa Feilner

Live Sessions


Anne Marie O'Melia, MS, MD, FAAP, CEDS-S, Ken Weiner, MD, CEDS, FAED, and Rebecca Steinfort kicked off our conference with a welcome session. Emmett Bishop, Jr., MD, FAED, CEDS, Harry Brandt, MD, Craig Johnson, PhD, CEDS, FAED, Susan McClanahan, PhD, CEDS, and Ken Weiner, MD, CEDS, FAED followed, speaking on Eating Disorder Treatment: Where We Came From, Where We Are Going, and Lessons Learned Along the Way. Doug Bunnell, PhD, FAED, CEDS-S, Patrick Devenny, Eric Dorsa, and Robert Mendiola, RD, LPC then presented on Expanding and Understanding the Role of Gender in Eating Disorder Treatment and Recovery. Rocio Avila, LCSW & Allison Chase, PhD, CEDS-S closed out the day with a presentation on Treating the Entire Family with an EFFT-Informed Approach: Special Attention to Addressing Latinx Culture.


On Friday, we had three live sessions, starting with A Panel Discussion of ARFID Cases: Challenges and Opportunities in the Clinical Setting with Ovidio Bermudez, MD, FAAP, FSAHM, FAED, F.iaedp, CEDS, Brooke Butler, RD, CEDRD-S, and Liza Feilner, MA, LPC, CEDS-S, followed by Ralph Carson, RD, CEDRD, PhD, on Clean Cuisine: A Futile Effort in Light of Mankind Being an Opportunistic Omnivore. Philip Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS, and Dennis Gibson, MD, FACP, CEDS, wrapped up the Eating Recovery Conference with a session on the Latest on Select Medical Issues Impacting Patients with Severe Eating Disorders: Common Questions Which Arise.

On-Demand Sessions

In addition to the live sessions, there were also several on-demand sessions for those who could not attend in person or wanted to watch sessions at their own pace. All live sessions were also recorded and are available to registrants until December 31, 2021.

This year, we had five on-demand sessions, including Understanding Lab Values and Medical Complications in Eating Disorder Patients with Kimberly Brusch, RN, EdM, and Steven Crawford, MD, Five Years Into the Journey of Evidence-Based Virtual Eating Disorder Care: Decoding the Data, presented by Christina Martinez, LMFT, Nimisha Patel, LCSW-S, Kristie Simmons, MSRD, and Casey Tallent, PhD, and Ethics and Mandated Care in the Treatment of Eating Disorders, presented by Maryrose Bauschka, MD, Lisa Constantino, MA, LPC, CEDS-S& Megan Riddle, MD, PhD. Lisa Lackey, MA, LCPC, CSAT, CMAT & Leah Young, LCPC, presented an on-demand session on Sexual Compulsivity and Substance Use Disorders in the Eating Disorder Population. Our final on-demand presentation was Competition Cut Short: One Athlete's Story and How Professionals Make a Difference with Amy Gooding, PsyD & Rachael Steil. Conference registrants and attendees for Rachael Steil's presentation were also invited to a book club post-conference for Rachael Steil's book, Running in Silence: My Drive for Perfection.

Between the on-demand sessions and live sessions, attendees have the opportunity to earn up to 15 CME/CNE/CE credits. Through our conference hub, they can take the post-tests and revisit the presentations through December 31, 2021.

Key Takeaways

Thursday and Friday were packed with insightful discussions, thoughtful questions, and tools and tricks attendees could start implementing as soon as they finished the conference.

We enjoyed hearing from the presenters and learned quite a bit ourselves over the two days. Here are some key points we learned from our time at the conference:

"Consistent exploration of gender socialization will help with access to core psychological issues." — Douglas Bunnell, PhD, FAED, CEDS, Senior Clinical Advisor

"What we're not capturing is that eating disorders serve different functions for different people, based on background, based on identity." — Eric Dorsa, LGBTQ+ Mental Health Advocate

Stigmas and barriers to care include diagnosis requirements for insurance coverage. Yet, the criteria for Anorexia and Bulimia is very cis female-focused and does not include assigned male at birth experiences. Research and language are binary and exclude transgender, non-binary, and intersex persons, to name a couple of barriers mentioned by Doug Bunnell, PhD, FAED, CEDS-S, Patrick Devenny, Eric Dorsa and Robert Mendiola, RD, LPC, during their presentation.

Attendee Feedback

We were proud to be joined by such wonderful and knowledgeable presenters and speakers and are already looking forward to doing it again next year for a hybrid conference approach, both in Denver, CO, and virtually online.

If you haven't already, sign up for our 2022 conference alerts. The first 200 individuals who opt-in for alert sign-ups will receive a unique code to attend the 2022 Conference at a discounted rate. You won't want to miss it!

Eating Recovery Center is accredited through the Joint Commission. This organization seeks to enhance the lives of the persons served in healthcare settings through a consultative accreditation process emphasizing quality, value and optimal outcomes of services.

Organizations that earn the Gold Seal of Approval™ have met or exceeded The Joint Commission’s rigorous performance standards to obtain this distinctive and internationally recognized accreditation. Learn more about this accreditation here.

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