Things I learned at UNC

I promised to share some of the things I learned about while at UNC earlier this month. The 4th Annual UNC Eating Disorders Conference was an optimistic event - it has clearly been a year of progress and creativity in the ED research world in North Carolina.

UCAN (Uniting Couples in the Treatment of AN) addresses an area I think is even more neglected than getting parents involved in the treatment. And while the dynamics between parent and child is fraught - imagine between two adults, and how the issues of body image and eating together and finances and trust get mangled. I applaud this work, which extends some of the CBT work being done with couples coping with other illnesses (brain and otherwise).

NURTURE is also interesting: Intervention for moms with a history of ED. It should not be surprising with a genetically transmitted illness that parents would be worried about their children suffering in the same way they did. Add to that the real practical difficulties of a mother who has recovered trying to get things 'right' with their own child, and the lingering effects on the mother in terms of what/when/how much to feed a constantly changing young person. Oy! This program takes a nurturing, educational, and practical approach to this issue.

CBT4BN is another of several initiatives out there seeking to use the Internet to bring helpful care to those who need it. In a time of financial worry and increasing comfort with electronic communication this type of work could change the way we look at therapy.

Chromium for BED - it will be interesting to see how this research pans out. Chromium is easy to access, inexpensive, and if it helps... will be one of the few therapies to help with an issue gaining well-deserved attention.

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