iaedpTM Approved Supervisor
Director of Nursing
Eating Recovery Center
My connection with eating disorders began 38 years ago. For 17 years I battled with my own eating disorder, while graduating with my BSN and working as an emergency department RN as a manager, educator and clinician. During these years I always thought if I ever was to recover, which seemed impossible at the time, I would do whatever I could to assist others in their own recovery. A few years after my own treatment and recovery, I decided to return to school to get my MS in Counselor Education so I could work with individuals with eating disorders as a psychotherapist. I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of treatment settings with individuals, couples and groups; acting as a guide to those embarking on their own recovery path. With the opening of Eating Recovery Center in October 2008, a treatment center providing a full continuum of services, I have been able to combine my nursing and psychotherapy background as the Director of Nursing. This has allowed me to assist in program development while supervising and educating the nursing staff in performing high quality patient care. Treating a patient with an eating disorder requires a multi-disciplinary approach and having the combination of a medical and psychiatric skill set has enabled me to have a much broader picture of each individual patient.
Working with individuals with eating disorders provides an awesome opportunity to assist amazing women (and men) in learning to really “live life” through their recovery from this devastating illness. Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disease. Some individuals recover, some die, and some have a chronic course of the illness with repeated treatment episodes. Patience, flexibility and passion about this type of work are imperative as there are many challenges awaiting the practitioner i.e., treating a combination of medical and psychiatric issues, combating a fierce disease (it takes the average person 7-10 years to recover from anorexia nervosa), treating the associated medical and/or psychiatric co-morbidity, and having the ability to identify and encourage the patient in each step they take towards recovery.