“Be. You. Tiful” had the opportunity to interview with Keri Clifton of The Emily Program located in Saint Paul, Minnesota which offers personalized treatment for eating disorders. The emphasis placed on their website is “There’s help, There’s Hope.”  Keri Clifton is the community outreach director, we learned about the different programs in which the Emily Program works with. This organization is uplifting and positive, and we loved to see the change that they are making in the world.

We were curious as to what programs have been put into place about the issue of negative body image, when we ask Keri about her experiences she responded by saying; “There are many programs throughout the country that work on promoting positive body image.  We do this work in a variety of venues (schools, churches, etc) so that understand the impact body image can have on everyone.  Right now, we provide interactive workshops, and are continuing to expand our programming and our reach.”(Clifton, 2013) We found this approach outstanding, first by reaching out to the community and education people about what The Emily Program does gave us a peak at how this organization reaches out to the community.

Millions of people across the world struggle with eating disorders and body image, there are steps in which treatment centers such as The Emily Program implement, Keri layed out what treatment at The Emily Program looks like by saying “The first step in receiving support requires that an individual to contact us. The individual will be scheduled for an eating disorder v87. As a part of the assessment, one of our intake therapists will work with the individual to develop a treatment plan that meets their needs and comfort level at the time.” This amazed me, in order to get treatment through this program the individual must first want the help that he or she needs. The program seeks each persons individual needs and caters to them. She proceeded in saying “After the assessment, a client care coordinator will work with the individual to schedule appointments with an individual therapist, dietitian, and any other providers that were recommended as part of the treatment plan. The individual therapist will be the ‘go to’ person for ongoing support. Individuals may meet twice a week or once a month depending on their personal recovery journey.” This organization seeks to understand and genuinely cared about each person whom walks through their doors- each plan is different with each person.  “The therapist will also guide participation in any of our outpatient groups. So, each individual is very different.  We personalize the approach to each individuals personal needs.  Cognitive Behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and family based therapy are the most common treatment modalities used.  But, it is important to treat each person as an individual when providing care.” (Clifton,2013) The professionals whom work with outreach program are extensively trained and are able to hold hope for the clients, even if it seems to be hopeless, many of their clinicians are in recovery themselves. Having been through the journey themselves, they are the best advocates for the clients.

We asked Keri about about some of the core issues on body image, and were surprised to hear her answer. Keri said “I think that people don’t realize that the biggest determining factor of what their body will look like is their biology.  The “ideals” they see in the media is simply not attainable for the majority of the population, and that’s a huge problem” (Clifton, 2013) Every person is shaped a different way, think of ones body image based off biology  seems to be a great way of thinking. An individuals parents defiantly shapes how he or she will look and be “built.”

The Freed Act is the most important legislation to The Emily Program right now, they are advocates of advertising regulations but have not been extensively involved in lobbying around such bills.

For more information on the FREED act visit this website. http://eatingdisorderscoalition.blogspot.ca/2011/07/what-is-freed-act.html

If you or someone you know is fighting with eating disorders and would like more help please visit The Emily Program at http://www.emilyprogram.com/.

When to refer a friend or family member

  • Dramatic Weight loss
  • increase/decrease of rapid food consumption
  • verbally obsession with weight, food or body shape
  • “Purging; restricting; binge eating; compulsive eating; compulsive exercising; abuse of diet pills, laxatives, diuretics, or emetics”

Read some personal interviews –>

Read about the Let’s Move! campaign –>

Read about the Dove campaign –>

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