International Conference on Eating Disorders 2019

Event Start Date:
14/03/2019
Event End Date:
16/03/2019
Event Venue:
Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel 811 7th Avenue 53rd Street, New York, NY, 10019, USA

June will be presenting a workshop at the International Conference on Eating Disorders 2019 (view the Preliminary Program here).

Workshop: Severe and Enduring Anorexia Nervosa: Tackling the Tough Questions

Facilitators: Anthea Fursland, PhD, FAED Stephen Touyz, PhD, FAED June Alexander and PhD Shannon Calvert

This workshop will describe and examine the complex phenomenon known as “severe and enduring anorexia nervosa (SEAN)”. Research and clinical implications will be discussed by two clinicians/researchers: Stephen Touyz, an academic clinical psychologist and Anthea Fursland, a clinical psychologist who conducts applied research. This introduction will be followed by two women with extensive lived experience of anorexia nervosa but who, against expectations, have rebuilt their lives.

June Alexander is an author, eating disorders advocate and writing mentor; and Shannon Calvert is a lived experience educator, eating disorders advocate and peer mentor. Each presenter will speak for approximately 10 minutes, then as a group we will identify difficult questions including: how do we define SEAN? Is there such a phenomenon, subtype or diagnostic entity? Are specific treatments required for those with chronic anorexia nervosa (AN)? Do we give up on full recovery? Does recovery in this group differ from recovery in those with a shorter experience of the illness? What does “recovery” mean in this cohort, since it necessitates coming to terms with grief and loss of relationship and life opportunities due to this isolating illness? Should we ever deny treatment because of the complexity/chronicity of someone’s illness? Should we give someone with chronic AN the choice of palliative care (quality of life care for a life-limiting illness)? Should we give someone the choice to deny end treatment, leaving them to die? (If so, at what point? Who decides? Whose wishes should we follow?) We will then break into small groups to discuss these and other controversial questions. The workshop will conclude with sharing the findings from our group discussions.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Cite research related to treating people living with chronic anorexia nervosa.

  2. Review the validity of the use of the term “Severe and Enduring Anorexia Nervosa (SEAN)”.

  3. Integrate the perspective of those with lived experience of chronic anorexia nervosa (who are now in recovery) into decisions about treatment.