Professionals and Recovery

Professionals and Recovery Special Interest Group

The Professionals and Recovery SIG will work to better understand and explore what characterizes recovery from an eating disorder (ED) and to understand what the terms recovered and recovery mean to researchers, clinicians, clients and families.  Extant conceptualizations of ED recovery variously include and emphasize biological, behavioral, medical and psychological characteristics. Clinicians and researchers may use BMI, growth curves, current weight, absence of various behaviorally defined symptoms, or one of several other measures to define recovery, while client’s subjective experiences additionally allude to more rich psychosocial and spiritual dimensions. Qualitative studies of the phenomenology of client’s recovery are rare, but those findings indicate that in addition to achieving a balanced, accepting relationship with one’s body, weight and food, the goals of treatment are to be healthy, happy, and present to and satisfied with one's life. Critical to this discourse, research has also shown that over 30% of AED members have a reported history of ED and over 25% have a history of ED treatment.  As there is an expectation in the field that those working within in it are "in recovery" or "recovered,” the understanding of what we mean and how to achieve this state is a central question both for those in practice, and for the field as a whole.  The SIG, therefore, will focus on improving our understanding of recovery, of how information about recovery is being disseminated and utilized (or integrated) within the therapeutic, academic and research areas, while also looking at how best to ensure that the field supports the health of professionals who have had an ED along with the health of their clients.  The target membership of this SIG is AED members, including researchers, clinicians, patients and families.


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