The Renfrew Center

1-800-Renfrew

First in Eating Disorders

The Renfrew Centers provide clinical excellence within a nurturing
environment—empowering women to change their lives.

Trauma and Abuse

About two-thirds of all women entering inpatient treatment for an eating disorder have histories of trauma or abuse. The trauma is usually physical, sexual or emotional in nature and although it may have occurred in the past, the post-traumatic reaction continues to affect the present. These ongoing reactions are often integrally related to the eating disorder through a complex cause-effect dynamic. 

The Healing from Trauma and Abuse track at The Renfrew Center, led by trauma experts, is based on the concept that real healing occurs when a woman makes choices that keep her safe in the moment. Those who participate in this track have reported that they are amazed at their own resilience and the amount of control they are able to achieve over their lives.

The Renfrew Center’s Healing from Trauma and Abuse Track:

  • Provides an environment of safety and understanding for women who are in the grips of both an eating disorder and a post-traumatic reaction. 
  • Is structured to address eating disorder symptoms and behaviors while helping women manage post-traumatic reactions in a way that ensures progress toward recovery from both.
  • Engages participants in developing skills to build a sense of empowerment over events that may have once left them feeling powerless, shameful, guilty, angry, scornful and afraid.
  • Helps participants demonstrate an ability to establish and maintain safety while managing their eating behaviors. 
  • Integrates group, individual and experiential therapies with didactic psycho-education that explores the relationship between trauma and eating disorders.