Renfrew Center Eating Disorder Treatment Philosophy
Eating disorders are complex illnesses with biological, genetic, psychological, social and developmental roots. There is no single cause for the development of an eating disorder. We believe that treatment is most effective when it targets the factors that are responsible for maintaining the symptoms once they develop. We conceptualize eating disorders as largely perpetuated by emotional intolerance and avoidance as well as relational disconnection from others.
The Renfrew Center Unified Treatment Model for Eating Disorders® integrates an emphasis on the healing potential of empathic relational connection with evidence-based, emotion-focused treatment interventions.
At The Renfrew Center, our treatment is based on:
- A fundamental belief that relationships and a sense of community are central to the psychological health of women.
- A transdiagnostic approach to treating the whole person with treatment interventions that address eating disorders and co-morbid symptoms.
- The practice of explicitly targeting underlying emotional factors that drive maladaptive behaviors.
- The importance of building emotional and relational resilience for lasting recovery.
- The belief that it is essential for patients and their families to be involved in goal setting and the ongoing assessment of treatment progress.
- A commitment to soliciting feedback from patients, families and professionals in order to continually improve our services.
- The value of evidence-based practices and systematically integrating the results of the most current research findings throughout Renfrew's treatment programs.
Throughout treatment, patients develop the strength and confidence to take back their lives by:
- Understanding the important interplay between emotion regulation (intrapersonal factors) and authentic engagement in mutual relationships (interpersonal factors).
- Learning to courageously approach rather than avoid emotional experiences, including painful and uncomfortable emotions.
- Increasing emotional tolerance and psychological flexibility to decrease the need for maladaptive coping behaviors.
- Building emotional competence allowing for enhancement of self-empathy, self-efficacy and an ability to have meaningful relationships with others.
With these goals in mind, The Renfrew Center offers a full range of treatment options led by clinical staff members who are:
- Known leaders in the field of eating disorder treatment.
- Trained in the same treatment principles and interventions across all disciplines and levels of care.
- Experts in the psychology of adolescent girls and women.
- Sensitive to the biological, social and cultural contexts of women's lives.
- Dedicated to restoring a sense of meaningful well-being in every patient.
The Renfrew Center treats adolescent girls, women, transgender and non-binary gender at all levels of care. Patients are matched to the appropriate level of care, at which they are able to safely and effectively engage in a treatment process designed to affect a full and lasting recovery.