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The Renfrew Center Foundation Conference

The 34th Annual Renfrew Center Foundation Conference

The 34th Annual Renfrew Center Foundation
Conference for Professionals

Held Friday, November 8 – Friday, December 27, 2024

The Renfrew Center Foundation Conference is known for providing expert training and education for professionals in the field of eating disorders. The 34th Annual Renfrew Center Foundation Conference will be a Virtual Conference that is designed to be responsive and reflexive to the needs of the professional community near and far, by increasing inclusivity and accessibility.

The Renfrew Center Foundation, established in 1990, is dedicated to the elimination of eating disorders through education, prevention, research, advocacy, and treatment. The Foundation values the professional development of future leaders in the field and recognizes the long-lasting benefits of Conference attendance for both educational and networking opportunities.

In keeping with this mission, The Renfrew Center Foundation is pleased to offer scholarships for the 2024 Renfrew Center Foundation Conference which include a complimentary VIRTUAL Conference registration.

The scholarship application window will open mid-June.

As we adapt to our new normal post-pandemic, we are presented with an opportunity to transform eating disorder care. While enticing to return to the way things were, we are faced with clinical challenges that necessitate our willingness to infuse our wisdom from the past to innovate and advance the treatment of eating disorders.

Together, we will learn from our collective experience, acquire new knowledge related to technology and its application to our field, and come away from this experience with courage to utilize new strategies in clinical practice. Join us in connection and collaboration as we exchange clinical knowledge, embrace new technologies, and inspire transformation.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

History of The Renfrew Center Foundation Conference

In November 1991, The Renfrew Center Foundation convened its first national Conference in Philadelphia, PA with 150 in attendance. Many of the attendees were new to the field and had been treating eating disorders for only a few years. The majority were clinicians in private practice, challenged by their patients’ complicated medical, psychological and social issues. Conference attendees were not only seeking knowledge and skill but were also looking for a place to openly share ideas and find support as they struggled to do highly specialized and demanding clinical work. An additional challenge was the growing realization that the culture was playing a large part in the increased incidence of eating disorders. Informed by the work of Carol Gilligan and The Stone Center, there was a great deal of discussion about the possibility that therapeutic needs differ among genders, particularly for those with eating disorders.

When our first Conference launched, The Renfrew Center had been open for five years – a time of experimentation with many types of group therapy and the healing power of community. Gradually, these relational approaches, cultivated in our clinical work, became the foundation for our educational efforts.

The spirit and focus of the Conference have purposefully encompassed and reflected the feminist values of collaboration, connection and mutually respectful relationships. We have welcomed speakers such as Carol Gilligan, Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, Roxane Gay, Monica Lewinsky, Gabourey Sidibe, Soledad O’Brien, and Rachel Levine, among many others who have addressed eating disorders through the lens of gender. Of equal importance, we have featured leaders in the field who provided treatment, conducted research, embarked on new theories, and enriched the audience with their expertise. Younger, more contemporary professionals have always been encouraged to share their work. Over the past several years, the Conference has focused on the integration of our relational tradition with other emerging evidence-based treatments, including The Renfrew Center Unified Treatment Model for Eating Disorders®, an innovative approach designed to target the emotional patterns that maintain eating disorders and their various co-occurring conditions.

Many who have presented at the Conference have been pioneers in rethinking and reshaping clinical theory and practice. Some have become mentors and role models for the next generation of psychologists, social workers, dietitians, physicians, and nurses. What began more than 30 years ago as a unique training Conference has extended its scope and its influence to become a venue for sharing and rejuvenating for the more than 600 mental health professionals who attend each year. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the seamless shift to a virtual platform has favorably increased both reach and accessibility while safeguarding the health of attendees. The Conference continues to be a gathering which brings together cutting edge ideas and fresh voices in a stimulating, nurturing environment.

Judi Goldstein, MSS, LSW
Conference Chair & Vice President, The Renfrew Center Foundation

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