The Renfrew Center Eating Disorder Treatment Facility


First in Eating Disorders

Since 1985, The Renfrew Centers have been providing clinical excellence within a nurturing environment  empowering adolescent girls and women to change their lives.

The Renfrew Conference

The Annual Renfrew Center Foundation Conference for Professionals has been recognized as one of the premier eating disorders conferences in the country since it first convened in 1991. Held every fall in Philadelphia, the Conference hosts hundreds of professionals from around the United States and abroad, providing a forum for in-depth exploration of clinical practice, in addition to presentation of pertinent data and information in the eating disorders field. Workshops are presented by the top leaders in the field and extensive networking opportunities are available throughout the 3-day event. The unique spirit of the Conference creates a sense of community and respect, which allows professionals to talk honestly about what they do, say and feel when treating patients with eating disorders.

Click here to read the history of the Renfrew Conference from Conference Chair, Judi Goldstein. 

To order available audio recordings from The 28th Annual Renfrew Center Foundation Conference for Professionals, please click here.


Feminist Relational Perspectives and Beyond: Discerning Truth

November 8-10, 2019 • Philadelphia Airport Marriott 

As we continue to address the challenges we face as a professional community, we recognize the importance of discerning truth in our current climate of “fake news,” unsubstantiated claims and slanted rhetoric. These forces have contributed to rising levels of distrust and vulnerability among our clients with eating disorders. Conference 2019 will examine the ways in which we can help clients develop skills to enhance critical thinking, emotional regulation and relational connection. We will also explore our own biases and capacity for taking others’ perspectives, utilizing empirically-based, justice informed science and research.

Discerning Truth will focus on cognitive and psychological flexibility, neuroscience and the developing brain, compassion, and the healing qualities of the therapeutic relationship.

View the brochure >


Laura Ling • Bringing Truth to Light
Award-Winning Journalist and Author

Laura is the host of the podcast Everyday Bravery, a series about finding the courage within ourselves to overcome our biggest challenges. In addition, she is the creator of the Discovery mini‐documentary series, The Power of Kindness, that explores the scientific roots and benefits of being kind. She has reported on slave labor in the Amazon, women’s rights in the Middle East and internet censorship in China.

In March 2009, while reporting on the human trafficking of North Korean and Chinese women, Laura and her colleague were detained by North Korean soldiers along the China‐North Korea border. The two journalists were arrested and held captive in a North Korean prison for 140 days before being granted a special pardon through the efforts of Lisa Ling and President Bill Clinton. As a result, Laura was able to return to the United States. She documented her experience in the 2010 memoir, Somewhere InsideOne Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home, penned with her sister, Lisa.

There is an assumption that science is neutral and the absolute truth. This perpetuates the false narratives about the neutrality of our science, the utility of our findings to all people, the absence of bias in our methods, and our interpretation of results. This panel will discuss new research that challenges long-held assumptions in the eating disorders field and the implications of this important work.

We live in the most polarized time since the 1850’s, tearing at the fabric of civil life and disrupting the intimate sphere of friendships, marriage and family relationships. We can’t even agree on what is true, let alone what to do about it. The result is ramped up anxiety that affects therapists, clients, and whole communities. This Keynote Presentation addresses how to deal with our own “political stress” and our own “inner polarizer,” highlighting how therapists can help clients understand the ways in which the larger world is affecting them, and how to be agents of depolarization while still being true to their own values and beliefs.

Historically, individuals with eating disorders have received suboptimal medical care due to a siloing of body and soul, weight stigma, and a lack of awareness about physiologic responses to eating disorders. Physical symptoms that arise from inadequate fueling or purging continue to be missed, ignored or incorrectly attributed. In this Keynote Presentation, Dr. Gaudiani considers some of the complicated medical problems common to patients with eating disorders, while insisting on a weight-inclusive approach and centering diverse patients. Ideally, practitioners will reject old constructs of mind-body separation and equation of thinness with health, and turn to a more social-justice, feminist-centered perspective that allows for improved care.

The deadlines for program proposals, poster proposals and scholarships have passed.

For questions, please contact Kelly Krausz, Foundation Coordinator, at 1-877-367-3383 or

The Renfrew Conference Committee

Judi Goldstein, MSS, LSW, is Vice President of The Renfrew Center Foundation and has been responsible for the development of the Conference since 1994. She has been with The Renfrew Center for more than 30 years, since it opened in 1985. Ms. Goldstein is a Founder of The National Eating Disorders Association and recipient of NEDA’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Adrienne Ressler, LMSW, CEDS, F.iaedp, is the Vice President, Professional Development, for The Renfrew Center Foundation and past President and Fellow of iaedp has authored chapters on body/mind treatment in two textbooks and the Encyclopedia of Body Image and Human Appearance. She is a featured body image expert on national television and in several documentaries. 

Gayle E. Brooks, PhD, CEDS, is Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer for The Renfrew Center. Dr. Brooks leads the Renfrew Clinical Excellence Board and the Clinical Training Department. She has clinical oversight responsibility for Renfrew’s residential facility in Florida and for the non-residential sites in CA, FL, GA, IL, NC, and TN.


Melanie Smith, LMHC, CEDS, is the Director of Training for The Renfrew Center. As a member of the corporate Clinical Training Department, she is responsible for developing and implementing clinical training and programming that is consistent with emerging research and evidence-based practice. Ms. Smith has presented workshops on topics related to eating disorders for professional conferences, insurance companies, community mental health agencies, treatment centers, hospitals, high schools, colleges and universities.

Beth Hartman McGilley, PhD, FAED, is Co-Editor of The Treatment of Eating Disorders: Bridging the Research - Practice Gap. She specializes in the treatment of eating and related disorders, body image, sports psychology, trauma, and grief. A Fellow of the AED, Dr. McGilley has practiced for 30 years, writing, lecturing, supervising, and directing.

Margo Maine, PhD, FAED, CEDS, is a member of The Renfrew Center’s Clinical Advisory Board and The Renfrew Center Foundation’s Conference Committee. She is a clinical psychologist who has specialized in eating disorders and related issues for more than 35 years. A Founder and Adviser of the National Eating Disorders Association and Founding Fellow of the Academy for Eating Disorders, she is the 2007 recipient of The Lori Irving Award for Excellence in Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention and a 2016 Honoree of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.

Mark Warren, MD, MPH, FAED, is Chief Medical Officer of The Emily Program, and Faculty at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. A two-time recipient of NAMI’s Exemplary Psychiatrist Award, a winner of the Woodruff Award, and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Warren presents nationally and internationally. He is a member of The Renfrew Center Foundation’s Conference Committee.