Professional Help

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Treatment Centers and Programs

Getting Help for Food Addiction

ACORN Food Dependency Recovery Services
ACORN is a professional organization offering retreats, workshops and intensives by recovered food addicts for food addicts. Programs are offered on a fee-for-service basis all over the United States, Canada and Iceland. The Primary Intensive is a residential workshop which duplicates the experiential part of a week of food addiction treatment for those not needing hospitalization or direct medical supervision. For those needing longer support, there is the Living in Abstinence program in which participants attend two or more ACORN programs within a year. A specialized Living in Abstinence program is integrated with the FAI/ACORN Food Addiction Professional Training Program for those who want regular recovery support but are not at this time considering working as professionals. Like most addiction model treatment, ACORN sees its work as support for abstinence and breaking addictive denial so participants can better use 12 Step fellowships.

Compulsive Overeaters Retreat COR participants spend five days and four nights together at the McIver Center for Spiritual Development at The Retreat in Wayzata, Minnesota. The Retreat is a nationally renowned 12 Step recovery center for drugs and alcohol. The McIver Center is a new and separate facility located on The Retreat campus in the Big Woods of Wayzata. Regularly used to house families of treatment participants for programs of their own, COR now calls the McIver Center home, as well.

The Compulsive Overeaters Retreat or COR is designed to provide each participant with a positive experience in food management, including selection and portion control. These and other skills experienced at COR have proven to be integral to reversing compulsive overeating.

Family-style mealtime at the retreat will include nutritious, health conscious selections intended to support individual eating plans and dietary needs. The retreat menus have been selected to assist each attendee with abstaining from white flour, sugars and processed foods. Individuals concerned about their relationship with food are provided a safe, caring and comfortable setting in which to recognize and begin the process to change destructive, unhealthy behaviors as they learn to adapt and assimilate positive, healthful coping mechanisms as part of a whole, joyful life.

Milestones in Recovery is a treatment program for eating disorders and food addiction in Cooper City, FL (north of Miami). The usual length of treatment is one or more months. All health insurance is accepted. Participants attend a day treatment at Milestones and live together in nearby apartments. The focus of the program is to support clients to achieve physical food abstinence and maintain it while living in the community. This is done around the programmatic themes of Spirituality, Exercise, Relaxation and Food Plan, S.E.R.F. There are lectures, recovery groups and individual counseling sessions each day. At night and on the weekends, participants buy and cook their own food, go to 12 Step meetings, and work on their individualized assignments. Milestone has an active aftercare program for alumnae.

Shades of Hope is a residential treatment program for all addictions, specializing in eating disorders and food addiction, in Buffalo Gap, Texas. They will work with your health insurance provider for coverage. There are several programs on the campus: six day intensives, a 42 day residential treatment program, a transition house, two halfway houses, and a three-quarter way house. The entire program has been sugar and white flour free for over two decades. The six week program includes education about foods plans, regular abstinent meals in a common dining hall, daily community group, workshops on body image issues and family sculpting, a series of lectures, a family weekend, opportunities to try different recovery fellowships, and individualized assignments. This is the program which is the basis of the reality show “Addicted to Food” on the OWN network.

Turning Point (of Tampa) began as a well-regarded halfway house for drug and alcohol recovery. In the 1990’s, a number of halfway houses focused on supporting food addiction recovery were added. About ten years ago, Turning Point added a full residential treatment program including a Recovery Village in which participants, cook and eat in small cottages on the property. There continues to be houses just for eating disorder and food addiction clients. The program for food uses the addiction model: abstinence first, rigorous honesty about thoughts and feeling, lectures, process groups, a family week and individualized aftercare supporting 12 Step work. There are trauma resolution groups for those needing to deal with deep emotional issues.

PROMIS (UK) offers extensive experience in treating many addiction problems relating to; alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, stress and depression. PROMIS is made up of several private rehab clinics with treatment facilities in Kent, London, Paris, Madrid, Geneva and Amsterdam. They provide residential primary treatment, secondary care, detox, counseling, interventions and aftercare as well as a dedicated young persons and family program. The food program at the Kent center follows the addiction model philosophy set out in Common Sense in the Treatment of Eating Disorders, by Dr. Robert Lefever, the founder of the program.

MFM Matarfíknarmiðstöðin / MFM Food Addiction Center (Iceland) The MFM food addiction center is an out-patient recovery program in Reykjavik, Iceland both for those completely new to the idea of chemical dependency on food and for self-assessed food addicts having trouble achieving and maintaining food abstinence. There are several stages of the program. After an individual assessment, the initial program is a weekend in which recovering food addicts cook food abstinent meals for the group; there are meetings after each meal to discuss what they have eaten, to support detoxification, and to help participants figure out how to cook abstinently at home. The second stage is a weekly recovery group for three months, in which questions are answered about shopping, meal preparation, dealing with family reactions and remaining abstinent one day at a time while on the job or going about one’s daily business. This is followed by another weekly group for three months in which members are introduced to skills for dealing with difficult feelings and working on underlying spiritual issues; many at this point join one of the two local 12 Step fellowships, Overeaters Anonymous or Greysheeters Anonymous. The last stage is for those participants who feel they need additional professional support while also working a 12 Step program with a sponsor. For those learning to be individual counselors and lead groups, there is now a three year FAI Professional Training Program in Iceland.

Medical Doctors

Dr. Vera Tarman, MD, M.Sc, FCFP, CASAM (Toronto, Canada)
As founder and spokesperson for Addictions Unplugged, Dr. Tarman has focused her medical practice over the past 7 years on addiction treatment and recovery. A specialist in addiction behavior and treatment, she speaks on the topics of the science behind food addiction and why we use food for comfort.

Dietitians and Nutritionists

Lori Herold, LD/N Nutritionist at Turning Point of Tampa, Inc. and private practice. (727) 725-6049 Clearwater, FL

H. Theresa Wright, MS, RD, LDN, Founder and President, Renaissance Nutrition Center, Inc. author of Your Personal Food Plan Guide, nutritionist specializing in food addiction since 1980, individual counseling, groups, and workshops.

Counselors, Therapists and Coaches

Dr. Anna Bacher, PsyD, LMHC, therapist specializing in food addiction and sports psychology. Sarasota, FL (941) 266-1900

Mary Foushi, food addiction professional and recovery coach, Cofounder and National Services Coordinator of ACORN Food Dependency Recovery Services, Coauthor of Food Addiction Recovery: A New Model of Professional Support – The ACORN Primary Intensive. Sarasota, FL (941) 378-2122

Esther Helga Gudmundsdottir, food addiction professional, counselor, therapist and founder of MFM midstodin (MFM foodaddiction center). Reykjavik, Iceland. Tel: +354-568 3868

Gerri Helms, Life Coach, MCC, CSC, Author of Trust God and Buy Broccoli, A Spiritual Approach to Weight Loss. (407) 921-7268

Bitten Jonsson, MA, addiction therapist, training for relapse prevention, specializing in work with food addiction. Sweden.

Anne Katherine, MA, LMHC has an online program at www.masteryourappetite.com and 8 books in print, including Your Appetite Switch: Master Your Eating and Free Your Life, Anatomy of a Food Addiction, and, for your family, Lick It! Fix Her Appetite Switch.

Sara Levite, MA, family and individual counselor specializing in working with eating disordered and food addicted clients. Portland, Maine

Dolores Proto, MA, food addiction professional, individual therapist, recovery group leader, facilator of residential food addiction treatment, specializing in the problem of shame as it contributes to relapse. Founder and Director of Gladness House, a recovery place for food addicts. Philadelphia, PA

Tennie McCarty, LCDC, ADCIII, CEDC, CAS, therapist and food addiction professional. Founder, CEO and Co-owner of Shades of Hope, Buffalo Gap, Texas

Kay Sheppard, MA, LMHC, CEDS, therapist, trainer, author of Food Addiction: the Body Knows; From the First Bite and Food Addiction: Healing Day by Day

Linda B Sherr, MA, LMFT, LMHC, family and eating disorder therapist with experience helping food addicts. Sarasota, FL (941) 955-1330

Jan Smith, MA, Years of experience giving individual and group therapy with a specialization in working with chronically relapsing food addicts. Chicago, IL

Clare Weldon, MSW, LCSW, food addiction professional with extensive experience working with food addicts in individual counseling, recovery groups and residential settings. Delran, New Jersey

Philip Werdell, MA, food addiction professional, individual coach, organizational consultant, public speaker and professional trainer. Author, “Physical Craving and Food Addiction,” and Bariatric Surgery and Food Addiction: Preoperative Considerations. Sarasota, FL (941) 378-2122

Martha Zischkau, food addiction professional specializing in workshops and individual counseling for in-depth First Step work and spirituality. Philadelphia, PA