The new model for the FAI/ACORN Professional Training, conducted July 19-25, 2013, in Tampa and Sarasota, Florida, was a success. All participants who are food-addicted were rigorously abstinent at the end of the first weekend, which was followed by the new two-day academic component at the Florida School of Addiction Studies.
Phil Werdell taught the two-day course and used material from his Springfield College course on food addiction.
Dr. Vera Tarman lectured on medications for eating disorders and food addiction. (Basically, there is not much that is very helpful yet, but the research underlying these medications helps us understand how chemical dependency on food is kindled.)
Esther Helga Gudmundsdottir and Raja Batarseh, from Iceland and Jordan respectively, presented their innovative models for outpatient education and treatment. (Both have developed ways of working with food addicts not yet in use in America.)
Several participants — including Dana Dixon — supplemented Mary Foushi’s recovery stories which related to theories covered in the class.
There was material on assessment, comparing food-addiction treatment with alcoholism treatment, applications of the American Psychiatric Association’s new Binge Eating Disorder diagnosis for food addiction, information on adjusting food-addiction treatment for different cultures, and new concrete proposals for public health strategies for food addiction.
The next Professional Training intensive will be held in Iceland sometime in early 2014.