In 2013 a group of Eating Disorder treatment providers in the San Fernando Valley were interested in coordinating local services and VFEDP was born. It quickly expanded to the other Valleys of San Gabriel, Santa Clarita, and Conejo. The idea was to meet our colleagues and to build working relationships in our own back yards. To learn locally and develop business in our communities with less need for traffic apps and more time for collaboration over tea.
Our Board Members & Officers:
Amelia Painter, RDN – VFED Secretary, and CE Chair
Alexis Forrey, LMFT – Director of VFED Groups
Christine Loeb, LMFT, RD – VFED President
Amanda Jennings, LMFT – Director of Technology
Amy Chalker, RDN – Consult Group Coordinator
Kristie Tovar, MS, RD, CEDRD – Director of Correspondence and Client Resources
Tessa M. Smith – VFED Treasurer (not pictured)
The treatment of Eating Disorders is hard work. We are grateful to provide these services, as it is an honor to enter into a healing relationship with someone who is suffering.
VFED is here to connect Valley Treatment Seekers with Valley Treatment Providers. We provide information and links to Eating Disorder Services for those suffering from Eating Disorders as well as their Friends and Families. For the most part, we highlight services and treatment local to the San Fernando Valley, the San Gabriel Valley, the Santa Clarita Valley, the Simi Valley, the Antelope Valley and The Conejo Valley. This includes Psychotherapy, Nutrition, Medical, and related licensed professionals. We also connect Valley Treatment Providers to each other and to Continuing Education.
What causes an Eating Disorder?
This a complex question with a complex answer. There is no single thing that causes someone to develop an eating disorder. Research suggests that there are typically a combination of factors that may lend someone to be more vulnerable, including biological and environmental factors. More specifically, there may be hereditary factors, temperament vulnerabilities, or traumatic life experiences someone has experienced. This is why it is essential to treat eating disorders with each of these factors in mind. There must be a combination of medical, psychological, and nutritional care.
What is Anorexia?
Do you find yourself or a family member obsessively thinking about what food should or shouldn’t be eaten, constantly worrying that weight will be gained? Anorexia is often characterized by significant weight loss that impacts physical and emotional health and well-being. Those suffering with anorexia often have an irrational fear of weight gain, even if their body is at a dangerously low weight. The obsessions with food and body often take over an individual’s life to the extent that they cannot function. Those suffering with anorexia may describe their mental experience as “living in a jail,” due to the rigidity of their thoughts and emotions.
What is Orthorexia?
Do you find yourself constantly checking labels, worrying about whether the foods you are eating have healthy or organic ingredients? Do you find that your days are taken up by needing to plan what you will eat in case healthy foods are not available? Orthorexia is an eating disorder characterized by an obsession with eating “healthy,” “clean,” or “good” foods. The rigidity in food choices may become extreme to the point that it impacts someone’s health and well-being.
What is Bulimia?
Do you have a way of making up for Calories gained during eating? Do you try to “undo” your failures to restrict through secretive vomiting, laxatives or other medications, excessive exercise, or restricting? Though their weight is often “normal”, someone with Bulimia may think otherwise or focus on a certain body area and feel like a failure for not being able to resist food. Expecting perfectionism of themselves, they are caught in cycles of restricting, bingeing, and attempts to compensate. They feel ashamed and out of control.
What is Binge Eating Disorder?
Do you find yourself turning to food when you can’t handle life? Do you eat when you are not hungry to a point of pain or discomfort? BED is characterized by compulsively eating large quantities of food followed by regret and shame- often rapidly and in secret.
Note: Though all of the above problems involve Food, they started with Feelings- often involving Trauma- and resulting in effects on the Mind and Body. Full recovery is our goal. They are effectively treated through the help of a collaboration of disciplines- including Psychotherapy, Nutrition Counseling, Medical care, and other professionals who can help with stress reduction and improve physical and mental well being. VFED members continue to train every year in Evidence Based Practices, Mindfulness, Eastern and Western Medicine, and Somatic Therapies.