Project HEAL Collaborates with UC San Diego Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research to Offer an Innovative Treatment Scholarship for Patients and their Families Struggling with Anorexia Nervosa

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October 6, 2014: Kristina Saffran, 22, and Liana Rosenman, 23, the founders of Project HEAL, are pleased to announce a new collaboration with The UC San Diego Eating Disorder Center for Treatment and Research, furthering the mission of both organizations to provide life-saving treatment to people with eating disorders and show people that full recovery is possible.

The UCSD Intensive Family Therapy program is a unique treatment for adolescents and adults andtheir families struggling with Anorexia Nervosa. The program was designed to provide an immersion into Family Based Treatment, the gold standard of treatment for adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa. The program is based on the philosophy and supporting research that family member are critical for sustained recovery from Anorexia Nervosa –when family members are organized to support the individual and battle the illness in the most effective way, individuals are more likely to successfully recover. Since traditional Family Based Treatment can be a long and costly process, and very few mental health professionals in the country are trained to deliver it, the Intensive Family Therapy Program was designed to be a week-long, multi-family program, involving 35-40 hours of treatment (approximately 8 hours per day). The intensive nature of program allows for immense change to take place in a relatively short period of time and provides unparalleled opportunities for in-vivo intervention, continued therapeutic observation, and supported/sustained practice of skills.

“I am thrilled about this collaboration for so many reasons,” said Kristina. “The Family Based Treatment approach is what ultimately enabled me to reach a full recovery from anorexia nervosa, but it can require a tremendous amount of time and money from the family, making it unfeasible for some. I am so happy that Project HEAL can have a role in helping more families to receive this wonderful treatment.

“Our team at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research is looking forward to partnering with Project HEAL,” says Program Director Walter Kaye, M.D. We are grateful for the opportunity to expand our evidence-based treatments to individuals who may not have the means necessary to seek treatment without the support of organizations like Project HEAL,”

The UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research is an international leader in employing new treatments based on science and research into the neurobiology of AN and BN. Our program helps people develop more effective strategies to cope with the altered appetite, reward, anxiety, obsessionality, and impulse control alterations that contribute to a vulnerability to develop an eating disorder and the difficulties in sustaining recovery. Each individual receives a comprehensive evaluation to determine appropriate treatment needs and collaborate with you to create an individualized treatment plan.

Project HEAL: Help to Eat, Accept and Live (www.theprojectheal.org) is a not-for-profit organization that raises funds to provide scholarships for those with eating disorders who are not able to afford treatment, and promotes healthy body image and self esteem in hopes of preventing future eating disorders. Liana and Kristina met while undergoing treatment for anorexia nervosa when they were just 15 years old. The two young women helped each other to reach full recovery and then wanted to help others achieve it, as well. Since it’s founding in 2008, Project HEAL has sent fourteen applicants to treatment.

For more information, please visit www.theprojectheal.org or email the Executive Director, Sara A. Brody at sara@theprojectheal.org.

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