“I believe the reason for the rise in the incidence of eating disorders is at
least partially a
result of failed treatment. In other words, the treatment itself in some cases contributes to the emergence
of an even deadlier form of eating disorder.”
Dr. J Renae Norton 2009
Hello and welcome to my personal website for the treatment of eating disorders
You are obviously here because you recognize that you have a problem, and know that you need help getting through it. Pat yourself on the back, because that is the hardest part, admitting that you cannot, despite your best efforts, do this alone. I want you to know that you are not alone, that there are people who care about you, who really want to help. I will support your loved ones in their efforts to be helpful so that they become a part of your recovery, instead of unintentionally becoming a part of your problem.
As your therapist, I’ll be with you every step of the way, guiding you as you embark on the road to recovery. I know where the pitfalls are and together we will identify the strategies that work for you in avoiding them and keeping you moving forward. It won’t always be easy and sometimes you may want to give up. It may help to remember that there are many other women and men in your shoes. Although you may feel isolated and hopeless, I promise you that this is not the case. Many people do recover and lead happy, healthy, successful lives after overcoming the hardships of an eating disorder. I did, so I know from first hand experience how to do it and I am here to help you do the same.
What To Look For
You are probably asking yourself whom to trust when it comes to finding a therapist. It can be exhausting and expensive to switch between therapists and treatment programs, so you will want to find the best fit as soon as possible. The question is how do you know when you’ve found that person? From my point of view, the most important thing to look for is a therapist that offers treatment tailored to the patient instead of using a One Size Fits All approach as many therapists and organizations tend to do these days. In other words, you shouldn’t feel as if you are on an assembly line when you meet with the therapist. Instead the therapist should be able to offer a number of different services including: A comprehensive assessment that is systems based (looks at individuals in the context in which they live and also takes into consideration their medical and nutritional status); Family, Individual, and Group therapy; Re-feeding and Lifestyle Coaching; Resting Metabolism Rate (RMR) and Meal Planning; Intensive Outpatient Therapy (IOP); Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), (or at the very least Cognitive Behavioral Therapy); and Nutritional, Medical and Medication support. The therapist should also have a team of allied professionals to recommend, who will collaborate on your case with her, your family/significant other and with you.
So what makes me right for you?
I have been a specialist in the treatment of eating disorders for the past 25 years and have treated thousands of Eating Disorder patients. (For more information about my training and experience click here.) My patients are both male and female, between the ages of 4 and 83 and span the entire spectrum of eating disorder diagnoses.
My success rate is significantly higher than the average success of 30 to 50 % found in the literature for Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, and Binge Eating Disorder. Exit interviews and records review suggest an 80% success rate for patients that do not drop out of treatment prematurely. Treatment for my patients usually lasts 18 to 24 months as compared to the average length of treatment reported in the literature of 24 months to 5 years.
I define “success” as 12 months of being symptom free, the successful resumption of functional activities such as work or school, and of course, weight normalization. You should note that most inpatient facilities aim for as much as 20 pounds of weight restoration in 21 days as their primary criteria for “success”. In my experience this almost certainly guarantees relapse. And although it’s hard to tell from the manner in which they report outcomes, their “success” rates do not appear to address relapse!
In terms of obesity, treatment that consists primarily of dieting and bypass surgery, has a 90 to 95% failure rate. I have a 60% success rate overall and 90% success rate when patients commit to exercising and being willing to cook or prepare their food. I define “success” with an obese patient when he or she reaches and maintains goal weight, and gets off medications (heart, diabetic and cholesterol) for 12 months.
The factors my patients say were the most significant in their recovery were; my personal experience with an eating disorder in contrast to my excellent health now; being seen in the “warm and welcoming” atmosphere of my home-based practice; family involvement in treatment; DBT training; and the quality of nutritional information and support offered by me and my staff.
From my perspective, the other thing that “works” for my patients is being seen in my home-based practice. This affords my patients and I a unique opportunity when it comes to re-feeding, i.e. we can shop, cook and eat delicious and supremely healthy meals together. Because my patients are actively involved in the food preparation, there is much less stress, especially for the individual suffering from Anorexia or Bulimarexia. It’s also a non-threatening way to relearn your relationship with food. For me it’s just fun!
Get help today!
Contact me to set up an appointment. I offer free 15 minute assessment and information sessions for new clients on the phone, or free ½ hour introductory sessions in person. Please read the information on this website to get an understanding of eating disorders, treatment that is available and my approach. Then call me with questions or to set up your first appointment.
There is hope and recovery is possible. You’ve come to the right place. Now all you have to do is take the next step and before you know it, you will be on the way to recovery!
Dr. J. Renae Norton