The Collective Why
Mainstream eating disorder education is oriented through a medicalized and western cultural lens. Education about eating disorders has been solely regulated through predominately white academic institutions and organizations. These academic institutions and organizations knowingly or unknowingly replicate systems of domination such as patriarchy, white supremacy, educational hierarchies/classism within their research, conceptualization, teaching and treatment of eating disorders.
Most of the trainers, teachers, and facilitators within the eating disorder field are white. These training programs often use outdated language, do not address privilege, and often pathologize the food and body relationship.
The research, understanding, teaching, and treatment of eating disorders has been normed and standardized on white bodies, and the field is years behind in addressing eating disorders in Black, Brown Indigenous, and People of Color (BBIPOC) communities.
Predominately white institutions and organizations often tokenize BBIPOC and other marginalized communities, to offer a "diverse" perspective while rarely investing in the systemic and institutional change required to address the experiences of BBIPOC.
Collectively, BBIPOC and white folks committed to liberation leave many of these trainings feeling unfulfilled and disconnected as we contend with the gap between our educational awareness and the lived experiences of the myriad of people we have the privilege of working with and alongside.
These experiences of unfulfillment and disconnection contribute to:
1) Underdevelopment of eating disorder education.
2) Low confidence and competence when working with eating disorders in BBIPOC communities, and any community that falls outside of the standardized norm of "white".
3) Increased eating disorder relapse due to clients/patients/people not getting the adequate support that they need.
4)Financial strain of investing in certifications that do not get to the root and origins of eating disorders.
5) Competent and creative BBIPOC providers leaving the eating disorders field due to burn out, and their and orientation to the work does not match up to the predominate white narrative.
6) Uncertainty with how to create a thriving and affirming eating disorder specialty business.
7) Treating training and education like a checklist to meet Continuing Education Credits (CEU) and other professional standards vs. an opportunity to expand knowledge holistically.
Reimagining Eating Disorders 101 is about offering a holistic orientation that integrates western, indigenous, embodied, community based education and wisdom. Eating Disorders are conceptualized from the personal, collective, historical, ancestral, psychobiosocial-spiritual lens to offer a comprehensive approach to this work and emergence.