I often, as many other parents of children suffering from an eating disorder, find myself envisioning what the future may hold for our daughter when she is older, well beyond the preparatory stages of ED recovery-maintenance, living a full, healthy and ED-free adult life will be like; especially when there may come a time when she decides upon a life-long partnership, marriage and/or family of her own.
Wouldn’t it be comforting and assuring to know that the care your son or daughter is receiving now will also be available for him/her and their partner-spouse when and if the time comes?
Thankfully some forward-thinking clinicians from the UNC Eating Disorders Program are working to provide just such a program, which is at this time addressing Anorexia Nervosa, and can continue to implement these necessary and supportive elements towards long-term health and maintenance for those who have loved ones suffering.
The UCAN Program
UCAN is a research program funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and is part of the UNC Eating Disorders Program. UCAN aims to help couples work together in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. Couples participate in UCAN over a period of six months and return for follow-up treatment three months after the end of the original six-month period. Your participation in UCAN can help you gain new confidence in facing anorexia as a team and can help us understand how best to involve partners in the treatment of eating disorders.
What Couples Can Expect
Couples can expect that their treatment will be conducted by trained, licensed professionals from the UNC Eating Disorders Program who are experienced in the treatment of eating disorders.
All participating couples have four assessments during which they complete questionnaires and interviews with a clinician, and are videotaped having a discussion with their partner about an anorexia nervosa-related topic.
During their participation in UCAN, couples will be randomly assigned (like a coin flip) to receive 20 sessions of either:
• Couples Therapy
• Family Supportive Therapy
In addition, the patient also receives comprehensive treatment for anorexia nervosa from the UNC Eating Disorders Program at no additional cost, including:
• Individual Psychotherapy
• Psychiatry Consultations
• Nutritional Counseling
*For further information about registering for the program contact at: UCAN@unc.edu or phone: (919)966.3065