Therapy Training at The Emily Program
The Emily Program offers training in eating disorder specialty services for students currently enrolled in an accredited therapy-related graduate program. The training program takes place at The Emily Program’s locations in our residential, PHP, and IOP levels of care. Trainees can expect extensive training in working with clients of all ages with eating disorders or eating/body concerns, as well as working with a multidisciplinary team of therapy, dietetic, psychiatry, yoga, expressive arts, and medical professionals. Trainees will be involved in intensive treatment at The Emily Program and will be involved with co-facilitating therapeutic meals and groups, as well as have the opportunity to facilitate groups independently and work with clients in individual therapy. Supervision is provided by a licensed supervisor in the individual’s field of study.
What is expected of our trainees?
All trainees are expected to act in a compassionate and professional manner. This includes dressing comfortably yet professionally, arriving on time, meeting weekly with your supervisor, and completing assigned trainings by the due date. We expect a complete commitment to the program, our clients, and our personalized treatment approach. We expect high motivation and a desire to help this population. We expect an ongoing willingness to learn, accept challenges, and grow in skill and compassion. We expect—indeed, we require—that trainees uphold the confidentiality of our clients, and abide by The Emily Program’s confidentiality, documentation, compliance, and human resource policy and process.
Our therapy training program will ideally have students who are interested in learning about and working with clients with eating disorders and associated concerns, such as body dissatisfaction, binge eating, food restriction, anxiety, perfectionism, low self-esteem, co-occurring problems, etc. Knowledge of CBT and/or DBT is strongly preferred.
All applicants must have these qualifications prior to beginning their start date:
- Currently enrolled in a graduate program (master’s or doctorate) and in good standing with the school.
- Stated desire to work in the field of eating disorders.
- Stated desire to work with clients and their families.
Accanto Health provides gender affirming, trauma-informed, and culturally responsive treatment. We are committed to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Accanto Health and would expect our trainees to embrace these approaches to care.
How to apply
Minnesota sites are not currently accepting students for the remainder of the 2023-2024 school year. Information on when applications will be accepted for the fall of 2024 will be updated on this page at the beginning of 2024.
Washington State and Ohio sites may have openings for therapy trainees on a rolling basis. To be considered for a training opportunity in one of those locations, please follow the instructions below.
Please submit the following application materials:
Cover letter and CV. In your cover letter, please be sure to address your interest in eating disorder treatment and The Emily Program specifically; experience and interest in co-morbid disorders; experience and interest in working in intensive programs (full and partial day treatment programs); experience co-facilitating groups; experience and interest in training and development; your working and evolving philosophy on the self as therapist; and short- and long-term career goals.
Submit your application by sending your cover letter and CV as attachments to the following email address:
Lauren Moody, Psy.D., LP (she/her)
Director of Clinical Internships
What challenges might come up for me during this training?
Food and eating are central to all of our lives. Meanwhile, the prevalence—and normalization—of disordered eating behaviors is on the rise in our culture. Given these realities, it’s no surprise that challenges and concerns arise when an intern actively participates in this rotation. Some of those challenges may include:
Discovering personal eating and/or body image issues
If a trainee is struggling with their own food or body image issues, spending time with eating disorder clients can trigger one’s own eating disorder thoughts and behaviors. It is essential that you are aware of and are addressing your own food or body image struggles—and that you have a support plan in place if those problems arise during the rotation.
Unearthing personal preconceptions and bias
Our culture is rife with positive and negative preconceptions, prejudices, and biases based on a person’s size, weight, and appearance. We are all influenced by this cultural environment. To be effective with our population, you will probably need the support of preceptors and colleagues to explore, challenge, and revise some of your existing (if still unconscious) preconceptions and biases.
Discussing uncomfortable topics
Many clients in treatment for an eating disorder have a traumatic personal history or a challenging past that contributes to the eating disorder. You are likely to hear sometimes graphic conversations about domestic violence, sexual abuse, suicide attempts, self-induced vomiting, self-harm, extreme exercise abuse, laxative, and drug abuse, and other serious mental health and physical health problems. You are likely to interact with individuals whose appearance has been altered by starvation or self-harm.
Taking it personally
Emotions can run high for a client, especially before, during, and after a meal or snack. For example, a client may be experiencing high levels of anxiety, anger, sadness, fear, frustration, mistrust, and excitement when a meal is presented or eaten.
Sometimes, clients direct these emotions toward the staff or trainee, blaming them for how they feel. You will need to work with your supervisor and colleagues to learn how to best manage the situation and not take it personally. You will need to develop and use skills like humor and helping a client reframe perspective.
It is important to remember that it is often a good thing when a client is able to express their emotions with a provider. It can be a sign that they trust the treatment team and are willing to allow the team to help express their emotions in a more beneficial way.
Of course, other unforeseen challenges may arise. We encourage interns to discuss any and all challenges with their supervisor.