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Networking with a Purpose by Galen Hope
February 16 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
“Adapting Eating Disorder Treatment for Autistic Clients“
Presented by Dr. Amy Boyers, Founder and President of Galen Hope
Although the research in this area is still developing, there is an increased awareness that not all clients with eating disorders meet the stereotype of “SWAG” (Single, white, affluent girls). Additionally, for families of autistic individuals, receiving a diagnosis can be terrifying and disorienting. Finding providers who understand the needs of their loved one can be extremely difficult. Furthermore, eating disorder treatment and interventions used to support individuals with autism can be at odds with another, being nearly diametrically opposed. This talk will cover basic findings related to crossover between autism and eating disorders. We will also examine how eating disorder treatment can be adapted in order to better support autistic individuals. Finally, we will discuss several cases and review strategies used to make eating disorder treatment more accessible to autistic clients.
Dr. Amy Boyers is the founder and president of Galen Hope, which provides mental health, eating disorder, and dual diagnosis treatment for adults and teens in Coral Gables, Florida. Galen Hope emphasizes community integration, support for families, and building a sense of connection and belonging as essential to healing. Dr. Boyers has been in private practice in Miami since 2001, where she provides therapy to adolescents and adults, with a focus on women’s health, eating disorders, anxiety and mood disorders, and behavioral medicine. After graduating with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, she was awarded a prestigious U.S. Department of Defense psychological research fellowship at the University of Miami, where she completed her masters and doctoral degrees. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Miami Counseling Center, and a post-doctoral residency at the Renfrew Center, where she was a primary therapist in their intensive outpatient program for eating disorders. During a second residency at University of Miami, she served as the primary therapist on an NCI-funded research project studying cognitive-behavioral stress management and relaxation training for breast cancer survivors. Dr. Boyers is adjunct faculty at the University of Miami Counseling Center and has spoken locally and nationally on the topics of eating disorders, stress, trauma, and adolescent development. She has also co-authored several articles in professional journals. She was the founding president of the Miami Chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP) and served on the national board.