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At Home with Eating Disorders

When providing care for a loved one who is suffering from an eating disorder it can be overwhelming and exhausting.  Sifting through the information and options for treatment can be astounding.  EDCI’s upcoming caregiver event, At Home with Eating Disorders, has 1 goal: to help.  We aim to provide practical information that you will be able to bring home to your family and implement into your daily routine as a caregiver.  

Join us for an in-person workshop: 

Saturday February 26th

presentations begin at 9am

West48 Event Center

1601 48th St #100

West Des Moines, IA 50266

Morning snacks and Lunch are included. Be sure to join us for a dietitian led nutrition seminar during our lunch hour! 

Spots are limited for this event! We ask that you register in advance to secure your spot. Limited spots may be available for walk-in registration the day of the event. To sign up, please click below.

Admission is completely free for all attendees!

In lieu of registration fees, and if you are able, we kindly ask you consider making a donation of any size to EDCI. Donations allow us to continue spreading awareness of eating disorders and provide high quality training and resources to caregivers and providers in Iowa. 

Schedule of Events

Tentative Schedule: Check back for any changes






Keynote Speaker

Rachael Steil

“Running in Silence”



Snack, Visit our Sponsors, Connect and Consult*



Caring for Loved Ones with Eating Disorders: The Do’s and Don'ts of Treatment

Denisa Larreau, MS, LIMHP 

Whitney Larsen, RDN, LMNT, CPT

Sponsored by EDCare



Plate for Plate Method

 Melissa Arnold, RD


Family Based Treatment Paired with Emotion Focused Family Therapy:  Empowering Caregivers and teaching Advanced Care Giving Skills for Eating Disorders

Brandis McFarland, MA, LMHC, CEDS

Sponsored by:  EDCI





Decoding Higher Levels of Care: Options for Intensive Treatment

Kim Tallon, LISW, CEDS-S



Panel Discussion and Q&A


Closing, Raffle Drawing

*One-on-one or family consultations will be available throughout the day to answer any specific questions you may have in how to best assist your loved one with an eating disorder. 

About our Keynote Speaker: 

Running in Silence

All-American cross country and track runner Rachael Steil dynamically shares her eating disorder experience and recovery to address eating disorder misconceptions, get professional help, and how loved ones can support.

About the Speaker: 

Rachael Steil (“Style”) is an eating disorder recovery advocate and the author of Running in Silence which shares her story as an All-American athlete struggling with anorexia and binge eating. She is also the founder and speaker for the Running in Silence 501(c)(3) to break misconceptions and raise awareness for eating disorders in sports, serves on the board for the Michigan Eating Disorder Alliance (MiEDA), and was a mentor for the USTFCCCA Female Coaches Mentorship Program. Rachael has been interviewed for numerous publications including U.S. News and World Report, Vogue Magazine, and Runner’s World. She has delivered presentations at coaching clinics, high schools, and colleges across the country to share her story, create awareness, and bring hope to coaches and athletes.

Presentation Information

Caring for Loved Ones with Eating Disorders: The Do’s and Dont's of Treatment

Denisa Larreau, MS, LIMHP 

Whitney Larsen, RDN, LMNT, CPT

This presentation will explore both the mental health and nutritional aspects of eating disorders. We will help caregivers dive into the biopsychosocial components of eating disorders that explain why these illnesses are not just about food, body image, size, shape and weight. Functions of eating disorder behaviors will also be addressed to help caregivers understand why these behaviors occur and why they are difficult for their loved one to breakaway from. 


Additionally, we will examine the nutritional side of treatment which will explain how to “talk” about food around loved one’s with eating disorders, information about meal planning and the exchange system used in treatment, and how to operate from a Health at Every Size® (HAES®) treatment lens.  

About the Speakers:

Denisa Larreau, MS, LIMHP 

Denisa Larreau is a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner.  She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2011.  She went on to receive her Masters of Science in Clinical Counseling at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2013. She has been in private practice since 2014, and working with EDCare since 2018.   Denisa has been active in the eating disorder community, and has served as President for the Nebraska Eating Disorder Network Executive Committee (NEDN).  She is also a member of the Association for Private Practice Therapists (APPT). 

Denisa’s clinical career includes experience across a variety of levels of care ranging from outpatient therapy to partial hospitalization. From there Denisa transitioned into private practice in Omaha, Nebraska in 2014, and joined EDCare in 2018. She has focused on building her practice around the treatment and prevention of eating disorders.  Denisa is currently the owner of Infinite Hope Counseling, LLC, in Omaha, NE, and the Program Manager of the EDCare Omaha location. Denisa oversees the Evening Intensive Outpatient Program, the BED IOP program, and the outpatient services. Denisa is most passionate about helping those clients who struggle with eating disorders, body-image self-esteem, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.


Whitney Larsen, RDN, LMNT, CPT

Whitney Larsen is a bilingual Registered Dietitian, Licensed Medical Nutrition Therapist and Certified Personal Trainer.

Whitney received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. She then went on to complete her dietetic internship with the University of Northern Colorado. Throughout her experiences Whitney has worked in prenatal and pediatric nutrition, as a supermarket dietitian where she was able to combine her love of food and cooking with nutrition counseling, and in private practice where she coaches and educates clients on gentle nutrition, building a healthy relationship with food and body, joyful movement and self-care.

Family Based Treatment Paired with Emotion Focused Family Therapy:  Empowering Caregivers and teaching Advanced Care Giving Skills for Eating Disorders

Brandis McFarland, MA, LMHC, CEDS

In this session we will cover the basics of Family Based Treatment (FBT) and learn how Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) can be incorporated to provide emotion and behavior coaching for loved ones struggling with an Eating Disorder.

FBT is a treatment that involves the whole family in solving their child’s eating disorder. Unlike traditional family therapy, it does not blame the family. In FBT, family sessions with a therapist are held once a week at first and then decrease in frequency. But because the parents are empowered to be a part of the treatment team, the treatment is much more intensive than is typically possible in outpatient treatment. FBT can often provide a level of care that is similar to residential or partial hospitalization programs (PHP).

Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) is a treatment designed for caregivers that teaches them how to validate their loved ones struggles with their illness. It is rooted in Neurobiology and allows for increased cooperation, avoidance of escalation, de-escalation, and regulation through the use of Emotion Coaching and Behavior Coaching.

We will discuss how to incorporate both treatment modalities so that caregivers are equipped to help in the recovery process in an efficient manner.

About the Speaker:

Brandis McFarland, MA, LMHC, CEDS

Brandis is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Eating Disorder Professional who owns and practices in her own practice in Cedar Rapids, IA. She has been in private practice for 18 years treating Eating Disorders and co-morbid conditions for individuals, families, couples, and groups. She graduated from Luther College in 1999 with her BA in Psychology and Biology. In 2001, she completed her MA degree in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Iowa. Ms. McFarland is trained in Family Based Therapy and Emotion Focused Family Therapy as well other therapeutic modalities. She is passionate about  providing education for the state on Eating Disorder Awareness and Prevention.

Thank you to our Sponsors

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Decoding Higher Levels of Care: Options for Intensive Treatment

Kim Tallon, LISW, CEDS-S

This presentation will discuss levels of care available for eating disorder patients as well as what criteria may be met to necessitate a higher level of care for your loved one. 

About the Speaker:

Kim Tallon, LISW, CEDS-S

Kim is a therapist in private practice in Des Moines. She is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and approved supervisor through the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals. Kim has spent her career working at all levels of eating disorder care, including  several years with a national treatment center. Today, Kim works exclusively with eating disorder clients and supports providers throughout Iowa through consultation and supervision.