Interview with Dr. Jonathan Rader, CEO of Rader Programs on 8/26/14
1. What drew you to the field of eating disorder treatment? Why?
Like many in the field, having family members who have suffered through eating disorders was a big pull. Secondly, although eating disorders are chronic and potentially deadly disorders, I was immediately impressed how with treatment, individuals can recover and lead full rewarding lives.
2. What keeps you in this work, day after day?
The incredible ability and bravery of those suffering from an eating disorder exhibit daily in their battle to overcome these devastating disorders. I also feel privileged to work with our multidisciplinary team of dedicated experienced staff members.
No one joins our staff looking just for work. They are all here on a mission to facilitate clients finding recovery and in the process, regaining their lives once again.
3. What is your philosophy on eating disorder treatment?
Willpower alone does not work because it’s a disease. Millions of Americans suffer from an eating disorder. Their lives are controlled by food. Gaining or losing weight becomes the focus of their existence. They often feel guilty, isolated, depressed and ashamed.
They may be compulsively overeating, binge purging, or starving themselves. All of them have one thing in common; they are suffering from an eating disorder, which can be fatal if left untreated. With professional support, lifelong recovery and freedom from an eating disorder can be achieved.
The key to recovery is to understand the cause of the self-destructive behavior and to acquire the tools to facilitate the necessary changes. This is the core of our program’s philosophy:
- IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT
- YOU’RE NOT ALONE
- WE CAN HELP
We believe that the eating disorder has acted as a survival mechanism to help the individual cope with their life. For this reason, we not only address the mistaken beliefs but also teach each individual new coping techniques to handle life’s situations.
We do not utilize a reward and punishment system because they are ineffective. Individuals with eating disorders have spent enough time punishing themselves already. Our approach is centered on the individual. All aspects of the individual’s life are explored and addressed in a supportive environment.
We do not concentrate solely on the symptoms of the eating disorder or focus on dieting. Instead, individual, family and group counseling as well as nutritional guidance, exercise training, and educational sessions are all combined to create the path towards recovery.
4. What tools would you like your participants to gain while working with you?
A true understanding and acceptance of the emotional, physical, nutritional, exercise, family and social components of the disorder. When this is accomplished, clients can then make the decision to follow a healthy food plan and utilized new learned coping strategies to counteract eating disordered thinking and behavior.
5. What do you envision the future of eating disorder treatment to be like?
My wish is for individuals suffering from eating disorders to be able to access the appropriate level of care based on their personal needs and no longer as a consequence of their insurance carrier or financial status.
I do believe the more we learn about eating disorders, the more this knowledge with point to the necessity of a truly multidisciplinary approach to treatment.