The 25th annual Renfrew foundation conference for professionals will be held on November 13-15, 2015 at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott. This year’s conference, entitled “Feminist Perspectives and Beyond: Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future – 25 years later,” brings together leaders in feminist psychology and the treatment of eating disorders. Keynote speakers include Gloria Steinem, who has been an organizer for the feminist movement for more than four decades, and Dr. Kathryn Zerbe, a psychoanalyst and pre-eminent leader in the field of eating disorders. This unique presentation will illuminate areas of convergence between feminism and contemporary psychoanalysis.
“We are very excited to be hosting our 25th annual conference and welcoming back keynote presenters, Gloria Steinem and Kathryn Zerbe,” said Judi Goldstein, Vice President of The Renfrew Center Foundation and Conference Chair. “This conference allows us to bring in top experts in the fields of eating disorders and women’s mental health to educate and train professionals in a stimulating and nurturing environment.”
During the keynote presentation, Ms. Steinem will address society’s objectification of the female body, disempowering women and limiting their economic, political and professional influence. Dr. Zerbe will describe how the contemporary therapeutic culture can empower women to meet the challenges of their complicated lives.
Judi Goldstein, Vice President of The Renfrew Center Foundation will lead a discussion between these noted experts, examining the clinical implications of feminism for therapists, clients of both genders and people of color. Ms. Goldstein has been with The Renfrew Center since it opened in 1985, serving in various strategic capacities. Since 1994, Ms. Goldstein has been responsible for the development of The Renfrew Center Foundation Conference, serving as the Conference Chair. Ms. Goldstein is also a Founder of the National Eating Disorders Association.
The opening Keynote for the 25th Annual Renfrew Center Foundation Conference launches a comprehensive, penetrating examination of the role of feminism in the treatment of eating disorders past, present and future.
At a previous Renfrew foundation conference in 2010, Ms. Steinem addressed the continued prevalence of eating disorders, speaking poignantly about the need for women to model self-acceptance and a sense of personal power. She also expressed the importance of modeling positive body image to our Nation’s daughters. “Every time a woman passes a mirror and criticizes herself, a girl is watching,” Ms. Steinem stated.
And being “perfect” is not the goal. Ms. Steinem’s advice for women who develop eating disorders in their quest for perfection: “Perfect is boring — I’m talking majorly boring. Look at a flower. The imperfections are what makes it interesting.”
Among the other topics to be featured at this year’s conference are somatic therapies, meditation and spirituality, neuroscience, relational cultural therapy, binge eating disorder and the Health At Every Size (HAES) movement.