University of New Orleans doctoral student Eleanor McAuliffe is the first licensed professional counselor in Louisiana and the state’s second clinician to earn the Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDS) designation from the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation. She earned the specialized credentials after completing a rigorous set of criteria that included evaluation of her education, training, knowledge and experience.
The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (iaedp) Foundation was established in 1985 and provides educational programs and training standards for eating disorder specialists and other medical professionals caring for those suffering from the full spectrum of disordered eating. The group offers the most widely respected certification process for specializing in eating disorder treatment, according to its website.
McAuliffe, who earned a master’s degree in 2014 in clinical mental health counseling from UNO, is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in counseling education and supervision from the University. She is the clinical counseling program lab coordinator and community liaison for UNO where she supervises student interns.
“I am very proud to represent UNO and feel very strongly that my education in the program led me to this,” McAuliffe said. “Training in best practice and ethical care are the core components of the counseling program at UNO.”
McAuliffe is the program therapist for the eating disorder treatment program at River Oaks Hospital in Harahan. She also has a private practice in Uptown New Orleans where she specializes in the treatment of eating disorders and substance abuse.
The certification allows McAuliffe to offer clients and patients the assurance and confidence that the highest standards of care will be provided throughout all stages of treatment, according to the iaedp Foundation.
“I chose to obtain this specialized credential because eating disorders have the second highest mortality rate of any mental illness due to medical complications and a risk for suicide 23 times higher than the general population,” McAuliffe said. “There are so many stigmas and myths surrounding who eating disorders effect.
“The truth is, eating disorders do not discriminate based on age, gender, race, or culture … Supervised experience and thorough education and knowledge about eating disorders is of utmost importance. That is what the CEDS credential ensures.”