Innovative app puts the focus on eating disorder recovery

Innovative app puts the focus on eating disorder recovery

When Jessica Raymond, developer of Rise Up + Recover, an eating disorder recovery app, was in treatment for her eating disorder, she says that the nightly homework — meal logs and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) strategies such as mindfulness exercises, relaxation techniques, positive affirmations and so on — were her saving grace.

Raymond says that logging her meals, thoughts and feelings helped her begin recognizing behavior patterns that led to engaging in disordered behavior.

But she found that the physicality of the paper homework was conspicuous and hard to bring along with her throughout the day. So, five years free from her disorder, Raymond decided to create an app to help others along their recovery journey.

Rise Up + Recover is a free eating disorder recovery application aimed at helping people with eating disorders take proactive steps towards recovery through self-monitoring. The app also features positive affirmations that pop up once the user has completed a task and offers journaling prompts related to body image, relationships, mindfulness and relaxation, and self-esteem.

Raymond says that the app is a perfect interface to capture emotions, thoughts ,and behaviors as they happen in real time.

“Essentially it’s getting to the heart of self-monitoring. You don’t know what problems to solve if you don’t know they exist. Through self-monitoring you can see where your problems lie, and you’re able to actually target them and solve them,” she says.

For example, Raymond says, some people with eating disorders struggle with certain days or times. Some have issues with binging and purging late at night. Others have a hard time structuring their meals on the weekends. By using self-monitoring, they will be able to recognize the patterns and hopefully make some proactive plans to deal with regular stressors

“When users log their meals and complete their check-ins, they are able to see how their emotions or certain situations — where they are, who they are with, the time of day — are affecting their behaviors,” Raymond says.

Raymond has also started an eating disorder recovery podcast, The Recovery Warrior Show. The podcast features interviews with people who have recovered from eating disorders, authors of books about topics related to eating disorders, and other recovery related issues and topics.

Raymond is developing a treatment database for the next update of the app. She says that Rise Up + Recover is the first point of contact for 33 percent of her users, but the app isn’t designed to be a stand alone solution.

“We developed it to be used in conjunction with a treatment team. It’s to provide people with support and structure in between therapy sessions,”

There are a few things that Raymond says are essential to eating disorder recovery. She calls them the four C’s — connection to others, commitment to the process, courage and self compassion.

“Recovery is a long process and it won’t happen by itself,” she says.

She added that she hopes that through use of the app and podcast, people in recovery can be inspired  and know that they aren’t alone.

“Recovery is possible. People have gone through it and come out on the other side,” she says.


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