In our constant search to bring to you the best “recovery out loud and recovery online” people, business models, websites, nonprofits, for-profits, social entrepreneurs, apps, communities and social media accounts we see a lot of websites and online activity.
While none is perfect and the concept is still in its infancy – the active, burgeoning community and education websites of Dr. Joan Ifland might be the beginning of a perfect online business model for aspiring recovery advocates.
Through a combination of websites, both paid and free, and social media groups and accounts, she, along with others chronicled here on Viral Recovery, is on the verge of changing how we view recovery online.
Dr. Joan aptly describes herself as “a lover of food addicts.” Indeed, food addiction was a part of her life well before she became extensively educated on the subject. In the mid-1990s Dr. Ifland was 30 lbs. overweight and suffering from what she calls “DIAS”. At that time she described herself as depressed, irritable, anxious and shamed.
She is the first to say that she was not a very pleasant person back in those days.
She eventually came to the realization that, yes, food can be an addiction and she was deep in the throes of it.
Thus began her journey toward becoming as educated as possible on the subject of food addiction. It’s a journey that led to a PhD in 2009 and continues to this day. Dr. Ifland became a food addiction educator in 1999 and founded her Facebook group in 2015.
She has amassed a database of thousands of studies.
Food addiction does not always get the amount of respect that brings sufficient attention to the fact that it’s a very serious problem. Dr. Ifland believes that it is as deadly and life-destroying as any other addiction and rightly deserves more consideration. As such, food addiction requires as much support and awareness as other addictions such as opiates and alcohol.
As a pioneer in this field, Dr. Ifland has abundant knowledge to share. In her quest to help as many food addicts as possible, she offers Food Addiction Intensive Training. This educational program is available through her website, http://www.foodaddictionintensive.com/.
These intensives are well-researched plans with support and training. Dr. Ifland is personally involved with her Intensive clients. The Food Addiction Intensive Training begins with a simple goal:
” To help you recover from food addiction through expert online training at a reasonable price.”
Like all other addictions, food addiction cannot be “cured”. That being said, Dr. Ifland believes that it can be put in remission. Even during that remission food addicts are still vulnerable to relapsing. Her intensive training seeks to break down a vast field of knowledge into easy and rewarding steps.
Self-protection is an important theme that runs through Joan Ifland’s Food Addiction Intensive online training. She has built this approach from her appraisal of over 6,000 studies, over 10 years and 20 years of her own recovery and experience teaching and working with other food addicts.
Intensive participants are given highly practical routines to create their own program of self-protection. These routines also help them to enjoy a life of permanent and lasting recovery.
Many factors are entered into the Intensives’ recovery program of self-protection. They include food plans, self-assessments, exercise and sleep routines, trigger avoidance and even practices for protecting your children from becoming food addicts themselves.
Dr. Ifland’s online training guarantees access to 24/7 support. Intensive participants are encouraged to join the confidential Facebook group. Dr. Ifland is very “hands-on” and compassionately active in this secret group. She has said:
“I think the primary reason the groups are working is the kindness.”
The community support within the Facebook group includes Dr. Ifland herself, experienced volunteers and others who have been through her program. Newbies and experienced members alike offer advice, tips and sometimes just sympathy and gentle reminders to help everyone stay the course.
The Food Addiction Intensive Trainings are built from extensive research that shows addictive overeating to be a widespread and serious problem. The training recognizes the nature of the problem as a conditioning of the craving pathways in the food addict’s brain. In addition, food addicts can very often feel quite isolated and unable to find the type of meaningful support that’s offered with Dr. Ifland’s program.
Dr. Ifland believes that food addiction recovery requires a certain set of skills. The process can seem rather daunting but she has designed her program to be broken down into easy steps. Thus the food addicts who participate in her training will find that they can overcome their addiction by taking it a bit at a time.
In addition to the Facebook group, Dr. Ifland offers her Intensive clients the opportunity to participate in conference calls which she leads on a daily basis. All are welcome but certainly not required to dial in and speak to fellow food addicts as well as Dr. Ifland herself. If a client cannot join in a call the replays are always available for listening at their own leisure.
Fees for the Intensives are affordable and negotiable. For those with sufficient household income, the weekly fee is only $15. For those on assistance, the fee is currently $20 per month. Dr. Ifland believes that even a small fee is a good idea because members are more likely to utilize lessons for which they have actually paid. If necessary, fees can be deferred in some circumstances.
This article can’t possibly cover the entire scope of what Dr. Joan Ifland, her research, her knowledge and her passion has to offer the struggling food addict. Fortunately, she also has a public Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1806154526275515/ where those who aren’t quite ready to commit to her intensive training can get a feel for her expertise and commune with fellow food addicts.
As a recovering food addict with many years of research and experience, there is very little that Dr. Joan Ifland does not know about this serious and growing problem.
Numerous testimonials attest to the success rate of her Food Addiction Intensive Education online training. She knows her stuff.
While the online recovery space is still growing Dr. Joan just may have come upon a model that may change the face of recovery as we know it. Keep up the great work!