This is a little about this guide. You may want to skip it for now and come back to it later, if at all. It will give you a bit about us, how this guide developed, and a few people we just really need to thank for their help.
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Jan got a B.S. in Psychology from LSU, but since the Vietnam War was on he joined the Air Force, which noted his degree in psychology and put him in Aircraft Maintenance. A few years later, he jumped at the chance to get involved in the USAF Social Actions program, and for three years he did counseling and administered local alcohol and drug programs in the USAF. When he left the Air Force in 1974 he went to Baton Rouge, LA, where he helped, in a minor way, to get the first treatment program in the South started using the Minnesota Model. Initially a family counselor, he also helped set up their Adolescent treatment program. Later he started an outpatient program called the Center for Compulsive Disease, which dealt with all addictions, primarily those dealing with eating.
During this time, he was also active in the certification of alcohol and drug counselors on a national level, and certification of eating disorders professionals on an international level.
Judy Allen Wilson
Judy got a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Alabama. She worked at various counseling jobs until 1983, when she began working in addictions counseling in a program that included impaired professionals. She was working as the family counselor in a hospital-based alcohol and drug treatment program when she met Jan, and they married in June 1986.
Eating Disorders Digest
While doing the Center for Compulsive Disease we began the Eating Disorders Digest a monthly newsletter that reported on recent research and events in the field of eating disorders.
During this time we continued the Center for Compulsive Disease, worked in an eating disorders program in Biloxi, Mississippi, and an inpatient Food Addiction program in Sebastian, Florida.
Food Addiction Workshop
From September 1988 to mid 1993 we did a Food Addiction Workshop on the east coast of Florida. We began with a rough outline of topics pertaining to food addiction and other eating disorders. The workshops lasted two weeks, during which participants studied recovery, had practical food shopping, preparation, eating (including eating out), and other experiences. As the workshops progressed, the outline became a loose-leaf book, which we called the Food Addictionary.
In about 1991 we sent the Food Addictionary to John Small, head of publications for Parkside Medical, which had treatment programs around the U.S. We had only intended to get his opinions, but he sent it to Fireside Publishing, a division of Simon and Schuster, as a manuscript. He called us and told us that they wanted to publish our book, but they wanted to expand it to cover all addictions. We were reluctant to do that at first, but John begged us, saying “Simon and Shuster is only interested in about a tenth of the manuscripts I send them, and they want to do yours!” So they gave us a nice advance, and we spent many months creating the Addictionary. It was published in 1992. It is still available used from Amazon.
Unfortunately, it was published at just the wrong time. It came out at a time when there was a retrenchment of addictions programs and publications in the U.S., with most bookstores decreasing their inventory of addiction-oriented books by more than half. Parkside was caught up in that too, and we certainly didn’t know anything about how to market our book without some guidance.
Some time later, Fireside sold the book to Hazelden, and for several years we got some helpful royalties for our book. Hazelden stopped printing it in 2006, and sent its inventory to remaindering companies. With the ending of that contract, we, as copyright owners, can now do whatever we want with it.
We have always thought about updating it, and returning to its roots dealing with eating addictions, and that’s what we’re doing now.
We want to acknowledge a few of those who have contributed, whether they knew it or not, to make this guide possible. They include (alphabetically): Fr Leo Booth, Leigh Cohn, Kathy Evans, Lindsey Hall, Stacey Halprin, Ernest Kurtz, Julie Leavitt, John Lovern, Caroline Miller, Carol Price, Jean Fox Pritchett, Fr. Bob Skeris, Rozanne Skoller, John Small, Robert H. Smith, Terry Spohn, Michael Trachtenberg, Lois Wilson, William G. Wilson, all the participants in the Food Addiction Workshops, and every addict we have known.
— Jan R. Wilson, B.S. and Judith A. Wilson, M.A.
Updated 5 Dec 2015