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‘… And so shall starve with feeding’: Disordered Eating and the Trauma Re-Enactment Syndrome

‘… And so shall starve with feeding’: Disordered Eating and the Trauma Re-Enactment Syndrome

“Anger’s my meat. I sup upon myself, And so shall starve with feeding”

– William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, act 4

Practitioners who witness frequent relapses in clients for bulimia, binge eating behaviours, anorexia, orthorexia and diabulimia will often endorse the view that eating disorders are rarely solely related to abnormal or disturbed eating behaviours – in fact they are hardly ever about food. Multiple studies have traced the root cause of eating disorders to versions of trauma, including neglect, sexual assault, sexual harassment, physical abuse and assault, emotional abuse, emotional and physical neglect (including food deprivation), teasing and bullying (Brewerton, 2007)

Times on both days:

  • 5:00pm to 8:00pm, London UK
  • 12:00 noon – 3:00pm, New York, USA
  • 11:00am– 2:00pm, Chicago, USA

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$145.20

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Course Credits

CPD: 6 / CE: 6

Speaker(s)

Lisa Ferentz

Course length in hours

6 hrs of video content

Location

Online streaming only

Full course information

The exact mechanism for why trauma contributes to the development of an eating disorder is unclear. What we do know is that trauma can disrupt the nervous system, often making our clients turn to eating disorders or other addictions as a way to cope with these uncomfortable emotions. Sexual trauma, for instance, may evoke feelings of self-blame or shame that need to be soothed or numbed. Survivors may become anorexic to reclaim a sense of power and control over their bodies or use bingeing to build a protective shield that defends against subsequent violation.

This workshop over two-evenings with globally acclaimed trauma expert Lisa Ferentz, is aimed at both beginner and advanced psychotherapists and counsellors. It offers a mindset change: re-framing eating disorders as clients’ attempts to enact, re-story and resolve traumatic experiences that they can’t verbally articulate.

Using case studies, clients’ journal entries and artwork, we will:

  • Process the meta-communication of eating disorders within the context of trauma re-enactment syndrome
  • We will identify the specific ways in which anorexia, bulimia, bingeing, and other eating disordered behaviours serve as a re-enactment, perpetuation of, and response to prior traumatization including physical, sexual, emotional abuse, and neglect
  • We will de-pathologize the behaviours and view them instead as metaphors. Also, we will process common psychosocial triggers and cultural influences, as well as the diagnostic red flags and potential complications

The workshop will then explore specific therapeutic strategies designed to take the focus off traditional interventions and focus, instead, on offering clients alternative, safe ways to articulate and re-story their trauma experiences. A variety of creative interventions will be discussed including:

  • Incorporating psychoeducation, journaling, and using art therapeutically
  • parts work, re-grounding for dissociation, and implementing CARESS, an alternative to a standard safety contract

These strategies will help psychotherapists and counsellors address both symptoms and long-term healing for clients presenting with ‘disordered eating’ manifestations.

Specifically we will:

  • Identify at least five behavioural and psycho-social triggers that promote eating-disordered behaviours
  • Define and explain the clinical red flags that indicate anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating behaviours
  • Define and explain exercise bulimia, orthorexia, and diabulimia as additional manifestations of eating disordered behaviour
  • Describe the meta-communication of eating-disordered behaviour and its relationship to the re-enactment and perpetuation of prior trauma, abuse, neglect, or unresolved pain
  • Identify at least four complications related to anorexia, binge eating and bulimia
  • Explain and implement at least five creative interventions designed to treat eating disordered behaviours
  • Describe and implement the strategy called CARESS when clients get the urge to engage in self-destructive behaviour
  • Identify at least three reasons why CARESS differs from standard safety contracts
  • Explain and implement at least four open-ended questions when helping clients explore the meta-communication of their eating disordered behaviour through their artwork

References:

  • Brown,Zoe and Tiggemann, Marika (2020) Celebrity Influence on Body Image and Eating Disorders: A Review. Journal of Health Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105320988312
  • Groth, T, Hilsenroth, M, Boccio, D and Gold, J. (2019) Relationship between Trauma History and Eating Disorders in Adolescents. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma. Volume 13, 443-453
  • Gry Kjaersdam Telleus, Marlene Briciet Lauritsen et al, (2021) Prevalence of Various Traumatic Events Including Sexual Trauma in a Clinical Sample of Patients with an Eating Disorder. Frontiers in Pscyhology

https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.687452

  • Regev, D and Cohen-Yatziv, L. (2018) Effectiveness of art therapy with adult clients in 2018- what progress has been made? Frontiers in Psychology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01531
  • Solarska, D. (2020) The Philosophy of Expressive Arts Therapy. Journal of Applied Arts and Health. 11(3) 354-357

© nscience UK, 2022 / 23

What's included in this course

What you’ll learn

This workshop over two-evenings with globally acclaimed trauma expert Lisa Ferentz, is aimed at both beginner and advanced psychotherapists and counsellors. It offers a mindset change: re-framing eating disorders as clients’ attempts to enact, re-story and resolve traumatic experiences that they can’t verbally articulate.

Using case studies, clients’ journal entries and artwork, we will:

  • Process the meta-communication of eating disorders within the context of trauma re-enactment syndrome
  • We will identify the specific ways in which anorexia, bulimia, bingeing, and other eating disordered behaviours serve as a re-enactment, perpetuation of, and response to prior traumatization including physical, sexual, emotional abuse, and neglect
  • We will de-pathologize the behaviours and view them instead as metaphors. Also, we will process common psychosocial triggers and cultural influences, as well as the diagnostic red flags and potential complications

Learning objectives

  • Define and explain the clinical red flags that indicate anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating behaviours and discuss exercise bulimia, orthorexia, and diabulimia as additional manifestations of eating disordered behaviour
  • Describe the meta-communication of eating-disordered behaviour and its relationship to the re-enactment and perpetuation of prior trauma, abuse, neglect, or unresolved pain
  • Identify at least five behavioural and psycho-social triggers that promote eating-disordered behaviours
  • Explain and implement at least five creative interventions designed to treat eating disordered behaviours
  • Describe and implement the strategy called CARESS when clients get the urge to engage in self-destructive behaviour

You'll also be able to...

Develop the ability to interpret and modulate the body’s nervous system (sensory and autonomic) to regulate arousal levels in clients and for safer trauma therapy

Identify and acquire recovery options and strategies for trauma clients inappropriate for trauma memory processing, particularly for those who don’t want to and those who decompensate or dysregulate from memory work

Also develop the ability to interpret and modulate the body’s nervous system (sensory and autonomic) to regulate arousal levels for professional self-care

About the speaker(s)

Lisa Ferentz is a recognized expert in the strengths-based, de-pathologized treatment of trauma and has been in private practice for over 38 years. She presents workshops and keynote addresses nationally and internationally and is a clinical consultant to practitioners and mental health agencies in the United States, Canada, the UK and Ireland.  She has been an Adjunct Faculty member at several Universities, and is the Founder of “The Ferentz Institute,” now in its fifteenth year of providing continuing education to mental health professionals and graduating several thousand clinicians from her two Certificate Programs in Advanced Trauma Treatment.

In 2009 she was voted the “Social Worker of Year” by the Maryland Society for Clinical Social Work.  Lisa is the author of “Treating Self-Destructive Behaviors in Traumatized Clients: A Clinician’s Guide” now in its second edition, “Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors: A Workbook of Hope and Healing” and “Finding Your Ruby Slippers: Transformative Life Lessons From the Therapist’s Couch”   Lisa also hosted a weekly radio talk show, writes blogs and articles for websites on trauma, attachment, self-destructive behaviors, and self-care, teaches on many webinars, and is a contributor to Psychologytoday.com. You can follow Lisa’s work on her website, theferentzinstitute.com, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.

3 reasons why you should attend this course

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