ANZAED 2023 Virtual Workshop: Cognitive-behavioural therapy for avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (CBT-AR)

This one-day workshop describes a new form of cognitive-behavioural therapy for Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), which was recently added to the Feeding and Eating Disorders section of DSM-5 to describe children, adolescents, and adults who cannot meet their nutritional needs, typically because of sensory sensitivity, fear of aversive consequences, and/or lack of interest in eating or food. There is limited research on evidence-based treatments for ARFID; however, this novel manualised approach has tested feasibility, and acceptability with strong preliminary results in children and adolescents, there has also been an evaluation within the adult population. This workshop will fill an important gap for colleagues who are already seeing such patients in clinical practice by providing specialised training in ARFID (CBT-AR) that was developed and tested at Massachusetts General Hospital, USA. The model has also been effectively delivered in the private practice context in Australia with children, adolescents and adults.

Learning objectives

  1. Describe the type of patients with ARFID for whom cognitive-behavioural therapy is appropriate.
  2. Describe the basic structure, goals, and session format of cognitive-behavioural therapy for ARFID (CBT-AR) with a focus on the differential application of exposure and responsive prevention across the three prototypical ARFID presentations
  3. Tailor CBT-AR interventions to be developmentally appropriate for children adolescents, and adults. 

Key readings

Thomas JJ, Eddy KT. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder: Children, Adolescents, and Adults. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press; 2019.

Thomas JJ, Becker, KR, Eddy KT. The Picky Eater’s Recovery Book: Overcoming Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press; 2021.

Thomas JJ, Becker KR, Kuhnle MC, Jo JH, Harshman SG, Wons OB, Keshishian AC, Hauser K, Breithaupt L, Liebman RE, Misra M, Wilhelm S, Lawson EA, Eddy KT. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder: Feasibility, acceptability, and proof-of-concept for children and adolescents. Int J Eat Disord. 2020 Oct;53(10):1636-1646. doi: 10.1002/eat.23355. Epub 2020 Aug 9. PMID: 32776570; PMCID: PMC7719612.

Thomas JJ, Becker KR, Breithaupt L, Murray HB, Jo JH, Kuhnle MC, Dreier MJ, Harshman S, Kahn DL, Hauser K, Slattery M, Misra M, Lawson EA, Eddy KT. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adults with avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder. J Behav Cogn Ther. 2021 Mar;31(1):47-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jbct.2020.10.004. Epub 2021 Mar 3. PMID: 34423319; PMCID: PMC8375627.

Wednesday 18 October 2023
9.00am – 4.00pm AEST. To view your local time click here.

Registration Fee: $285 Members; $355 Non-Members. LIMITED SEATS AVAILABLE!

This workshop will take place via zoom.

Register here >>


9:00am – 9.45am:      Introduction to ARFID: Assessment, Neurobiology & Theory
9.45am – 10:30am:    CBT-AR Stage 1
10.30am – 10.50am:  Break
10:50am – 1:00pm:   CBT-AR Stage 2, Stage 3
1:00pm – 1.45pm:      Lunch
1:45pm –3.00pm:      CBT-AR Stage 3
3.00pm – 3.35pm:     CBT-AR Stage 4, CBT-AR Efficacy, Reflection
3.35pm- 4.00pm:       Q&A


Dr. Jennifer Thomas is the Co-director of the Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, and an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Thomas’s research focuses on avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder and other atypical eating disorders, as described in her four books — most recently Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder: Children, Adolescents, and Adults; and The Picky Eater’s Recovery Book: Overcoming Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. She is principal investigator on several studies investigating the neurobiology and treatment of avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, funded by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health and private foundations. She is the author or co-author of more than 170 scientific publications. She is the immediate Past President of the Academy for Eating Disorders and recently completed a 5-year term as Associate Editor for the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Dr Kim Hurst is a Senior Psychologist and the Clinical Lead at Robina Private Hospital’s Eating Disorders Service; she also is in Private Practice. Prior to this Kim was a founding member of the Gold Coast Child & Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS), Eating Disorder Program (EDP). Kim has been delivering eating disorder treatment for over fifteen years and is a credentialed FBT therapist who provides training, supervision and consultation to clinicians across Queensland. Kim has worked across a range of eating disorder treatment settings including psychiatric and medical inpatient units and outpatient services. She has developed specialist eating disorder clinical policies and is focused on service improvement strategies to enhance treatment delivery. Kim is also passionate about early intervention programs and has delivered workshops to school children, guidance officers and teachers on positive body image. She has been delivering CBT-AR in private practice for several years with good outcomes. Kim is currently the Past President of ANZAED and has coordinated a national eating disorder conference and smaller workshop events. Kim has a solid record of presenting at local, national and international eating disorder conferences and has several published works within the field.