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Engagement and connection – are we meeting the challenges of working across cultures in Children & Young People with an Eating Disorder (CYP-ED) Services?

Presented by Liz Dodge, Family and Systemic Psychotherapist, London

Tuesday 3 December (1 hour duration) 

11am New Zealand; 9am NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS, QLD; 8:30am SA; 7:30am NT;
6am WA, Singapore, Hong Kong; 12am South Africa; 11pm Spain (2 December); 5pm USA EDT (2 December)
LOCAL TIME

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Despite challenges to the stereotype young white women with anorexia nervosa remain the predominant image of eating disorders as well as constituting the majority of referrals to child and adolescent eating disorder services. Family therapy focussed on the eating disorder (variously described as FT-AN/FT-ED, FBT, “Maudsley”) is the recommended first line of treatment for young people in Australia, NZ, US and UK. However, it has evolved largely within white western contexts and both the research and practice literature pay little attention to the experience of young people and families from multicultural communities. Referrals to services tend not to reflect their population demographics which may include first nations/indigenous people, recent immigrants and asylum seekers as well as families who have been settled over several generations.
The webinar will discuss ideas drawn from systemic family therapy regarding the creation of a safe space to address wider context issues e.g. racism, acculturation, poverty, and religious and cultural beliefs and practices. This may create a tension for clinicians in relation to the ongoing pressure to promote evidence-based practice and keep in mind the focus on weight restoration and return to optimum physical and psychological health.


Liz is dual trained as a systemic psychotherapist and social worker and has worked in eating disorders since the 1990s, as a clinician, researcher and trainer in specialist services.

She was involved in several treatment trials in treatment of adolescent and adult eating disorders (Eisler et al 2000; Dare et al 2000) including two as a family therapy supervisor (Schmidt et al 2007) (Agras et al 2014).

Liz has been a teacher and supervisor in the field of family and systemic psychotherapy since the mid-1990s including teaching at the Institute of Psychiatry and Institute of Family Therapy in London, Bristol University and the University of Otago in Wellington. Since 2014 Liz has worked as teacher/trainer in London for the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, Kings College and Reading University. In 2017 she was involved in the training of the specialist CAMHS Eating Disorder teams in England, a major government initiative.

Introduction to Adolescent Focused Therapy (AFT)

C&Y SIG Guest Speaker: Professor James Lock, MD. Ph.D

Friday 13 December (1 hour duration) 

12.30pm New Zealand; 10.30am NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS; 9.30am QLD; 10.00am SA; 9.00am NT; 7.30am WA, Singapore, Hong Kong; 1.30am South Africa; 12.30am Spain; 3.30pm USA WDT (12 December)
LOCAL TIME

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Adolescent Focused Therapy (AFT) is a manualised, empirically evaluated individual treatment for adolescent anorexia nervosa.  It evolved out of Ego-Orientated Individual Therapy (EOIT; Robin et al., 1994, 1999), which was adapted and manualised into AFT at Stanford University by Fitzpatrick, Hoste, et al. It was used as the control therapy in the well-known RCT comparing  this model with Family Based Treatment (FBT), (Lock, Le Grange et al. 2010). 

AFT theory originates from a self-psychological model and views anorexia as a maladaptive coping tool used by the adolescent to manage the complex demands and transitions associated with adolescence.   AFT consists of three phases of treatment spread across approximately one year. Although AFT is an individual approach it makes liberal use of separate collateral sessions with parents with the aim of engaging and educating them about anorexia.

This Webinar introduces the AFT model, its theory and application. The treatment manual for AFT is currently in print and will be avaiable in 2020.


Professor James Lock, MD, PhD
Faculty founder of the Training Institute for Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders

James Lock, MD, Ph.D. is Professor of Child Psychiatry and Pediatrics and Associate Chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine where he also serves as Director of the Eating Disorder Program for Children and Adolescents. Dr Lock has published over 300 articles, abstracts, books and book chapters. He has been continuously funded by NIH since 1998.

He has lectured widely in the US, Canada, Europe, South America, Asia and Australia and New Zealand.  He was awarded the Price Family Foundation Award for Research Excellence in 2010 and the Leadership award from the International Academy of Eating Disorders in 2014.

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