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ANZAED’s Masterclass are a new 2 hour online educational / interactive format classes with world experts on different topics – commencing February 2024.


Working with Eating Disorders and Comorbid Trauma: A Schema Therapy Perspective blending top-down and bottom-up techniques

Presenters: Susan Simpson, Clinical Psychologist

Date: Tuesday 28 May 2024
5.30pm AEST (1-hour duration)

7.30pm New Zealand; 5.30pm NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS; QLD; 5:00pm SA, NT; 3.30pm WA 
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Webinar Overview: Eating Disorders present with relatively high rates of trauma-based comorbidity across the lifespan. Unprocessed trauma in this clinical population has been shown to have significant knock-on effects in terms of high rates of psychiatric comorbidity, severity of symptoms and (un)responsiveness to standard treatments. Whereas preliminary research has examined the impact of more obvious childhood traumas such as sexual/physical/emotional abuse, hidden traumas such as developmental emotional neglect remain under-investigated. In this webinar, Dr. Susan Simpson will describe recent research findings in this field, exploring the devastating consequences of adverse childhood experiences on people with eating disorders, leading many sufferers to feel stuck and struggling to engage with our standard treatment protocols. The Schema Therapy model will provide a transdiagnostic framework for understanding the function of eating (and comorbid) symptoms as temporary ‘solutions’ to manage trauma-based dysregulation of the nervous system which in turn form self-perpetuating feedback loops, keeping the person increasingly reliant on their disordered eating behaviours. A case example will be used to illustrate the difficulties that can arise in addressing eating disorders with comorbid complex trauma, as well as potential treatment adaptations in the form of integrating top down and bottom up treatment models (including Imagery Rescripting, EMDR, DBR, and other somatic-body-based approaches).

Dr. Susan Simpson is a Clinical Psychologist who has specialised in Schema Therapy over the past 25 years. She is director of Schema Therapy Scotland, and also works in the National Health Service as Lead for a regional outpatient eating disorders service. She is part of an international research group which is investigating the effectiveness of Schema Therapy for eating disorders and has published several research papers, and book chapters on this topic. She regularly presents workshops and trainings at national and international conferences. Susan is co-author of the books Schema Therapy for Eating Disorders, (Routledge) and Cambridge Guide to Schema Therapy (Cambridge University Press).  A full list of her publications can be found at

Early Career Researcher: Yive Yang (she/her) & Melissa Pehlivan (she/her)

LGBTQA+: Ari Spanos (they/she) & Dr Jane Miskovic-Wheatley (she/her)

Aware – Respectful – Inclusive: Research and practice considerations for diversity within sex, sexuality, gender, and other demographic variables

Presenters: Kai Schweizer (they/he) & Majella Jones (they/them)

Date: Monday 5 August 2024
3.00pm AEST (1-hour duration)

5.00pm New Zealand; 3.00pm NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS; QLD; 2.30pm SA, NT; 1.00pm WA 
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Register here >>

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Webinar Overview: LGBTIQA+ people experience disproportionately high rates of disordered eating and eating disorders compared to the general population. Nearly 10% of the population self-identify as having a diverse gender and/or sexuality, and identification is expanding, with rates even higher among young people (up to 42% of Australian secondary students identify as non-heterosexual, 7% as trans or gender diverse). While eating disorders are present across all ages, risk is highest amongst younger adults. Despite this, eating disorder researchers and clinical services rarely collect accurate data regarding people’s sex, sexuality, and gender, thus limiting understanding and responsiveness to the needs of the community. This potentially impacts risk identification and further marginalises a community that regularly experiences stigma and discrimination within mental health services, and the need for awareness and action is only growing.

This webinar will focus on best practice data collection for sex, sexuality, and gender, including:

  • Exploring bias and exclusion in research; including the history of exclusion of sex, sexuality, and gender diversity in research, and how this has contributed to the erasure of LGBTIQA+ people in research and healthcare.
  • Why we need to consider sex and gender; highlighting the significance of defining and understanding terms such as intersex, and exploring evolving gender definitions, identities, and experiences.
  • Consideration and application throughout the research process, from the research question through to design, including across methods, measures, recruitment, analysis, reporting and writing.

Overall, attendees will develop the skills to advocate for and provide education to support building more inclusive and intersectional research practices to create a fairer and more comprehensive understanding of human diversity.

Kai Schweizer is a trans person, AuDHDer, researcher, sexologist, and PhD student at the University of Western Australia and the Telethon Kids Institute. They are also a sessional academic at Curtin University and a Research Affiliate at the Inside Out Institute for Eating Disorders. Kai’s core research focus is the eating and exercise behaviours of trans and gender-diverse people. Their PhD project focuses on improving eating disorder treatment for trans and gender-diverse people.

Majella Jones
is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and PhD student working out of Naarm (Melbourne), working from a lived experience approach as a queer nonbinary autistic person. They work primarily in trans health and nutrition, with a particular focus on neurodivergence, disability and chronic health, and eating differences/difficulties. They approach research, health care and support through identity-affirming, accessible care, including depathologising, intersectional, trauma-informed, harm-reductionist, anti-oppressive, and weight/body-inclusive approaches.

Webinar recordings

See recording of past webinars (Members only)