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The Art and Science of Doing No Harm with Higher Weight Patients with Eating Disorders

Presenter: Rebecka Peebles, MD, Adolescent Medicine Specialist & Co-director, Eating Disorder Assessment and Treatment Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Thursday 15 April (1 hour duration)
Time: 12pm New Zealand; 10am NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS, QLD; 9.30am SA & NT; 8am WA

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Dr. Rebecka Peebles is an Associate Professor in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She is also the Director of Medical Research and Quality Innovations in the Eating Disorder Assessment at Treatment Program at CHOP.

Prior to joining CHOP, she was an Instructor at Stanford University School of Medicine’s Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Paediatrics, and was primarily involved with the Eating Disorders Program and the Center for Healthy Weight at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Peebles’ research interests focus on the health outcomes of disordered eating in adolescents of diverse weight ranges, and how the Internet can be used as a vector to both help and harm young people as they try to approach a healthy weight. Her most recent work has been funded by the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health.

Webinar Overview: Data show that higher weight people with eating disorders are as likely as those with smaller bodies to present with dangerously low heart rates, pubertal disruptions, extreme weight control behaviors, and rigid eating disorder cognitions. However, weight biases carried by health providers, health systems, and support systems for larger-bodied patients with eating disorders present significant barriers to successful treatment and remission and cause trauma to those living through the clinical experience.  Clinicians and researchers still actively engage in debate regarding how much these patients should be allowed to eat when hungry, whether they should regain significant weight during treatment, the role of exercise in treatment, and whether ‘healthy weight loss’ should be encouraged as part of treatment. This talk will review weight bias and stigma in clinical care, common barriers encountered by those in larger bodies seeking care of an eating disorder, ways to avoid conflating weight and health, and proposals to improve health and outcomes in this vulnerable population while minimizing harm. 

Autism and Eating Disorders
Presenter: Tony Attwood, Adjunct Associate Professor at Griffith University in Queensland

Thursday 27 May April (1 hour duration)
Time: 12pm New Zealand; 10am NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS, QLD; 9.30am SA & NT; 8am WA

Further details will be provided soon.

Schema Therapy for Eating Disorders: Working with entrenched core beliefs & complex comorbidities

Presenter: Dr. Susan Simpson, Clinical Psychologist, NHS inpatient eating disorders unit, Edinburgh, Scotland

Wednesday 30 June (1 hour duration)
Time: 7pm New Zealand; 5pm NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS, QLD; 4.30pm SA & NT; 3pm WA

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Dr. Susan Simpson is a Clinical Psychologist has been researching and expanding the Schema Therapy model for eating disorders over the past 20 years. She currently works in an NHS inpatient eating disorders unit near Edinburgh, Scotland. She also runs the only ISST-accredited Schema Therapy training program in Scotland. She is part of an international research group which is currently investigating the effectiveness of Schema Therapy for eating disorders, and has published several research papers on the schema therapy model applied to eating disorders. She recently co-authoring the first book on Schema Therapy for Eating Disorders, which was published by Routledge in 2019. 

Webinar Overview: The Schema Therapy model is an integrative transdiagnostic approach designed to work with entrenched interpersonal and self-identity and characterological difficulties. Schema therapy has a strong evidence base for those with chronic and complex presentations, including rigid and entrenched personality traits, interpersonal difficulties, complex trauma, and chronic depression. It is therefore well placed to work with people eating disorders which have not responded to first-line treatments, in particular those with complex comorbidities. A preliminary RCT demonstrated Schema Therapy as equivalent to CBT in the treatment of bulimic disorders (McIntosh et. al, 2016), with further trials underway. 

One of the focal guiding strategies in Schema Therapy is the case conceptualization, which draws on both developmental and attachment theory in order to understand the underlying functions of eating disorder behaviours. This model addresses change not only at an intellectual/cognitive level, but places emphasis on techniques that lead to emotional & behavioural change. Schema Therapy techniques specifically target the rigid belief systems & high levels of avoidance characteristic of both complex eating disorders and characterological disorders that frequently interfere with progress in traditional treatments.

This webinar will describe:

  • Key features of the Schema Therapy Model & rationale for application with eating disorders.
  • Strategies for change, with an emphasis on deeper level change with core beliefs/schemas.
  • Preliminary evidence for the Schema Therapy model with eating disorders.
  • Case study example to enable participants to consider how they could apply schema change techniques with complex eating disorder clients.
  • Short demonstration to illustrate experiential techniques for change

Webinar recordings

See recording of past webinars (Members only)