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Using Somatic Awareness Techniques in Eating Disorders Treatment: IAEDP Symposium 2009

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About the Course:

Webinar from the 2009 International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Symposium.
Note: For this course there is a small additional fee to obtain the webinar. Please see the “Get Course Materials” link in the right sidebar for details.

Clients’ ability to achieve and manage awareness of their thoughts, emotions, and body sensations is critical to their engagement in their eating disorder treatment, symptom reduction, and ultimately their sustained recovery. This interactive and experiential workshop will demonstrate how clinicians can successfully interweave somatic awareness techniques into their current treatment methods to facilitate their clients’ ability to listen and respond to their physical self. Participants will learn through direct experience how these techniques can rapidly reduce clients’ anxiety, diminish negative self-talk, and improve motivation to engage in treatment.

Content Outline
Introduction to workshop: premises, goals, format, feedback

Outline of premises of using somatic awareness techniques in eating disorder treatment

• Defining somatic awareness

• Providing a rationale for its use

• Emphasizing the importance of integrating with current treatment protocol

Discussion of basic concepts of Somatic Experiencing® – a form of therapy focused on supporting healthy nervous system self-regulation and resolving the symptoms of trauma in the body

• Support clients’ empowerment, mastery of managing arousal

• Work within clients’ range of resiliency

• Track clients’ perceived body sensations (i.e. their somatic experience)

• Focus on tracking physical sensation, less on cognitive and emotional processes

• Emphasize here and now experience of sensations and body memories

• Provide containment of arousal through titration and pendulation

• Support and encourage coherence

Experiential exercise – tracking one’s own perceived body sensations

• Invite participants to tune awareness toward what is attractive in the current environment

• Facilitate guidance of what is happening inside their body at the same time

• Encourage exploration of the characteristics, sensations, qualities (size, shape, color, texture, weight, movement, changes) of their bodily experience

• Promote integration with other areas of their body

• Invite discussion and feedback from exercise

Learning how to use somatic awareness techniques

• Pacing of sessions

• Using one’s own body resonance

• Using sensory language

• Pacing with the client’s nervous system

Brief demonstration of somatic awareness techniques

• Volunteer attendee to work with one presenter

• Focus on highlighting concepts discussed

• Second presenter to provide commentary

Interactive small group participation practice

• Tracking “client” sensations

• Managing titration of arousal

• Facilitating movement from awareness of arousal through resolution into greater coherence

Discussion of benefits of using somatic awareness techniques in eating disorders treatment

• Increases awareness and tolerance of hunger and fullness signals

• Deepens clients ability to manage feelings and utilize mindfulness skills

• Provides clients with additional resources to address upsetting events/triggers which reduces reliance on eating disorder

• Improves inclination towards social engagement and relationship development

Questions and Comments

This course is based on the recorded webinar, Using Somatic Awareness Techniques in Eating Disorders Treatment: IAEDP Symposium 2009 created by Susan L. Richter, MFT, CEDS and Susan M. Baker, MFT, SEP, GestaltTherapist

Course Material Authors

Course Material Authors authored the material only, and were not involved in creating this CE course. They are identified here for your own evaluation of the relevancy of the material this course is based on.

Susan L. Richter, MFT, CEDS
Susan L. Richter, MFT has been providing individual, family and group therapy for over twenty years. She is a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist and published chapters on eating disorders and group therapy in a treatment manual for sexual trauma. Susan is certified in both EMDR and Somatic Experiencing®. She supervises a training program for intern therapists in eating disorders treatment and group therapy, which includes sponsoring a free ANAD support group. As a local President of IAEDP, Susan leads the efforts of Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties to provide excellence in education and training for treatment providers.
Susan M. Baker, MFT, SEP, GestaltTherapist
Susan M. Baker is a licensed MFT, and holds certifications in both Somatic Experiencing® and gestalt therapy. She maintains a psychotherapy practice for adolescents and adults and co-leads several therapy groups. Susan works with people who are dealing with the difficulties of resolving trauma, whose symptoms often appear as depression and anxiety, eating disorders, chronic pain and illness. As an adjunct faculty member at Pepperdine University, Susan teaches graduate classes in Clinical Practicum and Interpersonal Skills & Group Therapy. As a clinical supervisor, she provides training in the areas of group process, gestalt therapy and trauma treatment.

Course Creator

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially psychologists, therapists, and counselors who seek to update their research knowledge and competency in treating patients with eating disorders, increase and acquire new skills, learn new intervention strategies, and obtain continuing education credits. It is appropriate for professionals at all levels of knowledge.

Course Objectives:

After taking this course, you should be able to:

  1. Following this presentation, participants will be able to identify, utilize and explain how integrating somatic and cognitive-behavioral techniques can facilitate rapid reduction in symptoms and improve clients' engagement in treatment.
  2. Following this presentation, participants will be able to identify, utilize and explain pacing skills by using somatic awareness techniques with other participants.
  3. Following this presentation, participants will be able to identify, utilize and explain their own somatic awareness process through direct experience.


Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships

Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships

CE Learning Systems, LLC is an independent provider of continuing medical education. CE Learning Systems, LLC has no proprietary or financial interest in medical or healthcare products over which the FDA (USA) or EMA (EU) has regulatory authority.

In accordance with our disclosure policies, CE Learning Systems, LLC is committed to ensuring balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor for all accredited continuing education. These policies include assigning relevance to, and mitigating, all perceived or real conflicts of interest between any individual with control over the content and any ineligible company (commercial interest).

Any individual with control over accredited content, including planner, faculty, and reviewer, is required to globally disclose:

  1. Individual relationship(s) or lack thereof, and its nature, with any/all ineligible company, and
  2. any investigational, off-label, or non-FDA approved content or discussion

CE Learning Systems, LLC has reviewed these disclosures, assigned relevance based on the relationship and scope of content, and identified those with the potential to compromise the goals and educational integrity of the education. Relevant relationships, or lack thereof, are shared with the learner.

Education has been independently peer-reviewed to validate content, mitigate identified conflicts of interest, and ensure:

  1. All recommendations involving clinical medicine is based on evidence that is accepted within the medical profession as adequate justification for their indications and contraindications in the care of patients.
  2. All scientific research referred to, reported, or used in accredited continuing education in support or justification of a patient care recommendation conforms to the generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection, and analysis.
  3. Content is appropriate, fair and balanced, unbiased, referenced, and non-promotional.

The planners have reported the following: There are no relevant disclosures.

Course Material Authors

The authors have disclosed any disclosures within the material.

Course Creator: Max Schwanekamp
There are no relevant disclosures.
Commercial support

There is no commercial support for this distance-learning course.

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Course Number 101705
2 CE credit hours
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  • Recorded Webinar
Exam Fee $11.94
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