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Clinician Avoidance: Understanding, Identifying, and Responding to Eating Disorder Clinicians’ Fear and Anxiety

This course was updated 82 days ago. If you're about to take the exam, you may benefit from reviewing the exam questions listed below before starting on the actual exam.

About the Course:

This workshop will provide an overview of clinician avoidance, i.e., avoiding clinical techniques due to concerns that they are unworkable, intolerable, or harmful, despite existing evidence to the contrary. It will utilize discussion, video role-play review, and provision of practical steps to teach attendees how to recognize and address their own avoidance in clinical work. The “research-practice gap” in the eating disorders field is well-established, with many professionals lamenting the disjunction and dichotomization between research and clinical endeavors. One element of this “gap” that merits further exploration is professionals’ avoidance of evidence-based practices due to some degree of aversion/anxiety about these methods (e.g., omission of effective elements of treatment such as behavioral experiments due to fear of upsetting patients or causing harm). This workshop will incorporate brief presentations on clinician avoidance, with speakers providing practical take-away messages for attendees to explore the role of avoidance in their own work. Dr. von Ranson will present on the reasons clinicians endorse for not using evidence-based practices while recognizing and validating various factors that influence clinical decision-making (15 minutes). Dr. Farrell will examine clinicians’ avoidance of specific intervention methods (e.g., exposure therapy, in-session weighing) and highlight ways to enhance training by addressing clinicians’ concerns (15 minutes). Dr. Waller will discuss how clinicians’ thoughts, emotions, and behaviors maintain avoidance of evidence-based practices and how clinicians may identify and respond adaptively to their own safety/avoidance behaviors (15 minutes). Next, “start-and-stop” video role-play of clinical interactions will be reviewed to facilitate discussion between the speakers and attendees to better understand how clinician avoidance may present (25 minutes). Finally, the speakers will field audience questions and emphasize concrete steps to identify and tolerate clinician fear/anxiety while overcoming avoidance in clinical practice (20 minutes).

This course is based on the book, Clinician Avoidance: Understanding, Identifying, and Responding to Eating Disorder Clinicians’ Fear and Anxiety created by Kelsey E Clark, BA, Krisin M von Ranson, PhD, FAED, Nicholas R Farrell, PhD, and Glenn Waller, Dphil, FAED in 2020.

Publication Date:

Jun 2020

Course Material Authors

Kelsey E Clark, BA
Krisin M von Ranson, PhD, FAED
Nicholas R Farrell, PhD

Psychologist Nicholas R. Farrell, PhD provides clinical consultation and supervises the work of the behavioral specialists in Rogers’ Eating Disorder Center as well as in the inpatient, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY). He served as a graduate research assistant in the Anxiety Disorders Research Laboratory at the University of Wyoming from 2010 to 2015, and completed his predoctoral internship training as a psychology resident at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (Ontario, Canada).

Dr. Farrell specializes in the use of empirically supported treatments that have been developed based on psychological science. He has co-authored many peer-reviewed articles and has given presentations on topics related to the cognitive behavioral treatment of eating disorders and anxiety disorders. Dr. Farrell embraces an integrated care model that promotes collaboration between patients and the health professionals involved in their care. He is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Glenn Waller, Dphil, FAED

“Psychologist Nicholas R. Farrell, PhD provides clinical consultation and supervises the work of the behavioral specialists in Rogers’ Eating Disorder Center as well as in the inpatient, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY). He served as a graduate research assistant in the Anxiety Disorders Research Laboratory at the University of Wyoming from 2010 to 2015, and completed his predoctoral internship training as a psychology resident at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (Ontario, Canada).

Dr. Farrell specializes in the use of empirically supported treatments that have been developed based on psychological science. He has co-authored many peer-reviewed articles and has given presentations on topics related to the cognitive behavioral treatment of eating disorders and anxiety disorders. Dr. Farrell embraces an integrated care model that promotes collaboration between patients and the health professionals involved in their care. He is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.”

“Glenn Waller, DPhil, FAED is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with Central and North
West London NHS Foundation Trust. He is visiting Professor of Psychology at the Institute of
Psychiatry, King’s College London. He has published widely on the subject of the eating
disorders, including over 200 peer-reviewed papers, and being lead author on a book on
CBT for the eating disorders. He has presented clinician workshops at a range of national
and international conferences”

Course Creator

Sandi Cardaman

Sandi Cardaman has been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor for more than 15 years. She has worked with eating disorders, domestic violence and clients who are working with the dependency system.

Recommended For:

Counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists and social workers. This course is appropriate for all levels of knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Define the concept of clinician avoidance and its relevance in clinical work for eating disorders.

  2. Identify examples of clinician avoidance exhibited by others and in attendees’ own practice.

  3. Utilize skills to tolerate fear/anxiety and overcome avoidance in clinical practice.

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American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders (AAHCPAD)

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National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

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Course Number 102885
1.5 credit hour
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