Listen in to hear Melissa and special guest, Lori Kucharski, discuss the applications of EMDR with clients presenting with disordered eating.
Eating Disorder, Disordered Eating, Dysmorphia
- Eating disorders
- Primarily cases which fit DSM 5 criteria
- Typically including noticeable behaviors and higher level of care needed
- People tend to think of extreme cases on TV series, movies, and in books
- Disordered eating
- Relationship with food or their body isn’t where they want it to be
- For example, people who are chronically dieting
- Always wanting your body to be different
- Consistent feelings of “something is wrong.”
- The continuum ranges from not liking a specific body part all the way to as complex as investing a lot of time and energy into elective cosmetic procedures.
- Importantly, body dysmorphia is not gender dysphoria
- Diagnostic criteria feels irrelevant in the lived experience of things this complex
- Keep in mind, however, we are bound by ethical and legal obligations to assess and determine the needs of the client to ensure safety.
- Stay human centered by embodying the fact that disordered eating is a creative way to deal with overwhelming life experiences
Shame and Microaggressions
- Remember, there are likely many layers of trauma.
- Specifically, when we aren’t deemed socially acceptable we’re constantly receiving messaging that we’re not okay the way we are.
- Therefore, it’s important to examine your personal power and privilege to avoid perpetuating client’s shame through microaggressions
EMDR and Disordered Eating
- Remember, if you’ve already been working with complex trauma, all the skills and tools that work over there are going to work here
- First, determine the level of care needed.
- Check out NEDA’s guidelines and obtain consultation when necessary
- Second, continue with history taking while being mindful about their and their family’s relationship to food and the messaging received around food
- Similar to complex trauma cases, preparation and resourcing is a crucial phase when working with these clients
- Target selection and sequencing
- Go towards the traumatic memory to get to the root underneath
- Desensitizing work around the current symptoms may be necessary
- Don’t forget to be curious about positive memories in addition to negative ones
Contact us today for more information on consultations!
Learn more about Lori Kucharski here!