Food Trauma: What if it is about the food?

IAEDP Symposium 2011

About the Course:

Webinar from the 2011 International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Symposium.

This workshop will explore the topic of food trauma. Food trauma will be both defined and explored as seen in intensive treatment settings from both psychological and nutritional backgrounds. Trauma with foods/feeding, physical traumas involving food, trauma associations with food, and food itself as trauma will all be discussed. The presentation will explore if, when, and how to re-introduce foods involved in or associated with traumatic experiences. Approaches and interventions used in a residential and partial hospitalization program will be reviewed and examples given. Attendees will also participate in an experiential activity and given practical tips for practice.

1. Introduction 2. Trauma with Food/Feeding 1. Force Feeding 2. Animal Cruelty/Farming 3. Trash/Garbage 4. Clean plate Club 5. Food as love 6. Not feeding as love 3. Trauma with Food / Physical 1. Sexual acts using food 2. Physical acts using food 3. Trauma associations with Food 1. Sexual i. Dairy/white foods ii. Falic iii. Sensory 1. Trash/Garbage 2. Feces 3. Vomit Consuming ii. Fear of vomiting 1. Transition i. Baby utensils 1. Food as Trauma 2. Food = Weight Gain 3. Food = Debting 4. Feeding approaches in treatment history 5. To Challenge or Not to Challenge 1. Excluding Foods 2. Re-Introducing Foods i.Assess impact on lifestyle with and without ii. Appropriateness for re-introduction iii. Mindful Eating work iv. Normalization Mindful Eating Group Activity

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.


Amanda C. Mellowspring, MS, RD, LD/N (presenter); Melissa A. McLain, Ph.D. (presenter)

About the Authors:

Amanda Mellowspring is a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian and serves as the Director of Nutrition Services at the Oliver-Pyatt Centers of Miami. Amanda has worked as a leader in nutrition services in a variety of treatment settings for eating disorder recovery including residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, college health, and private practice. Amanda served as the secondary author of JADA’s recent publication of Standards of Practice and Standards of Professional Performance for dietitians working with the eating disorder population. Amanda is a nationally recognized author and speaker regarding nutrition in the treatment of eating disorders.

Dr. Melissa McLain is a licensed psychologist with specialty training and experience in eating disorders. She is the Clinical Director at Oliver-Pyatt Centers, an eating disorder treatment program in Miami, Florida. She completed her undergraduate schooling at Northwestern University and her graduate masters and doctoral degrees at the American Psychological Association accredited Counseling Psychology program at the University of Southern California. She received specialty training in eating disorders at the University of California, Davis where she served as the Eating Disorder Program Coordinator. Dr. McLain is a member of several professional organizations, including the National Eating Disorder Association, the Academy of Eating Disorders, the American Psychological Association and the Florida Psychological Association.

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:

  1. Following this presentation, participants will be able to identify, utilize and explain at least 4 different types of food trauma.

  2. Following this presentation, participants will be able to identify, utilize and explain the impact that food trauma can have on a patient’s ability to normalize their food behaviors.

  3. Following this presentation, participants will be able to identify, utilize and explain how to assess a patient’s needs, willingness, and readiness to re-introduce foods indicated in a traumatic experience.

Exam Questions

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