Coming to Our Senses about Eating Disorders Treatment is an exploration of how Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) impacts a person’s relationship with food, the eating process and body perception. Current research shows autism is overrepresented in individuals battling an eating disorder (ED) and those with both disorders have the poorest treatment outcomes. Research also supports a link between SPD and ARFID as well as a link between visual processing patterns and body dysmorphia.
Through didactic lectures and experiential activities, this 3-day workshop offers a unique perspective of combined clinical and personal experiences. Participants will see the world as it’s experienced by someone with SPD, ASD and an ED. We will consider the following questions:
- What if food preferences and aversions are not dictates of an irrational “ED voice” but are logical choices given a person’s unique sensory processing system?
- What if food rituals and rules stem not from unreasonable needs for control but, rather, are effective life-style routines congruent with neuro-divergent thinking?
- What if body image distortions and dysmorphia are not errors in thinking but are the results of incongruencies in far and near senses?
- How can understanding our sensory processing system and neurodivergent thinking help us to more effectively support recovery from eating disorders?
This 3-day training begins with an exploration of the human sensory system. Through didactic presentation and experiential activities, participants will examine the anatomy and physiology of our near and far senses and how they organize to support attachment and defense. Looking through the lens of Sensory Processing Disorder, we will reconsider the function of and driving force behind common eating disorder behaviors. We end the day with a powerful experiential activity which will give participants a felt understanding of what the everyday task of grocery shopping is like for a person with SPD.
We begin the second day of this training with another powerful experiential activity that brings participants into the world of someone with both Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Participants will get a glimpse at the challenges faced by neurodivergent people when navigating daily tasks of eating and accessing effective treatment for eating disorders.
During the second half of the day, we will explore a variety of interventions to support Normative Eating which recruit the strengths of people with ASD.
The third day focuses on assessment and treatment planning. We begin by examining several tools to screen for SPD. Participants will self-administer and score screening tools developed by Dr. Stephen Porges. We end the morning with an exploration of the link between SPD and body image distortions.
After lunch we apply the lens of SPD and ASD when evaluating eating disorders as expressions of Barriers to Action and developing treatment goals and plans.
The training is appropriate for all members of multidisciplinary eating disorders treatment teams including mental health professionals (Psychologist, Social Workers, Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Creative Art Therapists), medical providers (MD’s, Psychiatrists, Nurses), Dietitians, Occupational Therapists, treatment program staff and adjunct providers such as yoga therapist.
Introduction to Embodied Recovery for Eating Disorders, either Online or In-Person is required to attend this course.
Cost and Refund Policy
See the individual course listing for tuition fees.
BIPOC/LGBTQ AND STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS : We reserve select slots in each training for reduced rate scholarships. If you would like to request a scholarship, please contact Jenn at email@example.com.
REFUND: Refund of full tuition paid minus $100 available if cancellation is made up to 6 weeks prior to start of the training. Refund of 50% of tuition paid minus $100 available if cancellation is made between 2-6 weeks prior to start of training. No refund available available if cancellation is made within 2 weeks of start of training.
16.5 Continuing Education credits are provided by CE-go. For more information about CE’s go to: https://app.ce-go.com/coming-to-our-senses-about-eating-disorders-treatment-an-exploration-of-sensory-processing-disorder-autism-spectrum-disorder-and-eating-disorders/ceinfo
View Additional Course Details
Coming to Our Senses About ED: Cohort 2023-April-C
Dates: April 14-16, 2023 – Friday 9:00am-5:30pm, Saturday 9:00am-5:30pm, Sunday 9:00am-4:15pm
Instructors: Rachel Lewis-Marlow, MS, EDS, LCMHC, LMBT, Kimberly Clairy, MS, OTR/L
Cost: $825; Early Bird Discount $795 (available until January 20, 2023)
Location: Hyatt Place Chapel Hill/Southern Village, 3690 S Columbia Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Lodging: Hyatt Place Chapel Hill/Southern Village–There are a limited number of rooms available April 13-16, 2023 at a discounted rate of $179/night. Please call 1-800-233-1234 to make reservations. Use Group Code G-ERI1. Deadline to receive room discounted rate is March 17, 2023.
9:00-10:00 Arriving, Introductions
10:00-10:30 Definition of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Near Senses and Far Senses, Review of research linking SPD and Eating Disorders (ED)
10:45-11:15 Exploring Touch: How it organizes in states of safety and defense and how processing issues are expressed in ED behaviors.
11:15-11:45 Exploring Smell: How it organizes in states of safety and defense and how processing issues are expressed in ED behaviors.
11:45-12:15 Exploring Taste: How it organizes in states of safety and defense and how processing issues are expressed in ED behaviors.
1:45-2:15 Exploring Hearing: How it organizes in states of safety and defense and how processing issues are expressed in ED behaviors.
2:15-2:45 Exploring Sight: How it organizes in states of safety and defense and how processing issues are expressed in ED behaviors.
2:45-3:15 Exploring Proprioception: How it organizes in states of safety and defense and how processing issues are expressed in ED behaviors.
3:30-4:00 Exploring Vestibular: How it organizes in states of safety and defense and how processing issues are expressed in ED behaviors.
4:00-4:30 Exploring Interoception: How it organizes in states of safety and defense and how processing issues are expressed in ED behaviors.
4:30-5:15 Experiential activity: Going to the Grocery Store with SPD
9:00-9:45 Arriving, checking in
9:45-10:45 Experiential Activity: Exploring ASD & SPD with Kim’s Sensory Box
11:00-12:15 Exploration of the Relationship between Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and ED: A glimpse into Kim’s world
1:45-3:15 Interventions to support Normative Eating for people with ASD
3:30-4:30 More Interventions to support Normative Eating for people with ASD
4:30-5:30 Q and A, close
9-9:45 Mindfulness practice
9:45-10:45 Formal and informal assessments for SPD/ASD.
11:15-12:15 Linking SPD/ASD to Body Image/Body Dysmorphia
1:15-2:45 Treatment planning when ED behaviors are expressing Insight, Response and Nourishment Barriers associated with SPD/ASD.
3:00-3:45 Treatment planning when ED behaviors are expressing Completion Barrier associated with SPD/ASD.
Participants will be able to:
1. Explain three components of Sensory Processing Disorder-Modulation, Motor Based, Discrimination.
2. List and describe the function and anatomy of 5 far senses and 3 near senses.
3. Assess when sensory input is neurocepted as safe or dangerous and describe the impact of this neuroception on eating and feeding processes of ingestion, digestion and elimination.
4. Apply Polyvagal Theory to SPD
5. Anticipate the impact of SPD on food selection, food preparation and eating behaviors.
Participants will be able to:
1. List communication, social, language, behavioral, and cognitive processes characteristic of ASD
2. Describe how ASD impacts eating behaviors
3. Explain how ASD traits can impact the development and continuation of an ED
3. Discuss the use of the Intervention Ziggurat model for assessment and treatment planning in ED treatment with ASD clients.
4. Design 3 interventions to help clients with SPD and ASD increase ANS regulation
5. Design 3 interventions to help clients with SPD and ASD engage in ADL’s associated with obtaining, selecting, preparing, ingesting and digesting food.
- Identify when referral for specialized treatment for SPD and/or ASD is appropriate.
- Describe the link between Sensory Processing Disorder and Body Image distortions.
- Design 4 interventions to address the impact of sensory sensitivity or low-registry on “normative eating”.