PRESENTER: Dr. Anita Federici

DBT Eating Disorder I: Foundations

Course Access: Lifetime
Course Overview

Eating disorders are complex psychiatric illness associated with significant morbidity and mortality.  Chronic in nature and highly debilitating, eating disorders impact every organ system in the body and are associated with substantial psychological distress and impairment. Importantly, more people will die from an eating disorder than any other psychiatric illness. Rates of suicide and self-injury are elevated and many suffer with comorbid anxiety, depression, trauma, and/or substance use disorders. Stigma, misconceptions, and a lack of funding and clinical resources about eating disorders continue to impede early detection, proper assessment, and necessary treatment. Signs and symptoms are often missed; the average length of time between the onset of symptoms and the start of treatment is seven years. 

This practical, hands-on workshop provides healthcare providers with comprehensive training in using DBT for the treatment of eating disorders across levels of care. 

Workshop Objectives

  • Provide a comprehensive review of eating disorder presentations, diagnostic issues, assessment protocols, and core ED psychoeducation.
  • Present up-to-date research on the causes of eating disorders and how this informs the Biosocial Theory.
  • Describe how to adapt the DBT target hierarchy and diary cards for ED treatment.
  • Using DBT theory, treatment assumptions, and commitment strategies to guide and enhance ED treatment. 

Additional Topics Covered:

  • Rationale (and research) for using DBT for the treatment of eating disorders
  • Adaptation of the Biosocial Theory to eating disorders
  • How DBT case conceptualization informs eating disorder treatment
  • The House of DBT: A tool for psychoeducation and commitment 
  • DBT treatment assumptions and team stance
  • Dialectics dilemmas in eating disorder treatment
  • How to balance validation/acceptance with change-based strategies across levels of care
  • Adaptation of the Target Hierarchy for eating disorders
  • Use of DBT-ED diary cards 
  • Adapting DBT skills training for eating disorders
  • How to run a DBT skills group in higher levels of care
  • How to conduct behavior chain analyses on purging, restricting, binge eating.
  • DBT strategies for the multidisciplinary team: specific techniques and roles for dietitians, psychiatrists, administration staff, therapists).

Please note that the training will address how the above concepts and skills may be used across levels of care (e.g., outpatient individual therapy, day treatment, inpatient programming) and across populations (e.g., adolescents, adults, families).