EATING DISORDERS AT & BEYOND MID-LIFE

Eating Disorders At & Beyond Mid-Life
Although research is scarce, increasing numbers of midlife and older women are seeking eating disorders treatment, despite prevailing beliefs that they only affect the young. Body satisfaction used to increase with age, but today 65 percent of midlife women express significant body distress and weight preoccupation, threatening the health, well-being and status of women across the globe. Many adult women hide their disorder effectively; others may have years of semi-recovery or subclinical symptoms, with the multiple stressors and transitions of midlife triggering relapse. Ashamed, embarrassed, and ambivalent about seeking help, midlife women have more obstacles to treatment due to other responsibilities and commitments. Motivation for recovery is also more complex, as midlife women bring increased knowledge from life experiences and long to release themselves from their eating disorder identity. This presentation explores the Relational Cultural Theory model of growth fostering relationships and mutuality as keys to recovery for adult women. RCT understands eating disorders as strategies of disconnection resulting in chronic isolation from meaningful engagement with themselves, their body’s needs, and their relationships. Many adults come into therapy acknowledging their eating disorder no longer works for them, but doubt they can recover after decades of suffering or poor response to other treatments. RCT examines the meaning and function of the ED through the lens of these adult relationships, distinct from the objectification of the medical model. The concept of fluid expertise values that both client and clinician bring wisdom and knowledge to build upon mutual understanding of these disorders and create new pathways towards recovery. Margo Maine, PhD, FAED, CEDS, and Karen Samuels, PhD, FAED, who have both written extensively on this issue, will be joined by Denise Folcik, who has recovered after 2 decades of bulima, to assure a rich discussion of the unique clinical issues and needs of adult women, with ample time for audience involvement and discussion. Recorded live on Thursday, February 20, 2014

THIS WEBINAR WILL BE AVAILABLE ON ARCHIVE VERY SHORTLY!  LOOK FOR IT ON THE NEDA Website:  www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/webinars

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