We all have a relationship with eating. Food is essential for nourishment, health and survival. How and why does our relationship with food sometimes become unhelpful, complex, chaotic, tortuous and even life threatening? This conference looks at some of the issues at play when our relationship with eating becomes less than helpful. We will look at how eating can be seen as a means of communication, a means to cope and survive trauma, and how the experience and loss of our early attachment bonds might influence our relationship with food.
Featuring three talks and a Q&A
Professor Julia Buckroyd: “Disordered eating in families and relationships: a wordless communication”
This presentation looks at some of the issues in families and relationships when one person has an eating disorder.
An eating disorder is a communication, wordless and hard to interpret, usually aimed at someone in the household. It is an indication of distress and needs to be put into words that can then be discussed, processed and worked on.
This process is made difficult because even if the target can be identified, the disordered eater rarely knows what it is about. The therapeutic task is therefore to make conscious the purposes of the disordered eating and enable the management of them within the couple or family by other and less destructive means.
The presentation will enable participants to recognise the significance of the disordered eating as communication; facilitate the understanding of the meaning of the eating behaviour, help the couple/family to discuss/communicate previously unmanaged issues in the relationship(s) and explore other means of managing the issues that arise from this process.
Yeva Feldman: “Anorexia Nervosa: Moving from disconnection to connection, an embodied relational approach”
Anorexia Nervosa has more recently been described as a ‘disease of disconnection’: disconnection from one’s authentic self (thoughts, feelings and needs), from one’s body (bodily cues and sensations) and from one’s close others (Tantillo, Sanftner & Hauenstein, 2013).
Yeva works from the premise that the disordered eating was a response to something that happened to the individual. Often there isn’t just one traumatic event; there may be layers of attachment trauma, neglect, loss, and invalidating experiences from childhood. The disordered eating is what the individual did to cope and survive.
When the disordered eating is viewed as protector, there is an opening for the more vulnerable self to emerge. Anorexia is a highly effective protective resource. Developing and strengthening somatic and relational resources are essential in order for the individual to feel they have other means of protecting and coping with overwhelming feelings.
In this presentation, Yeva will highlight the key elements she has found essential in helping individuals living with Anorexia Nervosa move from disconnection to connection illustrated by case examples.
Linda Cundy: “The Last Supper: Attachment, Loss – and Food”
“The main facts in human life are five: birth, food, sleep, love and death.” E. M. Forster.
Food and attachment are intimately connected; from the start of life our feeding experiences involve relationships. How we are held and fed is influenced by our caregiver’s capacity for sensitive attunement, related to her or his own attachment history.
Cultural factors also play their part in our relationship with food and influence how we come to nourish ourselves (or deny ourselves) later on.
Cooking and eating together is part of couple bonding and family life. So, when an attachment figure dies, our relationship to the world – including food – is shaken up. Separation anxiety, bereavement and unresolved loss all impact on appetite, eating habits and our sense of self. This talk will explore the grieving process through the relationship with food.
Please note that any mention in the videos about “handouts” or “printouts” by trainers, are in reference to printouts of the PowerPoint slides, which were made available to delegates who attended the LIVE workshop. These slides are included within the videos and are the property of the trainers. They are not available for download or redistribution with any video rental purchase.
The video shown below is a trailer only. Once you have purchased this course you will be able to view the full video.