Dr. McCallum will
1. Provide a review of the concepts of mindfulness, radical acceptance and wise mind,
2. Discuss the principles and strategies for mindfulness intervention,
3. Describe mindfulness research in special populations
4. Discuss use of specific mindfulness techniques that can be incorporated into therapy.
5. Participants will have an opportunity to practice a mindfulness interventions:
eating meditation, learn the compassion meditation, and practice mindful breathing.
Psychotherapy work with those suffering from EDs is complicated by predictable and tenacious concerns about self regulation, dissociation and critical self evaluation. Patients are overwhelmed by so much shame that they avoid paying attention to the ways they are hurting. Thinking they deserve to suffer, they respond to their pain with contempt and disgust. They cling to beliefs that they are flawed and therefore unlovable, identifying with their body or with their illness. Without their eating disorders, they fear they will not have an identity. Flooded with negative emotions, they find it difficult to make use of supports, process information. Restrictive eating, control of body weight, purging and compulsive exercise become the main strategies for self regulation. Thinking becomes trapped in loops of negative self evaluation. Self acceptance is, in the patient’s view, contingent on achievement and maintenance of an ideal body shape and weight. In reality, the desired ideal image is unsustainable and dangerous. In an attempt to maintain a connection at all, therapists struggle to find a way to create an environment of safety, respect and trust. The more mindful the therapist, the more access the therapist will have to empathy and understanding of the patients’ dis-regulated mind states.
Mindfulness is a resource which optimizes self regulation and allows increased freedom from automatic thinking. Mindfulness increases wellbeing and should be correlated with symptom reduction and less negative emotion. There are several domains of mindful awareness. Attention may be focused on the body: movement impulses and sensations; on emotions; on desire and appetites; on thoughts, beliefs, fantasies or stories; and on the state of consciousness itself.
Patients who practice mindfulness learn skills to increase self regulation, over-ride cognitive dysfunction, develop resources to accept discomfort associated with changes in their body, and practice accepting themselves without clinging to judgments. Infusing mindfulness into psychotherapy focuses the work in a particular way with this goal in mind. Participants will learn ways to incorporate mindfulness techniques into clinical practice.
A Board-certified psychiatrist in child, adolescent, and in adult psychiatry, Kim is also a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine, and a CEDS. She is also a psychotherapist with a broad range of therapy skills, including DBT, CBT, family-based treatment, IFS and psychoanalysis. She received her medical degree from Yale, completed adult training at UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Washington University. She is a member of AED and serves on the board of directors of NEDA and IAEDP. She has developed several eating disorder treatment programs including McCallum Place and Cedar Springs in Texas.