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Implementing Exposure and Response Prevention Effectively in Eating Disorder Programs and Practices

Saturday, March 25, 2017: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
La Sirena II (Green Valley Ranch)

Background: While there is consensus among professionals that there are benefits to implementing ERP within eating disorder treatment programs, it is difficult to find the time and resources to do so effectively. This presentation aims to provide clinicians with strategies to maximize the effectiveness of ERP within a treatment program.

Objectives: 1. Attendees will be able identify the three (3) components of clinical anxiety disorders. 2. Attendees will be able to conduct a functional assessment of anxiety. 3. Attendees will be able to construct an exposure hierarchy for eating and anxiety disorder symptoms.

  1. Overview

    1. Why use exposure and response prevention (ERP) with eating disorders

    2. Components of anxiety disorders

    3. Review of anxiety disorders

  2. Functional Assessment

    1. Feared cues

    2. Maladaptive thoughts

    3. Safety behaviors

  3. Conducting ERP

    1. Development of the exposure hierarchy

      1. Didactic teaching

      2. Demonstration

    2. Conducting ERP

      1. Didactic teaching

      2. Demonstration

    3. Evaluating ERP for effectiveness

  4. Modifying ERP to Eating Disorder Treatment Programs

    1. Addressing feared and binge foods within the meal plan

    2. Using ERP within the group therapy setting

    3. “An inch long and a mile deep”: Choosing smaller treatment targets

It is widely known within the eating disorder field that a large percentage of our patients experience at least one, if not more, lifetime anxiety disorder. The presence of an anxiety disorder in an eating disorder patient has the potential to increase eating disorder symptom severity and lengths of stay, thus presenting clinicians with the challenge of how to effectively treat co-occurring anxiety disorders within an eating disorder program.   The integral components of exposure and response prevention (ERP) include prolonged, graduated, consistent, and repetitive exposure to feared stimuli, with a focus on preventing the safety behaviors that are often used to detect, avoid, and eliminate threat. While the consensus among eating disorder professionals is that there are benefits to the inclusion of ERP within an eating disorder treatment program, it can be difficult to find the time and resources to devote to implementing ERP effectively.   This presentation aims to provide eating disorder professionals with an understanding of how to implement effective ERP within an eating disorder treatment program or practice. The presentation will include a rationale for the use of ERP with both anxiety and eating disorder symptoms, along with tools to assist with the assessment of feared stimuli, maladaptive beliefs, and safety behaviors. Along with assessment, we will also cover how to develop an exposure therapy, conduct exposures, and monitor for the effectiveness of the treatment. Lastly, we will discuss how to modify treatment programs in order to increase the amount of time devoted to ERP, and thus to maximize the treatment effect.   Within a three-hour workshop, we will be able to use a combination of didactic and experiential teaching, thereby allowing attendees to witness firsthand these tools and techniques and come away with a better understanding of how to implement ERP with their eating disorder clients.

Primary Presenter:
Erin McGinty, MS, LMHC

Erin McGinty is the Eating Disorder Specialist for Baylor University in Waco, Texas . Erin has treated male and female adults with eating disorders, as well as their families, for over 10 years. She has extensive experience treating patients at all levels of care, especially at the residential treatment level. Erin has expertise in treating co-occurring trauma and anxiety disorders. Erin is trained in multiple treatment modalities, including cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and schema therapy. Prior to joining Baylor University, she provided both clinical and administrative leadership at several nationally-known eating disorder programs. Erin is a member of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp) and the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED).

Katie Thompson, LPC, CEDS

Katie Thompson, LPC, CEDS, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Saint Louis, Missouri. She specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Prior to opening her private practice, Katie worked both at Castlewood Treatment Center and Rogers Memorial Hospital. She is experienced in applying cognitive-behavioral therapies such as exposure and response prevention therapy to the eating disorder population.

and Joe Sciarretta, LMSW

Joe Sciarretta received his graduate degree from Rutgers University’s School of Social Work in 2014. He began his career in eating disorders after interning at University Medical Center of Princeton’s inpatient eating disorder program. He currently is a Primary Therapist at Monte Nido & Affiliates in Irvington, New York. Joe also is passionate about treating clients with anxiety disorders, and recently completed intensive Exposure and Response Prevention training offered by the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania. Joe is committed to delivering evidence-based treatments with compassion, humor, enthusiasm, and hope.

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