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Connections: Developing an Evidence-Based Relationship with the Chronically Relapsing Client

Wednesday, March 22, 2017: 8:30 AM-12:00 PM
Del Sol (Green Valley Ranch)

Background: The chronically relapsing eating disordered client poses specific relational challenges for professionals. This workshop reviews the essential evidence-based elements of alliance development illustrated through the presentation of a self-regulation model. Case examples will be provided and specific Practice Points will be suggested to assist clinicians in designing an effective alliance.

Objectives: 1. Participants will be able to identify three strategies for empowering the chronically relapsing eating disorder client 2. Participants will be able to explain three components of an effective therapeutic alliance and specific areas of focus with the chronically relapsing client 3. Participants will be able to identify four characteristics suggestive of a rupture or negative impact in the therapeutic alliance with the chronically relapsing client. 4. Participants will be able to explain the three primary interactional elements of the Structural-Process Model and their application to development of the therapeutic alliance

    Introduction and Video Presentation followed by discussion

    Connections: Developing an Evidence-Based Alliance with the Chronic ED Client (CREDC)

    • Characteristics of the CREDC
    • The effective relationship in process 
    • The Alliance: Bonds, Tasks, Goals, Covenant - characteristics and impacts

    Eating disorders – the role, function and management of the emotions in recovery

    Self-Regulation and the Structural Process Model

    • Creating the Evidence-Based Alliance
    • Empowerment in action
    • Keys to success

    Practice Points, Case Presentations, and Discussion

    Today, between 7% and 20% or more of eating disorder patients live a relatively symptomatically chronic life. Indeed, the Chronically Relapsing Eating Disordered Client poses specific relational challenges for professionals that are experienced through the context of the therapeutic alliance. The clients’ symptom constellations, and related emotional presentations, test therapist skills and endurance; in part, because these clients have often experienced various types of treatments in a variety of different settings without positive or enduring outcomes. Therapists often find themselves overwhelmed with maintaining an efficacious connection; particularly for those clients who struggle with more severe or persistent self-destructive or trauma-related behaviors. For most clinicians, their primary tool is the therapeutic connection and current research has identified specific elements necessary for effectively working with the key emotional and relational features of the chronically relapsing eating disordered client.

    This workshop reviews the evidence-based elements found to be essential for developing an effective therapeutic alliance with the chronically relapsing client. These elements will be illustrated through the presentation of a self-regulation model of relationship development, based on research that provides a guide for organizing the development of the therapeutic relationship and for empowering clients. Case examples will be provided to illustrate the practical development of the evidence-based elements of the alliance. Specific Practice Points will be suggested to assist clinicians in designing and modifying the therapeutic alliance throughout treatment.

    Primary Presenter:
    John L. Levitt, PhD

    Dr. Levitt has more than 30 years working with eating disorders, trauma and complex patients. He has been an active participant in the field of treatment of eating disorders as a clinician, program developer, supervisor/trainer, and presenter. He has worked in private practice, taught widely, published and presented on the topics of eating disorders, trauma, self-injury, complex symptomalogy, assessment, and intervention. He has co-edited four books on these topics with Dr. Randy Sansone. Dr. Levitt currently maintains a private practice in the Chicago suburbs specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, trauma, individual, and couples work.

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