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Mothers and Daughters in ED Recovery: Clinical Implications

Saturday, March 25, 2017: 4:00 PM-5:00 PM
Del Fuego (Green Valley Ranch)

Background: A necessary adjunct to successful eating disorder treatment, family therapy becomes a primary intervention when both mother and daughter are sick. Seasoned family therapist, Valerie Jencks draws on 25 years of clinical and personal experience to elucidate the common, yet unexplored territory of mothers and daughters with concurrent eating disorders.

Objectives: 1) historical and theoretical perspectives of mothers and daughters in etiology and treatment of eating disorders; 2) problem maintenance cycles and interaction patterns of eating disordered mother/daughter dyads; 3) five techniques to work with families where both mother and daughter are recovering from an eating disorder.

  1. Brief review of mother/daughter dyad in the history of eating disorder theory and treatment
    1. Etiology theories and historical models of treatment 
    2. Family systems perspective: relevance and limitations
    3. Biopsychosocial perspective: current research
  2. Mother/daughter dyads
    1. Developmental tasks throughout the life cycle
    2. Problem maintenance cycles
      1. Internal
        1. Familial
        2. Developmental
      2. External
        1. Cultural
        2. Historical
    3. Interaction patterns: Developmental vs Impaired
      1. Attachments
      2. Cultural issues
  3. Treatment methodology
    1. Genograms as a working document
    2. Using The Narrative
    3. MFGs: their relevance and limitations
    4. Concurrent ERP
    5. Addressing gender in identity and culture
  4. Conclusion

Inclusion of family members in the course of treatment of an eating disorder is commonplace in the recovery industry. Less common is the idea of family therapy as a primary treatment modality when one or more family members of the same system are identified with an eating disorder. This workshop will highlight the commonality of mothers and daughters with concurrent eating disorders and discuss the necessity of family therapy in directing the clinical care of each individual in treatment.

Drawing from twenty-five years of professional experience, as well as from personal examples as part of a mother/daughter dyad in eating disorder recovery herself, the speaker will elucidate the clinical implications of treating mother/daughter dyads. Theory and research will be explored, as well as the unique issues that arise with this clinical presentation. Specific interventions for treating recovering mothers and daughters will be emphasized.

Primary Presenter:
Valerie Jencks, LMFT, LCPC

Valerie Jencks is a Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Professional Counselor in Illinois. Graduating from Knox College, Northwestern University and The Family Institute of Chicago, Valerie served as Executive Director of Prairie Family Therapy for over 20 years, joining Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center in 2016 as the Family Program Coordinator. She has extensive clinical experience, with special expertise in the area of narrative in families dealing with anxiety, eating disorders and addiction. Her book “How to Rewrite History” is due for publication in late 2016.

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