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Acceptance Not Approval: Using Mindfulness to Navigate the Emotions of Recovery


Thursday, March 23, 2017: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM

Background: Mindfulness is a term used so frequently it has lost meaning. This workshop gets back to the heart of mindfulness. Combining experiential and didactic methods, participants will learn how to practice and apply clinical mindfulness to move clients toward emotional acceptance, improved emotional regulation, and ultimately recovery from eating disorders.

Objectives: 1. How to conduct mindfulness exercises in group and individual clinical settings 2. the rational to approach, not avoid, emotion 3. How to lead an example of an ARC of emotion

I.                    Introduction (15 minutes)

a.       Mindfulness practice (individual)

b.      Why and how mindfulness is a relevant topic for current ED treatment

c.       Brief history of mindfulness

II.                  Overview of eating disorders traits (20 minutes)

a.       Symptom entrenchment

                                                               i.      Body image rumination

                                                             ii.      Ego syntonic nature of disorder

                                                            iii.      Hunger/fullness cues become disjointed

                                                           iv.      Extreme disconnect between head and body

b.      Experiential avoidance

                                                               i.      What was done for controlling the problem has become the problem

                                                             ii.      Avoiding present moment

c.       Lack of values-based living

                                                               i.      Automatic and not purposeful reactions

                                                             ii.      How to discuss values with clients- examples

                                                            iii.      Experiential values exercise demonstration

III.                Mindfulness Definition (Kabat-Zinn) (20 minutes)

a.       Discussion of mindfulness in popular culture and how that differs from clinical mindfulness

b.      Mindfulness practice (group)

IV.                Brief Literature review of mindfulness (20 minutes)

a.       What is proven about effectiveness of mindfulness

b.      What is not proven about effectiveness of mindfulness

c.       Issues in the literature

d.      Next research steps

e.      Ways to keep up on the literature without University access

V.                  How to Implement a mindfulness practice (30 minutes)

a.       For Self

b.      Individual clients

c.       Group clients

d.      Mindfulness tools and technology

e.      Mindfulness practice (using technology)

VI.                Bringing it together: how mindfulness can promote (30 minutes)

a.       emotional acceptance, thereby

b.      decreasing ED symptomology and

c.       decrease emotional suffering

d.      increase psychological flexibility

VII.              ARC Teaching (30 minutes)

a.       Demonstration of an ARC using a case study

                                                               i.      Antecedent (immediate and earlier)

                                                             ii.      Response (thoughts, physical sensations, actions/urges)

                                                            iii.      Consequence (short and long term)

b.      Small group work to complete ARC

c.       Sharing of small group work

d.      Trouble shooting common ARC issues

VIII.            Conclusion (15 minutes)

a.       Q&A

Mindfulness is an oft-used term in today’s society. We are encouraged to feel, eat, play, and work mindfully. But what does that really mean; how do we actually “do” mindfulness? This workshop addresses those questions: how to practice mindfulness and use it in a way that is effective treating the deep set emotional dysregulation present in eating disorders.

After defining mindfulness, the benefits and limitations of clinical mindfulness as presented in current literature will be reviewed. Through experiential work, participants will then learn how to implement mindfulness not only into daily life but also as a therapeutic tool in eating disorder work. Major trends in mindfulness technologies, authors, teachers, and other tools will be presented and discussed.

The workshop will then present how to extend mindfulness and present moment awareness to acceptance of emotion. Using the foundational evidence based practice methods of the Renfrew’s Unified Treatment Model, based on David Barlow’s Unified Protocol, participants will learn how to implement tools in the moment that allow for emotional awareness, acceptance, and, ultimately, regulation. In particular, the ARC format of emotional experiencing will be taught through both didactic and small group work.

Using real life examples from Renfrew’s Model, participants will learn how to empower themselves and clients to become mindfully aware of emotional experiences, setting themselves up for the difficult yet rewarding journey towards full recovery. By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to walk away with effective, evidence-based, tools to implement immediately in their own practice.

Primary Presenter:
Jancey Wickstrom, AM, LCSW

Jancey Wickstrom, AM, LCSW is the Site Director at The Renfrew Center of Chicago. She has worked in residential, partial, and outpatient eating disorder treatment settings. Ms. Wickstrom is intensively trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). She contributed a chapter titled ‘Healing Self Inflicted Violence in Adolescents with Eating Disorders’ in the book Treatment of Eating Disorders: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice. Ms. Wickstrom is also an adjunct lecturer at The University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration.



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