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Professor Glenn Waller – CBT For Body Image: Key Skills in Working With Eating Disorders. Online event.


In the population as a whole, body image issues are common among women across the age range. They are also found among some men, though often with a different presentation. However, this session will address the skills needed to work with negative body image among individuals who experience it most severely – those with eating disorders and broader eating and body distress.

Body image is a critical topic when working with most individuals with eating disorders. Most patients, families and clinicians regard it as a vital target, which is very appropriate, as poor body image by the end of therapy is a strong predictor of relapse. However, it needs to be addressed at the right time in therapy, and using effective, evidence-based approaches. This workshop will detail the CBT skills that are needed to work with body image issues.

The workshop will address the sociocultural, cognitive-perceptual, behavioural, emotional and interpersonal factors that explain the development and maintenance of negative body image. It will lead to a focus on developing an individualised formulation of factors that maintain negative body image, linking them to targets for CBT interventions.

It will demonstrate the following skills:

  • Formulating body image disturbance in the context of eating disorders, with particular attention to the role of safety behaviours
  • Identifying individual maintaining factors (lack of understanding about the body; perceptual distortions; body shame; reassurance-seeking; mind-reading; body checking; body comparison; body avoidance)
  • The use of key CBT skills to improve body image acceptance (psychoeducation; perceptual correction; surveys; imagery work; self-compassion work; behavioural experiments; exposure) and to maintain gains
  • Reducing the impact of clinician characteristics that can limit therapy effectiveness (tolerance of anxiety; avoidance of using effective techniques with some groups; using techniques when the patient has not made the other necessary changes first)
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Due to the current situation we are unable to physically host workshops at the University of Reading. With the ever-changing guidance around restrictions, we anticipate this to be a short-to-medium term arrangement – most likely until September 2021. This is under constant review and we will resume our usual programme as soon as possible, whilst continuing to run the online events as an alternative for those who cannot attend in person.

Events will be delivered online, for which delegates will be sent a link for joining. No previous experience of this tool or specific software is required (although we do recommend that you access the event using a connection with good bandwidth).

Taught by leading experts, our workshops provide training opportunities in evidence-based treatments. All of our courses are accredited and are BABCP compliant providing 5 CPD hours, with an approximate 50/50 split between theory and skills. The cost of the workshop includes an electronic CPD certificate. All workshops, unless otherwise stated, are intended for a cross/mixed ability audience.

We also offer a range of training options in all psychological treatments, all of which are recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

This event will be hosted online.

We will be adding new events for an ongoing basis so please check the website regularly. If you would prefer to be notified, please ask to be added to our mailing list at cwi@reading.ac.uk.