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Food for Thought Summer 2019 Mindful Eating and Trauma

04 Jul 2019 7:34 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

Food for Thought Summer 2019: Mindfulness and Trauma​

In this issue:

  • Mistaken View: How You See Survivors, by Char Wilkins, MSW, LSCW​
  • Mindful Intervention with Trauma Survivors Seeking to Repair Their Relationship with Food and Body, by Alice Rosen, MSEd, LMHC
  • Recovering from Traumatic Experiences through
  • Mindfulness, by Cecilia Clemente Ph.D, Psych.D
  • Walking Meditation, by Cuca Azinovic, Certified Mindfulness Teacher​​​​​​​

Available in our Food for Thought Store

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This issue of Food for Thought investigates the intersection of trauma, disordered eating, and the role of mindfulness in supporting recovery. Trauma can take many forms: experiencing or witnessing violence, abuse, and neglect, sudden loss, and even chronic oppression has been shown to have a traumatic impact. While most people have experienced trauma at some point in their lives, many factors influence their long-term impacts, which can be significant and life altering. Among the lasting effects of trauma are disordered eating patterns.

In recent years, mindfulness-based therapeutic approaches have been shown to be an effective approach to trauma therapy, when used appropriately and in combination with other therapeutic modalities. While not a substitute for professional training in mindfulness-based and trauma informed therapies, this issue of Food for Thought explores the various ways mindfulness can benefit trauma survivors with disordered eating patterns and the clinicians who work with them.

In “Mistaken View: How You See Survivors,” Char Wilkins, MSW, LSCW, discusses how mindfulness can help both clinicians and clients recognize the strength and wisdom of survivors of abuse. Many survivors of abuse view their eating behaviors negatively, as evidence of weakness and problems to be fixed. Clinicians who work with survivors sometimes also carry these same misconceptions. As Char Wilkins describes, mindful, non-judging acceptance can help survivors and clinicians recognize these behaviors as evidence of the desire to survive in the most challenging of circumstances, thus honoring survivors’ strength and wisdom.

Alice Rosen, MSEd, LMHC, discusses the role of mindfulness in trauma informed therapy. As Alice describes in “Mindful Intervention with Trauma Survivors Seeking to Repair Their Relationship with Food and Body,” trauma informed therapy continuously prioritizes the need for physical and emotional safety during the therapeutic process. A clinician’s own mindfulness practice can assist them in navigating this approach with clients.

The educational Handout, “Recovering from Traumatic Experiences through Mindfulness,” by Cecilia Clemente Ph.D, Psych.D explains for clients how trauma affects the brain and how mindfulness can mitigate these effects. She also provides specific, practical mindfulness interventions clients can use when trauma-related symptoms are triggered.

Traditional, eyes-closed, sitting meditation can be challenging for trauma survivors, as they can trigger traumatic memories and feelings of unsafety. The scripted meditation, “Walking Meditation,” by Cuca Azinovic, Certified Mindfulness Teacher, is a grounding meditation practice, designed to calm the mind by anchoring it in awareness of bodily sensations.

On behalf of the TCME Board of Directors, we hope you find this issue of Food for Thought informative and helpful. Comments can be sent to info@tcme.org.

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The Center for Mindful Eating

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