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Online Workshop: Body Positive Counselling

For counselling professionals

You are invited to a day of learning about self-compassion, the non-diet approach and how to use these constructs with people suffering from body image and weight concerns in your work. This practical workshop is perfect for psychologists, counsellors, social workers, nurses, nutritional therapists, fitness professionals and health coaches who work with individuals in private practice and weight management settings. This workshop is presented by Louise Adams, Clinical Psychologist from Treat Yourself Well, the UNTRAPPED program and All Fired Up podcast, and Dr Fiona Willer, Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian from Unpacking Weight Science and Health Not Diets.

Helping clients to reduce their weight permanently is notoriously difficult. Traditional weight focused approaches maintain that weight loss is possible for most people in the long term, and that weight loss will lead to similar health outcomes seen in those people who have never struggled with their weight. On the contrary, the vast majority of dieters regain lost weight, and often more so, following lifestyle modification regimes. Furthermore, many dieters develop disordered relationships with food and exercise following such interventions. Low self-esteem and a sense of hopelessness are frequently reported by chronic dieters as they experience repeated cycles of weight loss and regain. Body shame and withdrawal from life activities are common responses to being dissatisfied with one's weight and shape.

The non-diet approach has been developed in response to such difficulties, and is increasingly being incorporated into clinical practice. Several randomised controlled trials have been conducted using the non-diet approach, with promising results. Importantly, the non-diet approach appears to help support people to build lasting health behaviours without the accompanying psychological disturbances observed in weight focussed approaches. This workshop introduces participants to the five core principles of the non-dieting approach to weight management which are self-compassion, mindful eating and letting go of food rules, body respect, joyful movement and non-diet nutrition. It examines the psychological harm which can come from weight focussed approaches and, through small group exercises, role plays and whole-group discussion, explores applications of the non-diet approach in clinical practice.

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants should understand the:

  • Development, principles, practices and applications of The Health at Every Size (HAES)® movement underpinning the non-diet approach as an alternative paradigm to working within the weight focused approach to health management

  • Potential harm engendered by weight focussed approaches including weight bias and stigma

  • Core principles of self-reflection and self-compassion, including scoring and interpretation of the self-compassion scale

  • Teaching of hunger-fullness awareness and mindful eating techniques

  • Techniques to improve body image

  • Techniques to improve people’s relationship with exercise

  • Appropriate strategies, worksheet tools and assessment techniques to use with individual clients

Please note that this workshop was formerly called 'Working with Weight Concern'.

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