Eating Disorders in Young People Symposium

World Leading Specialists on Deepening Understanding of Effective Interventions & New Advances in Treatment

December 6th, 5pm-8pm UK /12pm-3pm ET by Zoom

Prof James Lock, Jeanne Magagna, Elizabeth Anscombe, Shila Rashid & Anna Oliver

If you’re unable to make this time, a recording will be made and sent to all ticket holders. 3 hours Continuing Education/CPD certificate available.

MINDinMIND has brought together a distinguished group of international experts, including individuals with lived experience, dedicated to researching and treating Eating Disorders.

We aim to explore the persistently high mortality rates associated with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, despite advancements in treatment. Our focus will revolve around the pressing concerns and unresolved questions that clinicians dealing with childhood eating disorders are currently facing.

During this panel discussion, MINDinMIND’s Jane O’Rourke, a Child & Family Psychotherapist, and an award-winning BBC producer, will engage with our panelists to explore:

1. Early Detection & Management

What are the key signs of Eating Disorders? Our panel will be discussing best practice of detection and intervention.

2. The Role of Therapeutic Intervention

When should therapeutic intervention start? Many young people with eating disorders present with severe physical health complications, including malnutrition, and cardiac issues. Clinicians often need to prioritise medical and nutritional stabilisation before addressing the psychological aspects of the disorder.

3. Co-occurring Disorders

Eating disorders frequently co-occur with other mental health conditions in young people, such as depression and anxiety. How can clinicians address these comorbidities to provide effective treatment.

4. Complex Diagnostic Criteria

Diagnosing eating disorders can be challenging because of the wide range of symptoms and behaviours associated with these conditions. How can clinicians best accurately assess and diagnose the specific type and severity of the eating disorder?

5. Resistance to Treatment

Individuals with eating disorders often exhibit resistance to treatment, as they may be ambivalent about change, in denial about their condition, or fearful of weight gain. We will be discussing why addressing this resistance to change is important and why it is a significant clinical challenge.

6. Body Image Distortion

Many clients with eating disorders have a distorted body image, which can impact treatment. Clinicians must work to help clients develop a more realistic perception of their bodies.

7. Relapse Prevention

Eating disorders have a high risk of relapse. How can clinicians best develop relapse prevention strategies and supporting young people in maintaining long-term recovery.

8. Racial, Cultural and Societal Influences

Our panel will be addressing race, culture and societal factors, including media portrayal of body image and diet culture, that can exacerbate eating disorders.

9. Family Dynamics

Families can play a significant role in eating disorder development and recovery. How can children be best supported by their families? We will be hearing from a leading Parent Ambassador.

10. Psychoanalytic Thinking

How psychoanalytic theoretical models, alongside family therapy and other new treatments can be helpful in our thinking about Eating Disorders.

11. Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Effective treatment often requires collaboration with a multidisciplinary team, including dieticians, medical doctors, and therapists. Our panel reflects the multi-disciplinary nature of best clinical practice so we can discuss how and why this is crucial for comprehensive care and effective care of children and young people.

12. Ethical Dilemmas

Clinicians may encounter ethical dilemmas, particularly when treating young people who are severely underweight and at risk of medical complications. Decisions regarding hospitalization and involuntary treatment may arise.

13. Treatment Accessibility

Access to specialized eating disorder treatment services can be limited in some regions. Clinicians may need to navigate resource limitations and find suitable care options for children and young people.

14. Professional Burnout:

The demanding nature of treating eating disorders, combined with the high mortality rate and the emotional toll it can take on clinicians, can lead to professional burnout. We will be discussing self-care, supervision and other support for clinicians.


Professor James Lock

James is co-author of the first set of guidelines for treating adolescents with eating disorders. He is a Professor of Child Psychiatry and Pediatrics in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine where he also serves as Director of the Eating Disorder Program for Children and Adolescents. Dr Lock has published over 200 articles, abstracts, and book chapters. He is the co-author of Treatment Manual for Anorexia Nervosa: A Family-Based Approach, Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder and Treating Bulimia in Adolescents: A Family-Based Approach. He has lectured widely in the US, Canada, South America, Europe, and Australia. He has been funded by the NIH to conduct treatment research in eating disorders continuously since 1997.

Dr Jeanne Magagna

Jeanne’s important contribution to the field of Eating Disorders can not be overstated. As a psychoanalytic Child Psychotherapist as well as Family Psychotherapist, Adult Psychotherapist and former head of Psychotherapy Services at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, makes her uniquely placed to understand eating disorders and will offer you fresh insights. She also insists that with the right care, no young person should ever die of an eating disorder. Jeanne has written over 90 books and papers, including the recently published, ‘ A Psychotherapeutic Understanding of Eating Disorders based on 36 years of experience working with children and young people with eating disorders and their families but she her most important book is The Silent Child: Communication without Words, in which describes her work with children who aren’t speaking, walking or eating. Jeanne says her aim is to collaborate with and support parents and young adults, to observe and compassionately comprehend the deeper aspects of infants and children’s personalities. Her hope is that this preventative mental health task will enable children to be better understood and have more rights to good parenting.

Elizabeth Anscombe

Liz is a child and adolescent psychotherapist and Lead Psychotherapist at the Royal Free Hospital’s Adolescent Eating Disorders service, one of the largest CAMHS eating disorder services in the UK. The multidisciplinary team includes Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Specialist Nurses, Family Therapists and Dieticians and receives between 150-200 referrals a year and covers 5 London boroughs with over 400 patients.

In her role as lead psychotherapist Liz, offers adolescent-focused treatment for anorexia, plus family therapy for families affected by anorexia and bulimia. Liz is a senior honorary lecturer at the Tavistock Clinic and also lectures and supervises on Eating Disorders and Attachment trauma, at the Anna Freud Centre, the Society of Analytic Psychology, and the British Psychoanalytic Society.
She has previously worked as a psychotherapist and art therapist at the Mildmay hospice in East London, working alongside adults, parents and children with HIV/AIDS.

Shila Rashid

Shila is a Systemic Psychotherapist, Supervisor and Trainer.

She has worked predominantly in the NHS as a Systemic Psychotherapist for the last twenty-five years, with children, young people, families, couples, and adults, in both community-based and in-patient mental health settings, and, over the latter decade of her time in the NHS specialising in working with eating disorders.
She is Course Lead of the MA in Systemic Psychotherapy at The Tavistock Centre, and has a private practice seeing people for therapy and supervision.

“When working with eating disorders, whether it is with children, young people, adults, couples, or families, I am struck by the prevailing and often, polarised, contradictory dilemmas and emotions present – for the person suffering with the condition, their significant relationships as well as the professionals they work with.
For me, as a Systemic Psychotherapist, my ability to hold these multilayered tensions and oscillations, whilst also being attentive to the patterns and contexts of lived experiences, go to the very core of the therapeutic endeavour: weaving between the margins of hope and despair.”

Anna Oliver

Anna is an accredited practicing dietitian who has taken an innovative approach to helping her patients foster a more positive relationship with food and their bodies. Her primary mission is to empower people to rediscover and trust their inherent intuition when it comes to making food choices, a skill she says we all possess from birth but often lose touch with due to life experiences and the conflicting advice prevalent in the media.
Anna’s approach extends beyond diet alone. She has undertaken years of therapeutic training, firmly convinced that this, in addition to dietary modifications, is essential for aiding her patients in their recovery.

Abiola Awojobi-Johnson

Abiola Awojobi-Johnson, an Expert by Experience and mental health professional, will be sharing her personal journey with eating disorders during her teenage years and how her experiences as a parent now shape her perspective.
With a strong commitment to the well-being of children and young people facing mental health challenges, as well as their families, Abi collaborates with renowned organizations such as the Anna Freud Centre, Mind, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Following a successful career at the BBC, this award-winning radio producer Abi retrained in mental health with an MSc in Mental Healthcare with a particular interest in cultural diversity and neurodiversity.

Abiola expertly manages a diverse range of projects and actively serves as a charity trustee while also participating in various mental health boards that explore and support young people, adults, and caregivers.
She says, “In all my work, I bring a valuable cultural lens and a lived experience perspective, and my role as a mother of three serves as a constant source of inspiration”.

Alan Lofthouse

Alan’s journey of assisting his daughter through a protracted struggle with anorexia has transformed him into a dedicated advocate for other fathers facing similar challenges. He will be sharing his profound insights gained from supporting fellow parents and what he believes are the critical lessons that clinicians must grasp to effectively aid parents whose children are grappling with eating disorders.

There will be time for questions from the audience.
If you’re unable to make this time, a recording will be made and sent to all ticket holders.

I will be in conversation with all of our guests and we are looking forward to warmly welcoming you,

Jane O’Rourke
Child, Adolescent and Family Psychotherapist
Founder, MINDinMIND

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More about Dr Amanda Jones

Dr Amanda Jones is Psychological Professional Lead and Consultant Perinatal Psychotherapist for NELFT NHS Foundation Trust’s Perinatal Parent Infant Mental Health Service (PPIMHS).

PPIMHS is a publicly funded multidisciplinary community perinatal service offering psychiatric and psychotherapy treatment to pregnant women and their partners experiencing serious mental/emotional illness during pregnancy and postnatally. Therapy for complex cases can continue until the baby reaches three years of age (to help the parent and baby through many touchpoint developmental stages). The team is made up of perinatal psychological therapists, perinatal psychiatrists, perinatal community mental health practitioners and perinatal nursery nurses.

Amanda trained as a Systemic Psychotherapist.

Her doctoral research at the Tavistock Centre/University of East London studied how mothers’ use of maladaptive defensive processes can derail their baby’s development.

In collaboration with Channel 4 and the Anna Freud Centre, Amanda was the therapist in the series Help Me Love My Baby, winner of the Royal Television Society’s best educational programme. Amanda speaks nationally and internationally on the subject of understanding and helping perinatal mental/emotional illness.

More about MINDinMIND

On MINDinMIND you’ll find some of the world’s leading clinicians and wisest minds working in child mental health. T hey are sharing what they know about what best helps children and families.

When children and young people get into emotional difficulty, the adults who care for them need access to the latest information and thinking about child mental health.

So whether you’re working therapeutically, a social worker, parent or teacher, here you have free access to interviews, research and in-depth thinking on psychological issues such as anxiety, trauma and depression and how children and their families can cope during these times of extreme challenge.

And we are now adding webinars focussed on the most pressing issues affecting child & family mental health. They are donation-based or low cost so that everyone regardless of their income can access them.

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