EMDR protocol for the management of dysfunctional eating behaviors in anorexia nervosa

Maria Zaccagnino

Chair(s): Renee Beer

Saturday 18 june 2016

16:30 - 17:30h at Amazon

Categories: Eating disorders

Research carried out in ED has investigated the relationship between traumatic events, in particular during infancy, and the development of an eating behaviour disorder, reporting significant empirical evidence. The perceptions, bodily sensations, emotions and expectations related to the memories of traumatic events tend to be crystallized in "mnemonic network" which remain non-metabolized in the brain. These memories can be activated by any present reminder, leading to dysfunctional emotional regulation and behavioral responses. In the light of such observations, it is clear that the treatment of eating disorders is extremely complex. For this reason, an integration of the method focusing on the traumatic memories has been suggested. Using this "innate, physiological, healing mechanism" (Shapiro & Forrest, 1998), in fact, EMDR makes it possible to retrieve and reprocess all the memories connected with the traumatic event. In this workshop I will describe the phases of a specific EMDR protocol, the "Anorexia Nervosa Protocol" in order to help participants to understand how to work with eating disorders dynamics. In particular, I will provide specific guidelines related to the specific work in the acute phase (hospitalization) and some EMDR technique, such as the dissociative table at mealtime, to deal with specific needs of this clinical population. The AN protocol will be illustrated through the explanation of clinical cases and videos.


Learning objectives

1. How relational traumas and other specific risk factors have a determinant role in the onset and maintenance of eating disorders. 

2. How to identify targets (either "T" trauma and relational trauma "t") on the basis of the patient's life history. 

3. How to identify and work with different parts of patient's personality and to understand how such parts play a fundamental 
role in her history and in the history of the eating disorder.

4. How to conceptualize a clinical case in the light of the specific dynamics of eating disorders.

5. "How to work" through the use of videos of clinical examples.


Co-authors: Martina Cussino, Chiara Callerame and Isabel Fernandez.

More information

  • Location(s)
  • plattegrond Amazon