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Welcoming all Eating Disorder Parts: An Introduction to the Internal Family System Model

December 4, 2019

Time: 9:00 am – 10:00 am PST

The concepts and processes of IFS, an evidence-based therapeutic intervention is particularly effective in treating the trauma underlying many disordered eating patterns. This will be examined from a dietitian’s perspective. The role of the nutrition professional in IFS-oriented treatment will be explored through case studies that show the self-protective function of polarized cognitions that drive eating disorder behaviors.The Internal Family Systems (IFS) model was developed by Richard Schwartz, PhD from careful listening to clients with Bulimia Nervosa. His clients described various voices or “parts” inside that drove their behaviors. Originally a form of psychotherapy, IFS is now being used by a wide range of professionals. IFS is an evidence-based therapeutic intervention based on the non-pathologizing belief that all of our behaviors are attempts by parts of us to protect us. Employing the IFS model helps the client identify the self-protective function of polarized cognitions regarding eating and resultant eating disorder behaviors. Dietitians can help the client identify and address the emotional and physical triggers driving their internal dialogue, thereby supporting the work of the psychotherapist on the team. The speaker will provide a glimpse of what is the role of the RD in the IFS team as well as a case example that explores the various parts that can come up in a nutrition session and how to address them.

Learning Objectives: Participants will

  • Employ the IFS model in conceptualizing work with clients with disordered eating.
  • Identify the self-protective functions of thoughts and behaviors labeled as “eating disordered.”
  • Describe the role of the Dietitian in an IFS treatment team.

Speaker Bio: 

Molly Kellogg, CEDRD, LCSW, is the author of Counseling Tips for Nutrition Therapists: Practice Workbook series and a nationally recognized trainer on health behavior change based in Philadelphia, PA. She is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers and served on the American Dietetic Association Evidence Analysis Library Nutrition Counseling Workgroup. Her Internal Family Systems (IFS) experience includes Level 1 and 2 training and she employs IFS in her nutrition and psychotherapy practice. She partners with another IFS dietitian to provide a two-day introductions to IFS around the country.