2016 iaedp Symposium Features the Use of Dream Work in the Treatment of Eating Disorders

Share Article

At the 2016 iaedp Symposium, the workshop, “The Rejected Body: the Use of Dream Work in the Treatment of Eating Disorders,” will explore the use of dream work in the treatment of eating disorders as a route for reintegrating an individual’s rejected emotions and promoting self-integration.

In sleep, when the defenses of the day are at rest, rejected emotions return in disguised form as a dream. A hallmark feature of patients with eating disorders is significant self-criticism, and consequently these patients experience this disease with their feelings, urges and needs. The eating disorder behaviors and obsessions are regarded as maladaptive means for coping with this unease, but also leads to a reservoir of emotions that remain cutoff from experience. While comprehensive eating disorder treatment has expanded to include expressive and somatic therapies to access these rejected emotions, the use of dream work as a route for deepened exploration and connection remains a relative low priority.

At the 2016 iaedp Symposium, the workshop, “The Rejected Body: the Use of Dream Work in the Treatment of Eating Disorders,” will explore the use of dream work in the treatment of eating disorders as a route for reintegrating an individual’s rejected emotions and promoting self-integration.

The 2016 iaedp Symposium, slated for February 17-22, will be held at the Omni on Amelia Island in Florida. Registration information can be found at http://www.iaedp.com.

Participants of this program will develop practical tools to learn how to collaborate with their patients in the illumination of a dream, drawing primarily from psychoanalytic techniques. This program also will review how dreams have been conceptualized throughout history and culture, encouraging participants to reflect on their own ideas about the use and meaning of dreams. Participants will have an opportunity to try their own hand at dream work using relevant case material and small group discussion.

The workshop’s presenter, Melissa Daum, MA, MFTi, is an eating disorder therapist at Monte Nido Eating Disorder Treatment of New York. She attended Pacifica Graduate Institute where she received her Masters in Counseling with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology and has taught courses on Dream Studies and Psychopathology. She has been published in Psychological Perspectives: A Quarterly Journal of Jungian Thought and Psychology Tomorrow Magazine.

Emotional and experiential avoidance are key maintaining factors for eating disorders. Patients may staunchly avoid extra helpings, and any experience of extra flesh on the body. In eating disorder treatment, where behavioral and medical interventions are imminent, dream work parallels this notion of excess. As a result, the deliberate use of dream work holds the possibility of being the extra help needed to reach the heart of the matter, leading patients toward greater emotional freedom and self-integration.

About iaedp: Since 1985, the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals has provided education and training standards to an international and multidisciplinary group of various healthcare treatment providers and helping professions.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Susan Lomelino
Visit website