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Understanding and working with eating disorders and disordered eating: Essential skills

Te Pou hosted a virtual training on disordered eating and eating disorders on 13 April 2021. The recorded webinar is now available below.

About the webinar

Eating disorders and disordered eating are likely to be encountered in all parts of the health care sector. This workshop was aimed at clinicians from all professions, offering a thorough understanding of eating disorders and disordered eating. It provided participants with:

  • An introduction to disordered eating and eating disorders: an overview of diagnosis and treatment
  • Information on screening and assessing for an eating disorder
  • Psychoeducation to help you and your client understand what is happening and why
  • Information on where to find further training in eating disorders
  • Information on support for family/whanau.

This webinar was aimed at those working in primary care, general health care, alcohol and drug sector, education, NGOs, and adult community mental health teams.

The presenters
The presenters are three senior and experienced clinicians from the South Island Eating Disorders Service (SIEDS). SIEDS is one of four speciality services in New Zealand providing assessment and treatment of eating disorders across both in and outpatient settings. Clinicians from SIEDs regularly provide supervision, training, and consultation about eating disorders around the South Island.

Rachel Lawson
is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Head of the South Island Eating Disorders Service for the Canterbury District Health Board, She was made a Fellow of the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists (NZCCP) in 2017 in recognition of her work in the field of eating disorders.

Ms Lawson has extensive experience in the treatment of eating disorders in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom. She supervises, consults and trains local and national audiences, and presents at both national and international conferences. Furthermore, she has an interest in workforce development, for which she has held both national and Australasian-wide project roles.

Ms Lawson is also the co-author of two books – Beating Your Eating Disorder: A Cognitive-Behavioral Self-Help Guide for Adult Sufferers and their Carers, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders: A Comprehensive Treatment Guide. She has also written journal articles on eating disorders.

Ms Lawson has served as a member of the executive board of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Eating Disorders (ANZAED) for four years, and chaired the ANZAED annual conference in 2016.

Elaine Franks is a Consult Liaison Nurse with more than a decade of experience working with those with eating disorders. She regularly provides supervision, consultation and training about eating disorders to local audiences. She has a particular interest in those who have severe and enduring eating disorders.

Louise Bennett is a Clinical Dietitian with 8+ years of experience helping people of all ages with a range of nutrition needs. She is currently employed part-time at the South Island Eating Disorders Service and has previously worked in other mental health services. Louise is passionate about providing personalised, evidence-based nutrition care to help people improve their health and well-being.


Understanding eating disorders and disordered eating by Rachel Lawson

Medical Implications Management of Eating Disorders by Elaine Franks

Psychoeducation for eating disorders by Louise Bennett


Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of eating disorders


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