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Date of Award
Educational Specialist (EdS)
Department of Graduate Psychology
Relapse is a common phenomenon amongst clients in eating disorder recovery. Although we expect the road to recovery to be challenging, the high rates of relapse are a cause to reevaluate traditional eating disorder treatment. Teaching clients to ignore levels of hunger and satiation during treatment leaves individuals with a disconnect between mind and body. Healing this disconnect is a critical element in long-term recovery. My purpose is to review the literature and link the therapeutic benefit of yoga to eating disorder treatment and recovery. To help develop my Ed.S project, I completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training in the summer of 2015. The training focused on trauma sensitive yoga as well as the mental and physical therapeutics of the yogic practice. My training combined with the literature will help to me to ultimately, design a therapeutic yoga program for eating disorders. The program will focus on decreasing negative self-talk and increasing mind body awareness. I predict that my program will help clients develop greater awareness and responsiveness to bodily sensations, lower self-objectification, greater body satisfaction and fewer disordered eating attitudes. The yogic experience of embodiment will help close the divide between mind and body by encouraging accurate and non-judgmental body awareness. Yoga, along with nutritional advising and mental health counseling, can be a complement to a client’s ongoing healing journey.
O'Brien, Hayley, "Healing Body, Healing Mind" (2016). Educational Specialist. 24.