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90 Minute Workshop Series

"Out of my body": Working with bulimia nervosa as a dissociated part of the personality


Therapists and researchers alike are beginning to observe high levels of dissociation in clients presenting with Bulimia Nervosa. The relationship between abuse, dissociation and bulimia has been the subject of much debate and inquiry. Many research studies have shown a higher prevalence of eating related issues with persons that have suffered sexual abuse during childhood. Throughout this workshop we will think of the bulimia as a dissociated emotional part of the personality (EP). This EP gets triggered in the present to protect the individual from sometimes vague but overwhelming bodily feelings that were related to the original trauma. The bulimic part is seen as a protective part of the personality that has allowed the individual to manage their own internal world. Clinical examples of actual dialogue between the therapist and the bulimic part will be presented. We will also explore tools for therapists in working with the bulimic part in a compassionate and non- controlling manner.

Presenter: Teresa Moorhead

Teresa Moorhead is a Psychotherapist from Ireland specializing in the area of eating disorders and trauma. She is based in Dublin where she works in the public service providing assessment and ongoing care for clients with eating disorders. She also has a private practice where she offers 1:1 therapy and EMDR therapy for clients who mainly present with dissociative disorders and eating disorders. Teresa has lectured for Glyndwr University Wales and for CONFER UK on the connections between eating disorders and dissociation and trauma. She is a professional member of the International association of trauma and dissociation and her practice is supervised by the world renowned expert on dissociation, Kathy Steele.  their allies.