An introduction to working with people with eating disorders and body dysmorphia

Course overview

This is an introductory course on eating disorders and body dysmorphia, based on a psychodynamic frame of reference.

The approach adopted is based on the thoughtful application of psychoanalytic principles and ideas.

The symptoms of the eating disorder are considered in terms of the underlying difficulties the patient has or has had in making relationships. Continuities between past and present, infant and adult experiences are observed and explored. Attention is paid to trauma and anxiety in early stages of life.

The aims of the course are:

  • To enable students to read and reflect on relevant psychoanalytic papers and ideas in relation to eating disorders and body dysmorphia.
  • To work towards the integration of new ideas by the detailed discussion of actual working situations through case presentations.
  • To understand the importance of early experience in later attitudes to food, eating and body image.
  • To tease out some of the unconscious meanings and associations of food, eating and body image.

This course is for professionals working therapeutically either in private practice or in an NHS setting with patients with eating disorders, feeding difficulties and traits of body dysmorphia.

The pattern of the seminars will be a guest speaker presenting an overview of an aspect of eating disorders, and / or case material, which will consider unconscious meanings and associations of food, eating and body image. This will invariably be for the first hour though some speakers will present in the second part of the evening. 

The second part of the evening will pick up on the themes and look at a paper or chapter from the reading list. The paper will be given out the week prior to discussion.

The course  runs on Tuesday evenings from 7.30pm - 9.30pm, on the following dates

Term 1

13, 20, 27 October 2020

3, 10, 17 November 2020

Term 2

16, 23 February 2021

2, 9, 16, 23 March 2021

Term 3

4, 11, 18, 25 May 2021

1, 8 June 2021

Tavistock Centre

120 Belsize Lane




Included in your course fee, you will receive online membership of the Tavistock’s internationally-renowned library for the duration of your course.Our friendly and knowledgeable library team will help to support you through your specialist CPD course, whatever your level of professional or academic experience. You will have access to an extensive range of eBooks, online journals, all the relevant key databases and our specialist audio-visual collection, plus reference access to all our print books. 

Our Information Skills Trainer has made lots of material available on Moodle to help you navigate our comprehensive electronic collections. PCs and photocopiers are also available for your use (charges apply for printing and copying).

Library staff curate various online resources, such as Audio/Video Playlists, and regularly share helpful news and research on Twitter and Facebook. Find out more on the Library website:

Certificate of attendance
Course length:
Up to 1 year
The Tavistock Centre, London
Admission status:
October 2020 to June 2021

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