Conference choice 1: CASE STUDY INTERNATIONAL: EATING DISORDERS
As you can see from the book, perceptions of body image vary across cultures.One important issue that has been of concern has been issues relating to eating disorders. The statistics are staggering. And unfortunately, the statistics are showing a growing rate of eating disorders across cultures. It is not generally known, but eating disorders have the highest rate of mortality among all mental illnesses. Our perceptions are also guided to a great extent by the media, and young persons are especially vulnerable. Take a look at the book regarding self perception and body image across cultures. Also, some further statistics are included at the end of this post.
This week, we will address applied Case studies:
You have just been appointed the Director of the local Chapter of Therapists Without Borders, a national organization which is involved in raising awareness about various health related issues, with a focus on global action and formation of treatment plans targeted to various nations across the world. One of your first tasks is to deliver an address to a newly hired group of incoming trainees, introducing them to the subject of eating disorders, and suggesting methods of treatment. To highlight the issue, you decide to focus on two case studies(from the list below), and present them to the group.
Use two of the case studies to explain the particular diagnosis, share the facts of the case, and suggest treatment options(including at least two resources for patients/relatives). Touch upon the similarities and differences that you may see among diverse backgrounds/family orientations, cultures(say, for eg the case of Lynn Chen and Allison Kreiger, June Alexander and Stephanie Armstrong, Shani Raviv and Mike Polan-the choice is up to you, anyone from the list is fine-note that the cases are from all over the world, and there are first person stories, mothers, and fathers, who have all been brave enough to share). Keep the tone professional, but upbeat, stressing the need for understanding and acceptance. You can also comment on a few points from the book-take a critical look-does our perception of ‘beauty’ and its portrayal by the media, have something to do with this?
Please keep in mind that you are a professional therapist, and thus, the language and handling of the case must reflect this point. Try to present the facts in a non partisan, non judgmental style, taking note of background, social situation/characteristics and other facts that you think can be of relevance to your particular case.
Media, Perception, Dieting:
• 95% of all dieters will regain their lost weight within 5 years.
• 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 20-25% progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders.
• The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females.
• 47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.
• 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.
• 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner (Collins, 1991).
• 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat (Mellin et al., 1991).
Collins, M.E. (1991). Body figure perceptions and preferences among pre-adolescent children. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 199-208.
Mellin, L., McNutt, S., Hu, Y., Schreiber, G.B., Crawford, P., & Obarzanek, E. (1991). A longitudinal study of the dietary practices of black and white girls 9 and 10 years old at enrollment: The NHLBI growth and health study. Journal of Adolescent Health, 23-37.
Conference choice 2-WELLNESS REVISITED-INTERNATIONAL COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE METHODS TO ATTAIN WELLNESS
The public is hungry for mind-body alternative and complementary interventions. And more psychologists are studying what helps and what hurts. Many of these therapies are garnered from practices across the world. Yoga, Tai chi, acupuncture, and more. Psychologists are calling these cluster of therapies as CAM. Let’s take a little look at the statistics, and how they may apply to our own lives and wellness.
Data from the APA:
The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches by the public is rapidly growing. Studies have shown:
• The public tends to choose CAM practitioners and products more often than traditional physicians and therapies when they have chronic pain (52 percent versus 34 percent), headaches (51 percent versus 19 percent), depression (34 percent versus 25 percent), anxiety (42 percent versus 13 percent) and insomnia (32 percent versus 16 percent).
• People with serious and debilitating medical conditions–such as cancer, chronic pain and HIV–tend to use CAM practices the most. Therapies include nutritional supplements, herbs and massage.
• Dietary supplement sales totaled $17 billion in 2000, and more than 158 million consumers used them.
• In 2000, nearly 16 percent of the nation’s community hospitals offered CAM services, up from 11 percent in 1999
Here is an article related to the same:
Instructions: Read the article, and look up some alternative methods of wellness that you might use for your own wellness. Or you can use some of the resources below that outline some of these methods. Share with the class. And try to make use of these for your own wellness!
A few examples(you can use these, or find your own)
It’s free and we all know how to do it-Walking, yes, walking-and like meditation from last week, 5-7 minutes can help!
Laugh your way to health-laughter yoga(yes, I am serious, with a smile!)
Ok, here are a few steps, try them out! Do it with a friend, family, co-workers, spead the joy and wellness!
Note: Please note that before embarking on any type of therapy it is always important to consult with your primary care physician.
Conference choice 3-Save a life: Global Facts and Prevention of Suicide
This is a new topic that I am introducing in this class, I have previously introduced the case studies on eating disorders across cultures. Most people are surprised when they find out that eating disorders are in fact, more prevalent than one would imagine-and also show up in more ethnicities, than one would be lead to believe from media reports. A second phenomenon which has recently been a cause for concern globally is the tragedy of suicide. These facts, also, tend to cause surprise and come alarm, and are being taken very seriously by agencies across the world, including the World Health Organization. Recent events have again brought the issue into the spotlight, with the cases of the late brilliant artist, Mr. Robin Williams, Ms. L’Wren Scott(case recently covered in Psychology today, Death by Design appears below in case studies), and the countless other persons who never are mentioned in the news, but whose precious lives were cut short tragically. With utmost respect for the memories of the departed, as well as their families, and in the hope of preventing further loss, I present to you this conference choice.
Alarming statistics: Every 40 seconds, globally, a person attempts suicide. The World Health Organization(WHO) has, this year, put together a report related to this, showing suicide rates across nations, analysis of causes and prevention helplines and warning signs. If you look at the material you will find that contrary to what most people think, persons planning suicide actually do present with some warning signs.
This is a sensitive topic, especially in the light of recent events in the news, but it must be spoken of, here are a few facts:
I am providing a link to the WHO report, and here is a short video by WHO relating to the topic.
WHO short informational video:
The global report may be found here:
Instructions: Check the WHO video, the report from above, and share what you think is the most important fact that you would like the world’s public to know. Next, look on the internet for possible case studies(some possible links are mentioned below, similar to our eating disorders cases as well). Report what you found here. And last but not least, mention at least 2 possible warning signals and 2 suicide prevention strategies/treatment(survivors, families, or both). Who knows, maybe one day you can recognize the symptoms- and save a life!
Possible case study resources(you can use one of these, or find another one on the net, my only request is that the case study portrays the persons involved in a respectful and empathetic fashion, not judgmental:
For those who may be going into counseling, this doctor’s report for clinicians in the wake of Mr. William’s tragic end points out some important points for clinicians, can also be incorporated into the suicide prevention/treatment strategies as an option.
Another post by Dr E. Ducharne from the Your Mind Your Body site maintained by APA