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*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.

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Friday, March 6 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
A feminist exploration of facilitator and participant responses to a course in mindful eating

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Mindfulness practices have made their way into mainstream, empirically supported approaches to pain, depression, substance use, and anxiety, following an enormous amount of research by Jon Kabat-Zinn (2013) and others, and some (e.g., Kristeller & Wolever, 2011) have begun studying mindfulness for eating-related issues. Mindful eating is an approach to food that does not focus on weight but rather proposes that thorough meditative practices that encourage acceptance, as well as awareness regarding hunger, satiety, and emotions, people will learn to eat from internally-derived wisdom that ultimately is sustainable and satisfying (Chozen Bays, 2009). It has been included in size acceptance, non-deprivation models used with women struggling with food and weight (Abakoui & Simmons, 2013). Even as many women know that the food and diet industries promote an indulgence/deprivation mentality, that diets rarely work for long, and that health is not necessarily dependent on weight, they may still feel caught in a painful cycle of over-eating, deprivation, and self-recrimination. Many clients seek therapy for help with weight even when they do not have an eating disorder; therapists who reject a diet approach can find themselves in a dilemma about how to help. Furthermore, given that many clinicians and clients are socialized in mainstream culture’s thin idealization, biases can arise even in the context of a non-diet approach. This presentation uses a feminist lens regarding size acceptance and “health at any size” (e.g., Abakoui & Simmons, 2013) to bring awareness to some of the potential benefits and pitfalls of a mindfulness approach to food and body. Using our experiences providing an 8-week course in mindful eating, as well as the data from participants, we hope to further awareness and debate regarding issues of bias and treatment with women struggling with their bodies and weight.


Friday March 6, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm
Nevada