Evidence based treatment for eating disorders has been largely cognitive behavioral, and yet in
practice it is known that lasting recovery requires something much deeper than merely skill
acquisition. In recent years, advancements in neuroscience have both complicated and brought
moments of clarity, bridging the research-practice gap in our understanding of eating behavior.
The Polyvagal Theory is a useful framework for understanding how adverse relational
experiences can lead to a developmental attachment disturbance with food. As a short-term
solution to deficits in nervous system regulation, an unhealthy attachment to food can yield
long term consequences. The Polyvagal theory postulates that our ???love? bonds to one another
are a biological imperative for our very survival. As Einstein once remarked, ???the more I study
science, the more I believe in God.? This presentation will explore the scientific linkages
between attachment, eating disorders and God?۪s intelligent design that offer solutions to eating
disturbances through the restoration of healthy relationships. This theory has led to a practice-
based focus on a ???soul remedy? using connection as a regulatory intervention in addition to the cognitive behavioral framework when treating eating disorders.
Presented by: Kari Anderson, D.B.H.
- Recall the tenets of the Polyvagal Theory and its alignment with the Christian faith of Creation
- Translate the co-regulatory role of relationship to others to a self-regulatory relationship to food
- Integrate information into strategies for eating disorder treatment practices