You’re not alone if you’re finding it difficult to know how to manage the alarming rise in cases of eating disorders that you’re seeing in your school at a time when it’s harder than ever to get support from the over-stretched services of CAMHS.
Dr Pooky Knightsmith is highly experienced in delivering eating disorders training; enabling school staff to understand, recognise and support eating disorders, increasing staff confidence and skills and student wellbeing and achievement. Pooky’s training sessions which last between an hour and a full day, are delivered at your school and are tailored specifically to meet your current needs and build on your school staff’s existing skills. Full supplementary materials can be authored if desired and you will be given electronic versions of all materials used on the day for later reference.
A Typical Day’s Training
Session 1: Understanding Eating Disorders
During this session we’ll be learning about what eating disorders are, the most common types we are likely to encounter and begin to discuss specific cases that colleagues have encountered. We’ll look at quotes and case studies from students in recovery to help us understand why people develop eating disorders. This understanding is key to enabling us to provide effective and sustainable support to young people with eating disorders.
Session 2: Recognising early warning signs
This session will use a series of real case studies to help us recognise some of the common warning signs we might be able to pick up on. We’ll also begin to consider next steps and look at factors within the case studies which might help to direct us towards providing effective support tailored to the student’s needs.
Session 3: Learning to listen & enabling young people to talk
During this session, we’ll explore some basic counselling skills which will increase colleagues’ confidence in managing disclosures or approaching students causing concern. We’ll consider how to build rapport, how to encourage a student to open up, what to do when faced with a student who is unwilling or unable to express their difficulties as well as considering the most appropriate ways of following up.
Session 4: Practical strategies to support during recovery
This session will focus on the recovery process and how we can best support that. It will include an exploration of a wide range of healthy coping mechanisms as well as considering the best ways of enabling a student to break the eating disorder cycle. We’ll look at how to help students to develop long-term plans for a sustainable recovery and also think about appropriate responses to more difficult periods and relapses.
Flexible to Your Needs
Depending on your specific needs, there are lots of other elements that could be built into the training including (but not limited to):
- Developing and implementing an eating disorders policy
- What to say and what not to say
- Supporting at mealtimes
- Safe participation in school sports
- Eating difficulties in younger children
- How to respond to copycat behaviour
- Teaching about eating disorders
- Working with CAMHS
- Promoting positive body image
About the Trainer
Pooky completed her PhD in child and adolescent mental health at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, where she specialised in developing practical strategies for supporting self-harm and eating disorders in schools and other non-clinical settings. The strategies that Pooky advocates are all developed as a result of direct consultation with school and university staff and students and she also seeks inspiration from her clinical colleagues at the world famous Maudsley Hospital, adapting and simplifying evidence based approaches for use in school. Pooky has also personally overcome self-harm and eating disorders.