Rachel Sellers, M.S., M.Ed., LPC-MHSP (temp)
“Understanding Eating Disorder Behaviors Through a Polyvagal Lens”
Eating disorder behaviors are frequently described as a means of coping with and regulating emotional and physiological distress. Using the Polyvagal Theory, participants will learn about the autonomic nervous system, the three dominant nervous system states and how eating disorder behaviors function as expressions of these states and reveal underlying nervous system dysregulation. Participants will cultivate a deeper understanding of the safety-seeking nature of eating disorder behaviors and the power of using the Polyvagal Theory to help clients deepen insight, self-compassion, and agency.
- Attendees will have a basic understanding of the Polyvagal Theory, including characteristics of each of the 3 nervous system states (Ventral Vagal, Sympathetic, and Dorsal Vagal).
- Attendees will be able to categorize common eating disorder behaviors within the 2 self-protective nervous system states.
- Attendees will be able to discuss how eating disorder behaviors function as misguided attempts for self-regulation, perpetuating nervous system dysregulation and the use of behaviors.
Rachel is on the road to licensure as a mental health counselor through private practice and The Renfrew Center. She has a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, while also holding a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Rachel combines these two aspects of passion as a way to educate, counsel, write and lead about the interconnectedness of trauma, the Polyvagal Theory, diet culture, and eating disorders. Rachel is the host of The Rachel Sellers Podcast and a member of the International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals. You can find Rachel online at www.rachelesellers.com or on IG @iamrachelsellers.