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CE Webinar: Understanding & Treating Eating Disorders with Storytelling & Metaphor

Understanding and Treating Eating Disorders with Storytelling and Metaphor:

Friday, February 12th | 11:00am – 1:00pm CT

In this didactic and experiential presentation, case studies and clinical examples will be given to show how imagery and metaphor can be effective catalysts in bringing about transformation in disordered eating patterns and in healing eating disorder wounds.  A lively mix of multicultural folk tales will be used to demonstrate how storytelling and metaphor can help clients understand the connection between their disordered eating behavior and their deeper hungers. Clinical approaches that can be used to redefine the struggle, to discover the symbolism of particular foods, and to uncover the deeper meanings of food cravings and/or phobias will be demonstrated in an interactive manner. This course is approved for 1.5 CE’s (Must be present for the duration of the presentation to receive certificate of completion… see details below).



After this program participants will be able to:

  1. Explain how the symbolism of food cravings can be used to discover hidden emotional hungers.
  2. Describe three levels of operation in which metaphors make a deep connection to the psyche.
  3. List four categories of food cravings that can be used to identify deeper, emotional hungers.


Anita JohnstonAnita Johnston, PhD, CEDS

Anita Johnston, Ph.D., CEDS, clinical psychologist and certified eating disorder specialist and supervisor, has been working in the field of eating disorders for over thirty years. She founded the Anorexia & Bulimia Center of Hawaii in 1982 and ‘Ai Pono in Honolulu, the first Eating Disorders Intensive Outpatient Program in the US. She is currently Clinical Director of  ‘Ai Pono Maui, a residential eating disorders treatment program on the island of Maui and the Executive Director of Eating Disorders Programming at Integrative Life Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. Johnston is the author of Eating in the Light of the Moon, which has been published in six languages (English, Italian, German, Dutch, Korean, Japanese), and book chapters in Eating Disorders: Bridging the Research Treatment Gap and The Psychospiritual Clinician’s Handbook. 

She is the co-creator of the Light of the Moon Café, an online, interactive workbook and support circle for women around the world struggling with eating difficulties.



This program is approved for 1.5 CE’s by the NASW and NBCC organizations.

*Participants must be present for the duration of the presentation (90 mins) to receive certificate of completion. Your time stamp for joining and exiting the webinar will be logged for verification. Must use your unique ‘join’ link in your Zoom registration confirmation to be counted as present and complete the CE evaluation to receive a certificate of completion.



  • 11:00am-11:05am CST – Housekeeping and welcome
  • 11:05am-11:25am CST – Introduction to metaphor
  • 11:25am-11:45am CST – Using metaphors and stories to: transform despair and introduce hope; describe/reframe recovery from eating disorders; deal with resistance to recovery; differentiate addictive processes
  • 11:45am-12:15pm CST – Using metaphor to teach recovery skills including discussions on: proprioceptive awareness; journal keeping; emotional literacy; cognitive distortions; creating boundaries
  • 12:15pm-12:35pm CST – Demonstration and experiential exercise to decode food metaphors
  • 12:35-1:00pm CST – Questions and Answer session


Attendees for this intermediate presentation are behavioral healthcare professionals in private practice, treatment program clinical directors/staff, community agencies and various mental health disciplines.

Continuing Education Sponsored by: Integrative Life Center

“Understanding and Treating Eating Disorders with Storytelling and Metaphor”: This program is approved by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for 1.5 continuing education clinical hours. Integrative Life Center has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6483. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Integrative Life Center is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

For questions or concerns, please contact 

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