Thematic Seminars NEDS Conference 2024

Anxiety, body and motherhood: Clinical approaches to eating disorders in pregnancy and the early stages of maternity

Chaired by Bente Sommerfeldt, Clinical Psychologist, Norway.

Trajectories of severe eating disorders through pregnancy and early motherhood

Bente Sommerfeldt (Norway)
Specialist in clinical psychology
PhD/University of Oslo
Academic director/Institute of Eating Disorder 

Eating disorders and perinatal phase: Women’s perspective on help and support during and after birth

Cecilie Brundin Pettersson (Sweden)
Research student
Dept. of Medical Science
Uppsala University/Center for Clinical Research
Eating Disorder Unit in Region Dalarna

How do we teach pregnant women with ED to tackle the fear of weight gain during pregnancy and after birth?

Charlotte Sollid (Denmark)
Midwife, cognitive behavioral therapist
Dept. of Gyneacology and Obstetrics
Aarhus University Hospital Skejby

Long-term outcome of eating disorders

Chaired by Associate Prof. Gry Kjærsdam Telléus, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Denmark

Mental capacity, decision making and the association with outcome – a longitudinal study in adults with anorexia nervosa

Unna N. Danner (Netherlands)
President Academy for Eating Disorders,
Senior Researcher, Altrecht Eating Disorders Rintveld

Outcomes in people with eating disorders

Anna Keski-Rahkonen (Finland)
Professor of Mental Health, MD, PhD, MPH
Department of Public Health
University of Helsinki

Longitudinal outcome in patients diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa as Children and Adolescents

Gry Kjærsdam Telléus (Denmark)
President-elect Academy for Eating Disorders,
Associate Professor, Senior Researcher,
Aalborg University Hospital and Aalborg University

Eating disorders have profound long-term effects on individuals’ physical and mental health. Long-term recovery from an eating disorder is a complex and ongoing process. It often requires continued therapy and support to address underlying psychological issues, early intervention, and a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to treatment. The long-term effects of eating disorders are extensive, affecting physical health, mental well-being, and social and occupational functioning. A holistic approach to treatment and ongoing support is essential for mitigating these long-term consequences and fostering sustained recovery.

Being a relative of a family member with an ED

Chaired by Raymond Valdes, Sweden

Siblings’ and parents’ perspectives on intensified family-based treatment for anorexia nervosa

Jan-Vegard Nielsen (Norway)
PhD, Clinical psychologist,
Regional Section for Eating Disorders (RASP), Oslo

Being a child with a parent with eating disorders

André Lange (Sweden)
Child and adolescent psychiatrist, PhD student,
Eating Disorder Service, Region Halland

Being a partner to a person who has an eating disorder

Raymond Valdes (Sweden)
Licensed psychotherapist, Teacher/supervisor,
Stockholm’s Center for Eating Disorders

Evidence-based methods are the first choice of treatment for those suffering from an eating disorder. Although helpful for many, it is far from sufficient for all. Often, the ones who stand closest to those with an ED are their loved ones. Many times, things will be uncertain, and there could be many years, even decades, when relatives have to cope with the subjective and objective burdens. Relationships could also be affected over time in terms of anxiety, worries, unbalanced family relationships and mixed emotions around the ED. Giving insight into relatives’ perspectives is the core focus of this seminar. We will provide presentations focused on loved one’s perspectives on the eating disorders impact on their lives. Being a relative could be of any age and generation, and what do we as a field know of the context in which our treatment models have an impact? The different narratives and experiences of relatives will be presented in three different presentations, with discussions with the seminar participants about how, when, or why to engage relatives in treatment. A review of current literature will be presented as well.

Eating disorders and autism: co-occurrence and strategies

Chaired by Prof. Anna Keski-Rahkonen, MD, PhD, Finland

Autism and restrictive eating disorders: overlapping characteristics

Emma Saure (Finland)
Psychologist (MA), Master of Neuroscience (MSc), PhD student
Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine
University of Helsinki

This session will focus on the shared neuropsychological characteristics of anorexia nervosa and autism based on an ongoing PhD project. Dr Saure will introduce these characteristics, discuss how these contribute to eating disorder symptoms, and discuss how these characteristics are related to the severity of anorexia nervosa and how these may complicate treatment.

How do you deal clinically with co-occurring restrictive eating disorders and autism?

Mette Bentz (Danmark)
Clinical Psychologist & Supervisor, PhD
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre
Mental Health Services in the Capital Region of Denmark

Dr Bentz will share clinical and research experience on restrictive eating disorders and autism based on her work with children, adolescents, and families. She will also share information on Professor Kate Tchanturia’s PEACE Pathway for Eating Disorders and Autism. The session is applicable to all age groups.

Avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) and autism: strategies and resources

Anna Keski-Rahkonen (Finland)
Professor of Mental Health, MD, PhD, MPH
Department of Public Health
University of Helsinki

Selective eating and sensory sensitivities are almost a universal feature of autism. Some autistic people also develop ARFID. We will discuss typical features, diagnostic tools, mitigating strategies, helpful resources, and outcomes. The session is based on Dr Keski-Rahkonen’s extensive experience in working with neurodivergent young people and adults.

Challenges in the treatment of children and adolescents with ED

Chaired by

  • Mette Bentz (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Center, Copenhagen University Hospital – Mental Health Services CPH)
  • Lotte Rubæk (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Center, Copenhagen University Hospital – Mental Health Services CPH)
  • Ester Espeset (Helse Fonna HF – Division of Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Health)

Variations of outpatient family-based treatment are recommended as the first choice of treatment for children and adolescents. However, outpatient treatment is not always efficient, and parents are not the only factor influencing their child’s mental health, rendering parents feeling powerless, and the presence of comorbid psychiatric disorders may interfere with response to FBT treatment. Lastly, increasing evidence points to the importance of early detection and easy-to-access intervention, but there still is a scarcity of models for early intervention for young people. This symposium will thematize seemingly quite different aspects of the treatment of children and adolescents, addressing an array of challenges and inviting joint discussions on adapting our services to the needs of families.


Social media, self-harm and eating disorders in children and adolescents: what should parents and therapists know?

Lotte Rubæk (Copenhagen, DK)
Head of Team for self-harm

Broadening the reach of family-based treatment (FBT): Addressing comorbidity in the context of FBT

Mette Bentz (Copenhagen, DK)

Early detection of young people with anorexia nervosa: a model for cooperation between primary and secondary care to improve early access to FBT treatment

Ester Espeset (Haugesund, NO)