The Eating Disorder Therapist

Moving Beyond Trauma in Eating Disorder Recovery, with Ilene Smith

January 22, 2022

Today I’m talking to Ilene Smith, a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) whose work is rooted in the principles of attachment theory and eastern philosophies. Ilene integrates several modalities into her practice, including talking, touch-work, and movement, to help clients develop deeper and safer relationships within, and increased capacities for resilience and joy.  Ilene is the author of ‘Moving Beyond Trauma: The Roadmap to Healing from Your Past and Living with Ease and Vitality’, (Lioncrest, 2020), an Amazon Bestseller that shows readers how to bring the body into the trauma healing process. Her writing on psychology and wellness has appeared in Mind, Body, Green,  Spirituality and Health, PsychCentral, Project HEAL, and Brooke Burke’s ModernMom. She holds master’s degrees in Mental Health Counselling and Exercise Physiology, is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) through the GROW Training Institute, and completed the three-year training program with the Somatic Experiencing Institute founded by Peter Levine. In addition to her private practice, Ilene offers workshops on trauma-healing and conducts research on Somatic Experiencing for eating disorder treatment. She makes her home in Arizona and loves to travel, collect art, cycle, and practice yoga in her spare time. In this episode, we explore how Ilene came to work in eating disorders and her personal journey into trauma focused work. Ilene explains about treating eating disorders from the ‘bottom up’, working on the deeper issues rather than symptoms only, this being a part in recovery that is often overlooked. She talks about how eating disorders give short-term relief from emotional pain, but these maladaptive coping strategies lead to a vicious cycle of shame and disappointment, which is challenging to escape from. She introduces skills and practices to begin to heal trauma and to restore the nervous system again, for sustainable eating disorder recovery. I hope that you enjoy the conversation. To find out more about Ilene:- Website: Instagram: @ilenesmithhealing

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