Confer - continuing professional development, seminars and conferences for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists
What we need to know about nutrition and mental health
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10.00 Dr Alex Richardson
The importance of nutrition in disorders of mood, behaviour and cognition: a scientific overview
Diet affects brains as well as bodies - and poor nutrition is a major reason why the burden of mental health disorders in developed countries has now overtaken that of physical health disorders. Links between the gut, brain and immune system operate across biochemical, physiological and psychological levels, and all are affected by our nutritional status and eating habits. The importance of major food groups and nutrients will be outlined, emphasising links between diet and various psychological symptoms and disorders, and summarising the latest research evidence in this area.
11.45 Dr Dianne Lefevre
Working with patients from diet-impoverished backgrounds
Fortunately neuroplasticity is a fact and in this presentation we will look at the evidence that food deprivation can lay the foundations for mental disturbances. We will examine how intensive introduction of new foods such as Omega 3 can transform the psychological and emotional state of people with severe mental disturbance, and how that occcurs.
13.00 A lunch of super foods for the brain
14.00 Dr Dianne Lefevre
Diagnostic Issues: How do I know if my adult patient's depressed mood, lack of energy, or psychopathology might be rooted in dietary deficiency?
Although problems ranging from mild mood disorders to severe psychoses can arise from poor nutrition, in association with other factors, putting that right may be unfamiliar territory for the psychotherapist. We will consider both diagnosis of dietary issues, how that is explored in the therapy relationship and what may be done if a dietary deficiency is apparent.
15.30 Dr Alex Richardson
From evidence to clinical practice: action points for adult psychotherapists to help assess the potential relevance of dietary and nutritional issues in their clients
Nutrient deficiencies and imbalances often give rise to particular physical and mental symptoms. Signs to look for, questions to ask about food and diet, and possible diagnostic tests or specialist referrals will be discussed in relation to particular psychological problems. These can often be extremely revealing, giving an additional perspective on mental health problems that can significantly enhance therapeutic progress and assist clients in their recovery. References, further reading and pointers to other resources will be provided.
16.30 End
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