The Role of an Eating Disorder in Staying Stuck in Trauma

Presenter: Shari Botwin, MSW, LCSW

Date: Sunday, December 6, 2015

Time: 10 am – 12 pm | 2 CEs
(Please arrive at 9:30 am for light breakfast, socialization and registration.)

Location: Havertown, PA

According to the Sidran organization up to 70 percent of people will experience some type of trauma in a lifetime. Up to 20 percent of those people will go on to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  According to the Center for Eating Disorders up to half of the people being treated for an eating disorder have reported living through some type of trauma. The National Eating Disorder Association has found that up to 30 percent of women checking into treatment centers are revealing a history of childhood sexual abuse.

It is not the trauma itself that leaves someone with undigested feelings of shame, anger, grief and fear.  It is not having a way to process and understand the impact of the trauma that results in people developing self-destructive coping mechanisms; such as, anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder.  Different types of trauma will be defined during the workshop.  Focus will be on childhood abuse, domestic violence and trauma due to physical illness or injury. Through patient examples and some personal sharing attendees will gain a better understanding of how the symptoms of eating disorder serves as a distraction or way to avoid all the pain and loss that follows these types of trauma.

Attendees will learn at least three different coping strategies they can apply in their therapy sessions to help patients replace the eating disorder with healthy alternatives. Exercises such as journaling, mediation, and yoga will be discussed as ways for patients to digest feelings of shame and fear and to grieve the losses following trauma. Patient stories and some self-disclosure of my history with PTSD and eating disorders will be used to demonstrate how letting go of the eating disorder can also help someone let go of the symptoms associated with PTSD.   Attendees will understand the impact of trauma and the power of letting go of an eating disorder to be able to live a full life!


  • Attendees will be able to define at least three different types of trauma and symptoms associated with PTSD.
  • Attendees will be able to identify three alternative coping mechanisms to replace symptoms of an eating disorder.
  • Attendees will learn at least three techniques to manage the transference and/or countertransference when seeing trauma/eating disorder patients.
  1. All patients who experience trauma develop post traumatic stress disorder. True/False (false)
  2. At least 30 percent of patients entering treatment facilities have reported being sexually abused. True/False (true)
  3. Being diagnosed with an eating disorder is traumatic. True/False (false)
  4. Patients being treated for trauma and an eating disorder will not be able to live a full life. True/False (false)
  5. It is possible to recover from both an eating disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. True/False (true)
  6. Therapy sessions are the only way for someone to recover from eating disorders and trauma. True/False (false)

About the Presenter:

Shari Botwin, MSW, LCSW, has been providing counseling through her private practice in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, for over 18 years. Shari graduated with a Master's degree in social work from Rutgers University in 1996.  Shari’s specialties include working with women who develop eating disorders and counseling men, women, and teenagers who have survived a variety of types of trauma.  Before going into private practice Shari worked at the Renfrew Center in Philadelphia.  Shari has written for magazines, newspapers and other media outlets on the power of healing relationships in overcoming trauma.  Most recently Shari published an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer (view on and was interviewed by Ali Gorman on ABC Philadelphia (view at  Shari is working on her 2nd book, "Conquering Trauma: A Healing Guide for Survivors and Families."  This book focuses on a variety of traumas and how people develop self-destructive coping strategies; such as eating disorders, to avoid the pain and grief in the aftermath of trauma.

Cancellation Policy:
PSCSW Members: There is a $5 non refundable administrative fee for any cancellation up to 48 hours prior to this program.
Non Members: There is a $10 non refundable administrative fee for any cancellation up to 48 hours prior to this program.

No refund will be issued if less than 48 hours notice is given for this program.

This program is presented and hosted by PSCSW members. Both the presenter and host put a lot of time and preparation to make sure that attendees are receiving a wonderful program and feel welcome at the program. Just as in your professional life when someone cancels last minute, it has an impact on you. Please be cognizant of this when you register for this program.

Continuing Education Credits: 

For Pennsylvania Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors: This program is approved for credits for professional workshops sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work, a state affiliate of the Clinical Social Work Association listed in Section 47.36 of Title 49, Chapter 47 of the PA Code, State Board of Social Work Examiners. This program is also approved for credits for professional workshops for marriage & family therapists (Section 48.36) and professional counselors (Section 49.36).

For New Jersey Social Workers:  This program is approved for credits.  Programs or courses approved by boards that license social work practice in other states are a valid source of continuing education credit (N.J.A.C. 13:44G-6.4(c)10).

PSCSW Members: Please login to register and see discounted member pricing for this event. 

  • December 6, 2015
    10:00 am - 12:00 pm