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Digital Recording

Fostering Connection with Specific Interventions: Treating the LGBTQ+ Client Through Their Eating Disorder

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Christine Vara, LCSW-C, LICSW, MDiv
1 Hour 09 Minutes
Audio and Video
Feb 25, 2022
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Digital Recording
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Emerging research suggests that individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ may be at higher risk of experiencing body image concerns and disordered eating alongside barriers to appropriate treatment. This session focuses on understanding the challenges that LGBTQ+ individuals face so that we can create safer spaces that invite them to heal. We will review specific interventions that can help connect LGBTQ+ individuals to recovery in ways that are relevant to their journey. 



This online program is worth 1.25 hours CPD.



Christine Vara, LCSW-C, LICSW, MDiv's Profile

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Christine Vara LCSW-C, LICSW, MDiv, (She, Her, Hers or He, Him, His), is a licensed supervisor in Maryland and Massachusetts and is also an independently licensed social worker in Virginia. Christine runs a private practice where she provides clinical supervision, along with individual and family counseling for adolescents, families and adults. Before working as a clinician and clinical supervisor in programs for clients recovering from eating disorders, Christine received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and English from Clark University, a Master's of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion, and a Master's degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons University. Christine is passionate about providing trainings to organizations to assist them in creating inclusive environments for people in systemically oppressed communities. She is particularly interested in working at the intersection of trauma, eating disorders and addiction, and how that connects to identities of gender, race, sexuality and religion/spirituality. Christine utilizes a variety of therapeutic modalities in her relational, strengths-based and trauma-informed approach.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Christine Vara maintains a private practice and receives compensation as an independent contractor. She receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Christine Vara has no relevant non-financial relationships.


  1. Distinguish at least 3 unique challenges experienced by LGBTQ+ individuals and their treatment implications.
  2. Respond to micro and macro aggressions in order to advocate for and create safer spaces for clients.
  3. Employ three family intervention strategies for LGBTQ+ clients with eating disorders to improve treatment outcomes.


  • Cultivating safe and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ clients
    • Integrating inclusive language
    • Identifying and responding to micro aggressions
    • Understanding and validating the impact of their lived experience on their body image, sense of self, and eating disorder(s)
  • Navigate issues of gender identity, gender expression and sexuality with clients and why that’s important to body image concerns and eating disorder recovery
  • Interventions for individual, group, and family work
    • Individual: daily practices (body scans, mindfulness), identifying/externalizing narratives of systemic oppression
    • Group: values identification, finding role models, art/creative strategies
    • Family: address psychological distress of recovery for both client and family; remain aligned around recovery; reinforce and repair family connection

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Registered Dietitians & Dietetic Technicians
  • Nurses
  • Other mental health professionals


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