Skills Training FAQ

We know there is a lot to consider when entering a treatment program.  In order to help you make an informed decision regarding if this is the right process for you, our staff have compiled a list of answers to the most of frequently asked questions about BANA`s Skills Training Program.  Just click on the tabs below for more information.

BANA skills trainings are for active BANA clients only. They are closed trainings, meaning the general public and/or support persons (such as friends and family), cannot access these trainings.

In order to access skills trainings, BANA clients must have completed the intake and assessment process at BANA, and have received an eating disorder diagnosis and specialized treatment plan

Skills trainings are considered part of treatment; therefore, treatment starts NOW. Although they may not directly address the eating disorder, they will help clients develop skills that may help to alleviate eating disorder concerns, or barriers that could occur within eating disorder treatment.

Skills trainings will not delay the start of eating-disorder treatment, as they are included (and are a component) of your eating disorder treatment.

Clients will be kept in cue for beginning CBT-E and CBT-T, even when they are accessing skills trainings. When a clinician is ready to begin CBT-E or CBT-T with a client, the client’s registration in trainings will be considered, and together you and your clinician will discuss scheduling options that fit your needs best.

BANA does not recommend engaging in skills trainings while completing CBT-E or CBT-T. However, it is the client’s decision. Both the skills trainings and the eating-disorder treatments require significant time-commitment, and homework completion. Change does not occur during sessions; it occurs at home in your day-to-day life. This means you will want to consider having time at home to apply skills and changes that the trainings and treatments will be guiding you through.

If you do not feel you have appropriate time in your schedule to comply with the demands of treatment or skills trainings, we suggest you complete these programs separately.

If you feel you are able to time-manage effectively and apply skills/changes accordingly, BANA recommends only participating in one skills training at a time, while simultaneously engaged in eating disorder treatment.

As long as you are an active client at BANA, you are able to access skills trainings. We request you discuss skills trainings with your primary clinician prior to registering in order to ensure the trainings harmonize well with the stage of recovery you are in.

Currently, there are a total of six skills trainings available:

  • Metabolism: Learning to Trust Your Body
  • Mindfulness and Moods
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Self-Esteem Essentials
  • Perfectionism and Procrastination
  • Improving Relationships

Metabolism: Learning to Trust Your Body

Introduction to eating disorders, nutrition and metabolism. Clients will learn about set point theory, the vicious cycle of dieting, starvation syndrome, and the impact of eating disorder behaviours on the body.

Mindfulness and Moods

Clients will learn the what’s and how’s of mindfulness, and why it’s an important skill. Client’s will work to develop basic mindfulness skills for coping with distress.

Client’s will also learn about emotions and their functions, and will explore their underlying needs. Clients will be trained how to use this information to cope with distressing emotions, and build tolerance for unpleasant moods.

Anxiety and Depression

Client’s will explore the topics of depression and anxiety, and their impact on eating disorder behaviours. Client’s will develop vital skills for coping with anxiety and depression, such as exposure, behavioural experiments, gratitude, and other relevant tools.

Self-Esteem Essentials

Client’s will be introduced to the concept of low self-esteem, its impact on daily living, and how it is developed and maintained. Client’s will explore the cognitive processes that are behind low self-esteem, and will gain skills in challenging them.

Perfectionism and Procrastination

Client’s will be introduced to perfectionism, and how it can result in burnout or procrastination. Client’s will explore the pros and cons of perfectionism, what maintains it, how it marginalizes other areas of life, and how to identify perfectionism in one’s own life. Client’s will learn to challenge perfectionism by developing other domains of life, and by challenging unrelenting high standards behind perfectionism by setting realistic and achievable goals. Client’s will also explore procrastination, and develop practical strategies for overcoming procrastination excuses.

Improving Relationships

Client’s will learn about interpersonal relationships, and the types of interpersonal difficulties. Client’s will be introduced to attachment theory, as well as different communication styles. After engaging in self-exploration about their own relationships, client’s will begin to develop tools to improve their relationships, strengthen their assertive communication, and develop relational boundaries.

All clients are required to complete the following skills trainings:

  • Metabolism: Learning to Trust Your Body
  • Mindfulness and Moods
  • Anxiety and Depression

There are three trainings that are considered “electives”. Clients are not required to take all of the electives, but are required to select a minimum of one elective to fulfill the mandatory skills training requirement (this means that all clients will have completed a total of four trainings, at minimum). Clients can select whichever elective they choose, and are welcome to access all of the electives if they wish.

The following are the three elective skills trainings:

  • Self-Esteem Essentials
  • Perfectionism and Procrastination
  • Improving Relationships

*** Please note, due to COVID-19 limitations, the mandatory requirements attached to skills trainings have been temporarily lifted.

Skills trainings consist of 1-3 sessions [each]. In order for the skills training to be considered “complete”, you must attend all of the sessions included in the training. Sessions are cumulative, meaning content of each session builds off materials covered from the last session. Missing sessions will result in missing pertinent information for the training.

Below is a list of how many sessions each skills training includes.

  • Metabolism: Learning to Trust Your Body = 1 session total
  • Mindfulness and Moods = 2 sessions total
  • Anxiety and Depression = 2 sessions total
  • Self-Esteem Essentials = 2 sessions total
  • Perfectionism and Procrastination = 3 sessions total
  • Improving Relationships = 3 sessions total

Across all skills trainings, every session runs for 1.5 hours. At the beginning of each session, your facilitator(s) will provide you with an agenda of topics to be covered that day, in the order at which they will be presented/discussed.

Each skills training has a designated facilitator. In order to register for a skills training, clients are required to contact facilitator(s) via email or phone. Facilitator contact information, as well as who to contact for which training, is outlined in the skills training documents provided to you by the intake coordinator during your follow-up appointment.  Client’s may also inquire with their primary clinician about registration.

Once you have contacted the facilitator, they will clarify next steps for you, and will be responsible for collecting required submissions from you prior to session (see FAQ question: “What Am I Required to Submit for Skills Trainings?”).

Before clients begin skills trainings, they will be required to submit information to the facilitator(s) for reasons related to safety, and privacy/confidentiality.

For In-Person Skills Trainings:

  • A signed copy of the “Group Expectations and Confidentiality Agreement” form
    • *** Note: this form needs to be submitted for every skills training you register for, as participants change from training-to-training

For Virtual Skills Trainings:

  • A signed copy of the “Group Expectations and Confidentiality Agreement” form
    • *** Note: this form needs to be submitted for every skills training you register for, as participants change from training-to-training
  • A signed copy of the “Consent to Teletherapy” form (only if this was not completed during the intake/assessment process)
  • Up-to-date emergency contact information (for safety purposes)
  • The location from which you will be joining virtual session from (for safety purposes)
    • *** Note: if your location changes from session to session, your facilitator(s) will need to collect your most up-to-date location/address

Clients are required to register in advanced for skills trainings before attending. Once a client has registered for a training, it is expected that they will be in attendance. Therefore, should clients be unable to attend after they have registered, they will be expected to call to cancel/reschedule. It is the responsibility of the client to contact the facilitator(s) to cancel.

Failure to attend without cancelling in advance will result in a NO-SHOW (please review the BANA no-show policy with your primary clinician).

Skills trainings are offered both in-person and virtually. For virtual skills trainings, BANA uses the secure version of the “ZOOM” video-conferencing platform.

*** Please note, due to COVID-19, all skills trainings are being offered virtually until further notice.

BANA’s virtual skills trainings are hosted on the video-conferencing platform, ZOOM.

  • You do not need an account with ZOOM to hold these sessions (only the “host” needs an account – your facilitators are the host)
  • You will need internet access for the entirety of the session, as well as a private location – free from interruptions/distractions - to ensure the confidentiality/privacy of all participants.
  • You can download the zoom app for free, or access ZOOM online, at:  https://zoom.us/
  • Once you have confirmed with your facilitator(s) that you will be participating in a training, you will be sent a link to “register” with ZOOM à Registration is not the same as making an account – it will only ask for your first and last name, and your email. Please note: if you are not comfortable sharing your full name, you can use your initials!
  • An invitation to join the video session will be emailedto you. You click the link provided in the email, and the video session will appear in a new window. In some cases, there will also be a “session code” or “password” that the platform will request you enter in order to join – if applicable, this guest pin will be provided to you prior to session start time.
  • Clients are welcome to participate in group to whatever extent they feel comfortable (although BANA encourages participation for best learning). ZOOM allows you to turn on and off your camera and microphone, and also offers a chatroom along the side of the screen to type questions or discussion points.
  • Resource materials for the Skills Trainings have been uploaded to our website, and can be downloaded from there. We request that clients print the materials prior to group session.
  • Manually type in the URL: bana.ca/skillsgroups
  • Select the title of the Skills Training you are participating in
  • Enter the password provided to you by your facilitator(s)
  • Download materials by clicking on them

Each virtually-run skills training has a maximum capacity of 5 participants, whereas in-person skills trainings have a maximum capacity of 7 participants.

If a skills training is full, clients will be welcomed to register for later-dates.

Please note: although BANA highly recommends participation during skills trainings in order to get the most out of the session(s), it is not required.

Signing Forms Prior To Session:

During the first session of every skills training, the facilitator(s) will review the “Group Expectations and Confidentiality Agreement” – a form that all clients must review and sign prior to attending a training. Signing this form holds participants liable for maintaining the privacy/confidentiality of all members in a session.

The following notes are excerpts from this agreement, related to privacy/confidentiality:

  • All information shared by participants, as well as the identity of participants, is confidential
  • The Facilitator(s) will not acknowledge any client in public unless the client initiates the interaction
  • Interactions between members outside of session can affect relations inside of skills training and recovery. BANA does not recommend contact outside of session(s)
  • Note prior to client signature line:
    “I, the undersigned, do willingly promise to hold in confidence all matters that come to my attention in the skills training at BANA (Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association). I will respect the privacy of the people whom I see”.

Professional Bodies and “Duty to Report”

All BANA facilitator(s) are regulated/monitored by a professional college, such as the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, or the College of Dietitians of Ontario. Within these professional colleges, there are ethical guidelines that professionals must follow in order to maintain their registration/licensure. Breaching these ethical guidelines could result in reprimand. In regards to confidentiality/privacy, BANA professionals have the duty to maintain clients’ privacy and confidentiality. The only exceptions to this professional expectation fall under the “duty to report”. These exceptions are:

  • If the client presents with imminent risk of harm to self, or harm to others
  • There is evidence of child maltreatment or neglect
  • The legal courts subpoena a client’s file

Confidentiality for virtual skills trainings:

Please note that we have opted for the paid version of ZOOM in an attempt to secure privacy. There have been some privacy concerns that have arisen with this platform; however, BANA is taking the necessary precautions to strengthen security measures, such as:

  • requiring all participants to register
  • adding passwords to enter sessions
  • utilizing the waiting-room feature
  • locking group meetings once every participant has entered
MANDATORY TRAINING

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