Nutritional Psychotraumatology: The Science of Nutrition and Trauma – Alice Benskin

To understand the biological mechanisms and psychological theory surrounding trauma
To cultivate awareness of conscious and implicit biases towards trauma survivors and their health
To understand how chronic stress depletes the body of key nutrients and increases risk of chronic disease, and how this creates health inequities for survivors
To explore through three cases studies compassionate approaches to working with individuals using evidence based personalised nutrition, psychology and lifestyle interventions

Event Dates:

7:00 pm Monday 1st Jul 2024

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Alice Benskin

Senior nutrition scientist and trainee psychologist specialising in mental health and complex trauma.

I am Senior Nutritionist and Nutrition Education Lead for Nutritank, and a member of the World Health Organisation’s “Fides” programme, representing as a nutrition scientist in the fight against nutrition and health misinformation online. I have a decade of experience working in nutrition research, education and the food industry, including at University of Oxford. I regularly teach doctors, nurses and other health professionals regarding the role of nutrition for supporting mental wellbeing, with a key focus on the impact of complex trauma on health.

Aside from my work, I am a doing an MSc in Psychology, and volunteer in a variety of roles, including on the scientific advisory board for a medical charity and supporting recent graduate dietitians and nutritionists with professional development.

I am also a representative for the Nutrition Implementation Coalition, working to make changes with the NHS with regards to nutrition and lifestyle medicine being taught as part of the medical curriculum in the UK, and have been a member of the European Union working group for nutrition and mental health in the workplace.

Evidence regarding trauma, particularly in early life, and long-term health outcomes.
Impact of chronic stress on eliciting structural brain changes, and impacting on key markers.
Biological approaches to trauma – HPA axis activation and interaction with other key axes in the body (i.e gut-brain axis).
Psychological approaches to trauma survivors – stress as a maladaptive and adaptive experience; attachment styles and different responses to trauma; deficit vs positive psychology, and how this can impact on practitioner’s approach.
Nutritional deficiency in trauma survivors in response to chronic stress
Supporting trauma survivors – 3 case studies exploring working with trauma survivors living with chronic illnesses

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