Be Body Positive Facilitator Training

for Educators and Student Leaders

Get trained to teach The 5 Competencies of the
Be Body Positive Model through in-person or virtual groups.

Give students in middle school, high school, and college the lifelong gifts of self-compassion and a trusting relationship with their bodies.
“As students across the country face disruptions, stress, and anxiety due to COVID-19, all of which exacerbate mental illnesses like eating disorders, the need for this legislation grows increasingly clear."1
— Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12), Vice Chair of the Committee on Agriculture, introducing The Eating Disorders Prevention in Schools Act of 2020

THE CHALLENGE

Body dissatisfaction and eating problems are on the rise in every sector of our population. Especially alarming is the dramatic increase in the prevalence of severe eating disorders and body image disturbances among teens, young adults, and children of increasingly younger ages.2

The approximately 11 million U.S. children living in food insecure households3 are particularly at risk due the correlation between food restriction and the development of eating disorders.4

  • Eating disorders currently affect 30 million Americans of all body sizes.5
  • Two-thirds of youth in higher weight bodies are at risk for developing eating disorders.6
  • Every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder.7
  • Body Image Disturbance is a predictor for depression, low self-esteem, alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, and sexual assault.8-13

THE BODY POSITIVE SOLUTION

The Body Positive was founded to take on this public health challenge. Our mission is to help people of all ages find positive solutions to the suffering they experience with their bodies. Our Be Body Positive Model is comprised of five life skills or “Competencies” that promote a healthy, confident relationship to the body. The 5 Competencies offer a sustainable framework for living in one’s body that eliminates weight stigma, judgment, and blame, and honors the influence of unique life circumstances on self-care.

We offer schools and youth organizations the comprehensive training and curriculum needed to create a culture-changing Be Body Positive program that will improve the health and well-being of students across the weight spectrum.

The Be Body Positive's online, on-demand training has an interactive format that allows student and staff facilitators to explore their own personal experiences, and to deeply embody the material they will teach to others. The training teaches critical thinking related to societal and familial messages about health and weight in the context of an individual’s intersecting identities; how to develop attuned eating and exercise by learning to respond to signals from one’s own body; why cultivating compassion for oneself and others leads to an improved ability to resist aggression and criticism; the power of declaring one’s own authentic beauty by radically accepting one’s ancestors; and how to engage in embodied social change efforts to build just and compassionate communities.


A Stanford University pilot study showed that The 5 Competencies of our Model had a positive effect on participants’ self-reported guilt, belief in the thin ideal, body satisfaction, and social determinants of body image. Further improvements on all measures were shown eight months after group participation. Research continues at the university level, with studies being conducted at Cornell University and California State University, Long Beach.

 

About the Training

The Be Body Positive Facilitator Training was designed with both student leaders and educators in mind. The training is for high school and college students, and staff who work at middle schools, high schools, colleges, and community organizations. You will have access to the training contents for four months from the date of registration. If you are a professional in another capacity, you can still take the training to become licensed to use our curriculum. Learn more on the Fundamentals for Treatment Providers page. Please contact us at [email protected] if you have questions.


Read below for information about training options for teams and individuals.

TRAINING OPTIONS

Trained facilitators are licensed to teach our Be Body Positive curriculum to address the self-destructive, isolating struggles many students experience with their body image, eating, and exercise. We will support you in creating a Body Positive program that is tailored to meet the specific needs of your community.


If you are an individual interested in becoming a facilitator, click below to register.

If you work on a school campus and are looking to train multiple facilitators, check out our group training packages.

“I was diagnosed with an eating disorder last year, but I had been struggling for much longer than that. I started my unhealthy spiral in high school, using extreme dieting in an attempt to lose weight and punishing myself for my ‘failures’ by obsessively examining my undesirable body parts in the mirror . . . It's been 5 years since I began that spiral of self hatred, bingeing and purging, and the only reason I've been able to get out of it was my Body Positive experience."
— College Be Body Positive group participant

Course Features

  • Videos: The 26 videos in the training feature The Body Positive staff as well as twenty licensed Be Body Positive Facilitators who are running successful programs in their communities. You will hear from middle school, high school, and college students, and professionals who work with all of those age groups. You’ll see the Be Body Positive Curriculum in action, being taught by high school students and adults alike, for groups of six to eight student participants. All videos have closed captions.

  • Handouts: Some information is best accessed in written form. Our seventeen handouts are downloadable PDFs and yours to keep forever. The more substantial ones also have an audio recording to go with them for those who learn better by listening.

  • Webinars: Our six webinars feature lots of practical tips for running a program, and important logistical information you’ll need to know.

  • Worksheets and Assignments: This is where you get the chance to apply what you’re learning. With these assignments, you’ll get a chance to dive into the curriculum and get firsthand experience facilitating the material.

Meet Your Instructors

Connie Sobczak

Connie Sobczak, Founder, Executive Director, The Body Positive
Connie’s experience with an eating disorder in her teen years and the death of her sister Stephanie inspired her life’s work to help people live with more appreciation and love for their precious bodies. She founded The Body Positive in honor of Stephanie, and to ensure that her daughter Carmen and other children would grow up in a new world—one where people are free to focus on the things in life that really matter. Connie is the author of Embody: Learning to Love Your Unique Body (and quiet that critical voice!), her book in which she reconnects readers to their essence, authentic beauty, and life force. She uses her creative skills to produce The Body Positive’s curricula, videos, digital courses, and facilitator trainings. Connie’s passion is watching the light that emerges when people recognize and embrace their magnificent, authentic selves.

Elizabeth Scott

Elizabeth Scott, LSCW, CEDS-S, Founder, Director of Training, The Body Positive
Elizabeth is an educator and psychotherapist whose work focuses on the intersection of embodiment, social justice and mindfulness. As Co-Founder and Director of Training for The Body Positive, Elizabeth has taught treatment professionals, educators and students to use the Be Body Positive prevention model to promote joyful embodiment and excellent self-care since 1997. She studies Insight Meditation and has a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Naomi Finkelstein

Naomi Finkelstein
With a background in theater and education, Naomi Finkelstein has brought her skills as an educator, performer, writer, and artist to her work at The Body Positive since 2014. She’s a yoga instructor and a weight-inclusive wellness coach with a passion for helping people of all sizes, but especially those in large bodies, to pursue wellness outside of the diet and weight loss paradigm. You can learn more about her at www.naomifinkelstein.com.

Cristal Dolan

Cristal Dolan
Cristal is a voice for her community and an advocate for all human beings. In her current role at Girls Inc., she wears many hats but enjoys the role of teaching everyone in her organization to always love and advocate for themselves and others the most. She is passionate about advocating for the rights of women and girls, while also advocating for more male allies through the awesome power of education. Cristal has a BA in Education with a Social Science Concentration, and affectionately calls herself, “the child’s advocate”. She is now and always will be proudest of being a mother and caregiver to those who know her as such.

Athena Nair

Athena Nair
Athena is a rising freshman at Tufts who spent her last seven years at Castilleja School. She has been involved with The Body Positive since September 2018, and has been educating herself on body positivity, fatphobia, and radical self-love. She is passionate about bettering the world through her activism, music, dance, and theatre. Find her @_colourful_beauty

Bella Vandenberg

Bella Vandenberg
Bella is a rising senior at Castilleja. She became involved with The Body Positive in order to learn how to appreciate our own beauty and be a safe ally for the people around her. In her free time, she enjoys singing, playing volleyball, and listening to live music. Feel free to reach out @bellamvan.

Michal Goldstein

Michal Goldstein
I'm Michal, and one of the activities I do at my school is peer counseling. Initially, I attended the Be Body Positive training because I wanted to get better at counseling, but it ended up being so much more than that. The training changed my life and has given me the confidence to start working on my relationship with my body and with food. I am forever grateful for the amazing Body Positive community, and I want to offer myself as a resource for any trainees—you can reach out to me at [email protected]!

Thank you to our
generous sponsors!

1 https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/national-eating-disorders-association-announces-introduction-eating-disorders-prevention-schools-act

2 https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/statistics...

3 https://www.feedingamerica.org/sites/default/files/research/map-the-meal-gap/2016/2016-map-the-meal-gap-child-food-insecurity.pdf

4 https://eatingdisorders.dukehealth.org/education/resources/food-insecurity-and-disordered-eating

5 https://anad.org/education-and-awareness/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/

6 https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/national-eating-disorders-association-announces-introduction-eating-disorders-prevention-schools-act

7 https://anad.org/education-and-awareness/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/

8 Forrest, K.Y., & Stuhldreher, W.L. (2007). Patterns and correlates of body image dissatisfaction and distortion among college students. American Journal of Health Studies, 22(1), 18-25.

9 Grossbard, J.R., Lee, C.M., Neighbors, C., & Larimer, M.E. (2009) Body image concerns and contingent self-esteem in male and female college students. Sex Roles, 60, 198-207.

10 Lowery, S.E., Kurpius, S.E.R., Befort, C., Blanks, E.H., Sollengerger, S., Nicpon, M.F., & Huser, L. (2005). Body image, self-esteem, and health-related behaviors among male and female first year college students. Journal of College Student Development, 46(6).

11 Johnson, F., & Wardle, J. (2005). Dietary restraint, body dissatisfaction, and psychological distress: A prospective analysis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 114(1), 119-125.

12 Cooley, E., & Tora, T. (2001). Body image and personality predictors of eating disorder symptoms during the college years. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 30, 28-36.

13 Holzhauer, C.G., Zenner, A., Wulfert, E. (2016). Poor body image and alcohol use in women. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. 30(1), 122-7.