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Digital Seminar

Nutrition and Mental Health: Exploring the Mind-Body Connection

Elizabeth J. Szlek, MA, LMHC, NCC, NTP, CGP
5 Hours 20 Minutes
Mar 16, 2016
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Digital Seminar
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A New Paradigm in Treating Mental Disorders

We have all had clients who come into the office in a depressed or anxious state, and yet they cannot identify just what is bothering them. Children are brought in with symptoms of ADHD, suicidal ideation, or an eating disorder. Clients with addictions struggle to gain control of themselves. Many elderly clients have no energy or zest for life, and may appear to be suffering from dementia. Others are suffering with many physical complaints in addition to presenting with serious depression; and we have all seen those who have literally been anxious all their lives. Talking in these cases often does not produce the desired results, and both client and professional become frustrated.

In this dynamic seminar, Ms. Elizabeth Szlek, MA, LMHC, NCC, NTP, CGP, shares her decades of experience integrating nutrition into therapy, along with the cutting edge of nutritional research. Discover highly effective, non-pharmaceutical interventions for disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism, schizophrenia, eating disorders, bipolar, and addictions. Walk away from this seminar with the knowledge and tools to approach these problems from a new perspective, and improve your therapeutic outcomes by incorporating this important mind-body connection.


Continuing Professional Development Certificates
- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 5.25 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



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Elizabeth J. Szlek, MA, LMHC, NCC, NTP, CGP, has 20 years of experience as a mental health professional and has her own private practice, The Door Counseling Center. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Liberty University, a Master of Music degree from Yale University, and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Poland.

Ms. Szlek is certified as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and a GAPS Practitioner. She has presented at many conferences at both the local and national levels, and authored numerous contributions to publications including The Utica Phoenix, In Good Health, Life and Times, The Rome Observer, Women in Motion, and the "Your Mental Health" column in The Adirondack Express. Ms. Szlek is also a member of the American Counseling Association and Nutritional Therapy Association.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Elizabeth Szlek maintains a private practice. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Elizabeth Szlek is a member of the American Counseling Association; and the Nutritional Therapy Association.


  1. Identify the origins of medicine and diet.
  2. Compare ancient ways of eating to elements of a traditional diet.
  3. Articulate how a client’s diet can undermine clinical goals.
  4. Describe how poor digestion creates a cascade of negative consequences for physical and emotional health.
  5. Demonstrate how to use simple screening tools to assess the nutritional status of your clients.
  6. Implement a five-step protocol to improve nutritional health.


The Root of the Problem

  • A Brief History of Medicine & diet
  • Hippocrates, medicine, and diet
  • Madness through the ages
  • 18th century – moral therapy
  • Psychiatry emerges – classification of disorders
  • Biological psychiatry today

Traditional Foodways

  • Ancient ways of eating
  • Weston A. Price
  • Elements of traditional diets

20th Century Nutritional Problems

  • Foods of modern commerce
  • The rise of degenerative diseases
  • Industrial farming
  • Chemical additives and fast food
  • GMO’s
  • Sugar and fats

An Over-Medicated Society

  • Increase in mental disorders
  • Search for biological solutions
  • Rise of ADHD, learning disorders, and autism

Implications for Clinical Work

  • How Nutrition Affects Mental Health
  • Digestion
  • Your microbiome: For better or worse
  • How our microbiome and brain communicate
  • Recognize deficiencies: Addictions and drug-induced deficiencies
  • Polyvagal theory and the autonomic nervous system

Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • School Counselors
  • Physicians

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