Assignment 1. The Seattle Presentation

Content: In this assignment, the Trainee listens to a video about what happened when the tobacco industry bought Kraft, Nabisco, and General Foods in the mid-1980s. It describes the addiction business model and the consequent alterations in brain function caused by this business model.

Science:  Studies are shown on the slides.

Answers: Assignment 1 asks the Trainee to listen to 29 short segments from the video and retell the story in the Trainee’s own words. Answers are 2-3 sentences. 

Skill: The value of this assignment is that Practitioners help clients realize that food addiction was given to them deliberately by the tobacco industry for profit. When clients discover their struggles with processed foods and their consequences are not their fault, they can often start moving forward again. These valuable explanations are necessary for clients to stay stuck in the idea that they are failures when, in fact, the programs they were offered were inadequate because they didn't address food addiction.

Value to Client: When clients can move out of self-blame, they regain confidence, join an appropriate program, and rebuild their lives. 


Assignment 2. Motivational Interviewing

Content: Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a communication technique developed to help clients make healthy changes in their behavior. It is deeply respectful of clients’ own ideas. Clients thrive under MI because they are treated with respect.  Their self-confidence grows, and from this foundation, they can safely change.

Science: Research has shown MI to be more effective than directing or instructing. 

Answers: The Trainee watches and summarizes videos of 21 MI techniques in this assignment. 

Skill: Practitioners are very enthusiastic about MI because it makes them more successful but also because it relieves the practitioner of coming up with the best next step for clients. Specific skills acquired by Trainees include eliciting, affirming, summarizing, planning, offering ideas respectfully, etc. 

Value to Client: MI builds self-respect and confidence, forming the foundation for behavior change. 


Assignment 3. 100 Chats and Calls (Support Group Meetings)

Content: In Assignment 3, the Trainee attends 100 support group meetings on the ARC daily Zoom schedule. The schedule contains over 40 support group meetings per week so it’s easy to attend.  In ARC support groups, trainees listen to the host and use MI techniques.

Science: The research supporting this assignment comes from studies of learning to show that people learn most easily from short stories heard in a conversation, in groups, and from repeat exposure to the material.

Answers: Assignment 3 asks Trainees to a. identify three techniques heard in the support hour, b. describe how the Trainee would have said it in their own words, and c. describe how the technique makes the client feel.

Assignment 3 is most easily completed by attending study groups typically scheduled for the hour after the support group. If Trainees cannot identify techniques, other Trainees in the study group will happily share ideas. The rich collaboration helps Trainees retain the powerful information they’re hearing.

Skill: Assignment 3 helps Trainees become fluent in ‘ARC Speak,’ the language of compassion grounded in MI.

Value to Client: Clients gain a sense of security as they learn how to build on mistakes, recognize wins, and process emotions under the comfort of kindness and understanding.


Assignment 4. Avenues to Success

Content: This is Chapter 25 from the textbook Processed Food Addiction. The chapter asks the Trainee to reflect on the three qualities they would like for themselves to be successful as an advocate for food-addicted people.

Science: The science is shown in the Chapter’s citations.  The Trainee gains the skill of visualization of their own success. Clients benefit from avoiding approaches such as directing, criticizing, and correcting, which can be counterproductive.

Answers: Assignment 4 asks the Trainee to write out the three qualities and explain why they chose them.

Skill: Practitioners internalize approaches to success that are grounded in science.

Value to Client: Clients are protected from approaches that are shown in research to be ineffective.

Assignment 5. Handouts

Content: Dr. Ifland put up a website for Handouts while she was writing the textbook. The Handouts cover many different situations clients may face as they detach from the sick culture we live in.

Science: Sadly, almost all information available to practitioners is based on outdated, inappropriate ideas often focused on profit-creation rather than the client's well-being.  This is especially true in recovery from processed food addiction, where inaccurate information abounds. 

Answers: Assignment 5 asks Trainees to read the Handout and write a 2-3 sentence story about how a client might use the information. 

Skill: The Handouts are carefully grounded in science. Giving food-addicted people accurate guidance could make the difference between success and failure for them. Successful recovery from processed food addiction requires highly focused, well-organized recovery activities. Trainees gain confidence and security that the advice they’re giving is accurate and appropriate for traumatized, food-addicted clients.

Value to Client: The value to the food-addicted client is that they get specific, science-based information about regaining control over their behavior. 


Assignment 6. The Processed Food Addiction Textbook

Content: This long assignment consists of 12 Processed Food Addiction textbook chapters. The first chapter of the assignment is Chapter 1 of the textbook. It describes the extensive similarities between processed food use and drug/alcohol use. The other 11 chapters detail the 11 DSM 5 diagnostic criteria for addictions as those behaviors appear in overeating.

Science: Each chapter is supported by extensive citations. 

Answer: The assignment is to write five 2-3 sentence stories about how the Trainee experienced the chapter.

Skill: Assignment 6 definitively demonstrates the evidence for processed food addiction. The skill gained by the Trainee is that they can persuade a client of the reality and severity of processed food addiction. This opens the door to undertaking the right level of care.  Practitioners can also show clients that programs failed because they were not comprehensive enough to overcome severe cravings. 

Value to Client: The value to the Client is that it helps them choose the right recovery program by understanding

  • What happened to them
  • Why their struggles are not their fault
  • How processed food addiction affected seemingly unrelated aspects of their lives, such as education and relationships
  • Why diets, weight loss, eating disorders, and therapy programs have not worked 
  • Why an immersion recovery program would work


Assignment 7. Social Media Posting for the Public

Content: Traumatized, food-addicted Clients often have been thrown onto social media by the devastation of processed foods. So, we go where clients are. FARA Trainees learn how to post on the social media platforms of their choice.

Science: Processed foods make people tired, depressed, and brain-fogged. Social media engagement is often the only activity they can manage on a processed food diet.

Answers: Short, compassionate posts create awareness of the link between processed foods and disease, as well as the devastation of weight loss/eating disorders programs and the inability of the medical industry to treat processed food addiction. Awareness helps people in the public realm begin the journey away from processed foods into the safety of real recovery.

Skill: Trainees avoid the disaster of offering advice that the visitor cannot use and, worse, set the visitor up for failure. 

Value to Client: Trainees learn how to support a person to move towards the level of treatment that will actually work.


Assignment 8. Posting inside the ARC

Content: ARC Members may need help around the clock. Getting practice in locating materials for them means that Members are secure in getting answers when needed.

Science: ARC Resources are grounded in science. 

Answers: Posting inside the ARC Facebook group includes encouragement, specific tips, and the ability to get links to materials from the vast ocean of ARC Resources.

Skill: Knowing how to support Members of an online community stops the suffering of confusion and loneliness.

Value to Client:  New Members of the ARC are often very confused about where to go and what to do. In the internal ARC Facebook group, Trainees can keep an ARC Member secure and supported by knowing how to post.


Assignment 9. ARC Exercises

Content: Assignment 9 shows FARA Trainees how to rewire a traumatized, craving client’s brain to think clearly and positively. 

Science: ‘Rewiring science is laid out in the book Hardwiring Happiness by Rich Hanson.  This is not therapy. It is neuro-sculpting. It is simply teaching brain cells to connect with one another in a new way. 

Answers: Trainees write down how they would describe the Exercise to a client.  Trainees also write out the Exercise from their own experiences. 

Skill: Many of the exercises allow the client to connect distress in their present adult lives with trauma from their past. ARC Exercises give Trainees specific skills to help clients process emotions. Clients learn simple tools to process events rather than eat over them. This healing process empowers Practitioners to soothe clients.  ARC Exercises lead clients to re-envision themselves as powerful people who can stop trauma.

Value to Client: The value of this assignment to the client cannot be overstated. ARC Exercises allow clients to control their progress in very small steps. While the client is gaining life management skills and lots of self-esteem, they become stronger and stronger, and their ability to heal their trauma grows.


Assignment 10. ARC Resources

Content: The ARC Resources page at is packed with activities, videos, Book Store, etc. 

Science: The ARC Resource Center contains over 100 how-to videos developed by Dr.Ifland. Slides show citations 

Answers: Assignment 10 asks Trainees to know what is available in the ARC Resource Center and be able to retrieve resources for a client. Trainees are also encouraged to use resources in any way they like, i.e., with their clients or friends and family.

Skill: These videos multiply the effectiveness of Practitioners many times over. Practitioners avoid the frustration of repeating instructions over and over. 

Value to Clients: Cognitively-impaired Clients can watch videos repeatedly until they’ve absorbed new ideas and understand how to act on them. Clients stop harmful behaviors because they learn to stay calm and choose new behaviors. 


Assignment 11. Custom food plan development

Content: Trainees learn how to walk clients through discovering which clean foods work best for them. 

Science: The science behind Excluded vs. Unprocessed foods is laid out in Chapter 6 of the textbook Abstinent Food Plans for Processed Food Addiction.

Answers: In Assignment 11, Trainees watch videos showing people how to customize a food plan.

Skill: Trainees become effective at empowering clients to build a food plan that is a great fit for the client.  Practitioners no longer have to try to manage food plans that the client doesn’t like or cannot produce. 

Value to Client: The food-addicted person is liberated from other people’s ideas and domineering, sometimes abusive insistence that their food plan is the only food plan. Clients feel calm and empowered. This assignment also saves clients money on expensive, ineffective food plans.

Assignment 12. Emotional Management

Content: In Assignment 12, Trainees learn the very valuable skill of helping a client move from the traumatic past back into the safe present.

Science: Assignment 12 uses a video from the ARC Resource Center to break down the process of changing brain chemistry from fight, flight (or eat) to rest and repair. Simple steps show how to break out of the stress cycle and stop others from hurting us. 

Answers: Trainees write out the insights they have gained from the video, 5 Steps to Making Emotions Your Friends

Skill: Practitioners help clients acquire emotional processing skills from watching the videos repeatedly. This is not therapy. It is a practical step-by-step process that clients can learn through repeat video exposure. 

Value to Clients: With the ability to find calm, clients can stop emotional eating.