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In and Out of Anorexia: The Story of the Client, the Therapist and the Process of Recovery

When your mother calls you "a fat ugly pig" as a child this does not bode well for your future self esteem or a happy body image. This abusive comment is probably one of the most painful wounds a mother can inflict on her daughter. Dana Shavin describes how her mother suffered from anorexia and transmitted hurtful messages to her daughter about eating, weight, compulsive exercise and the virtues of self-denial. In one poignant scene, both mother and daughter are hungry. The mother's solution is to break a stick of chewing gum in half for each of them.

Her father provides little emotional nourishment. The Body Tourist is a memoir of Ms. Shavin's own struggles with anorexia, but it is written in such a funny, intelligent, self deprecating way that you come to love her and root for her success. The author "fleshes out" her story of anorexia and reveals how the anorexic command to always make do with less was not only about food but had expanded to all areas of her life: dismal relationships, ungratifying jobs, ungiving boyfriends, bare bones apartments.

This is not a memoir that dryly lists the five things you should do in order to recover now. Rather, it is a portrait of a woman who slowly begins to yearn for more and begins to make choices that speak to her deepest self: her love of horses, her love of painting and pottery. Through therapy, self exploration, and her wry sense of humor, Ms. Shavin emerges from the tentacles of anorexia to claim a full-bodied life.

This Anorexia Treatment Probably Doesn't Work. It Might Have Something To Tell Us Anyway.

The eating disordered person rejoins the world, the author believes, by asking, "Whose dreams, ideals, goals, beliefs, and standards shall I go by, and at what point do I accept authority over my own life? Author: Mary Anne Cohen. By Mary Anne Cohen. Psychotherapist Dr. When we watch a graceful ballet with its willowy dancers, we don't usually think about the fierce effort needed to achieve such beauty.

Dawn Smith-Theodore gives us a rare look behind the scenes at the complex relationship between dancers and eating disorders and explains how eating disorders can too easily develop in this talented and driven, yet vulnerable population. The author, a dancer from the age of three, describes how she "grew up in front of a mirror," and given her perfectionistic, goal oriented personality, she developed anorexia nervosa.


  1. A grown-up approach to treating anorexia;
  2. See if your insurance is accepted!.
  3. Treatment Options for Anorexia Nervosa.
  4. 17 Stories Of Eating-Disorder Survival?
  5. MORE IN LIFE.

She describes how eating disorders and dancers can have much in common: tormenting self criticism plus the corrosive belief, "You are never good enough. Your dancing can always be better. Your body can always be thinner. Theodore - now a therapist specializing in eating disorders - advises, "A dancer must learn how to step out of their comfort zone of technique to achieve humanness.

A chapter to parents recommends they be on the lookout for warning signs in their child of excessive rules, restrictions, rigidity, and rituals which may indicate the beginning of an eating disorder. The author advises parents how to guide children about their food, auditions, and handling competition. Theodore offers a comprehensive description of treatment options; this information is key since one in five ballet dancers develop an eating disorder. Title: Reconnect with Food. Unplugged DVD. Integrating the body, the mind, and the spirit is the key to a full recovery from an eating disorder.


  1. What is an eating disorder?!
  2. What is Anorexia Nervosa?!
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In this DVD, Beverly Price takes us on a journey that weaves together a yoga class with messages to heal your eating disorder. Price, a registered dietician, exercise physiologist, and yoga teacher leads a group of eight women of various sizes and shapes through healing yoga poses which the viewing audience can follow along or participate in. Then, Ms. Price leads a workshop where these women share their personal issues and awareness of why they developed eating disorders and their strategies to get unstuck.

One woman discusses her "suspicions about both pleasure and people.

Laura Phelan

It is a rich experience to join in the group class of yoga and to also be a witness to the discussion of how these women are incorporating mindful awareness into their relationship with food, with people, money, sexuality, and alcohol. As we learn to deepen our nurturing relationship with food - eating when we are hungry, stopping when we are full, and getting pleasure and gratification from food - we can also apply the same nurturing principles to self care techniques: acceptance, nonjudgmental attitudes, embracing imperfections, and communicating our needs to others directly.

Ultimately, Ms. Price helps her students move from shame and struggle to self love and satisfaction. November This is especially true if you have an eating disorder or mental illness. Lindsay Ensor had both. She also had alcohol abuse, a dependence on prescribed pain killers, starvation, "vigorous" laxative abuse, bulimia, anxiety, major depression, and multiple suicide attempts.

Lindsay came from a loving Christian family and at the age of 8, her father dies suddenly, and she finds him lying in front of their house. Her guilt haunts her as he had asked for her help with a garden project but she ran off to play with her friends instead. Five months later her mother remarries.

She describes her aching soul, "I tucked my pain away deep inside, hoping that one day it would just go away. That day never came. She spends over days in residential treatment and in-patient facilities, and was prescribed 15 different medications and electric convulsive therapy to no avail; her depression was termed "treatment-resistant. Lindsay's story is a harrowing one. But through the intervention of her therapist and her ongoing trusting connection to him plus the correct medication, her life turns around and she begins to recover and rediscover her zest for life.

The deep and valuable lessons of Lindsay's book are: don't ever give up no matter how much pain your eating disorder or depression is causing, you are not alone, and leave no stone unturned to get help. Lindsay's own transformation from hopeless to hopeful is a powerful example.

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FAQs for parents helping a son or daughter to recover from anorexia / other eating disorder

October Ahmed Boachie and Karin Jasper. Eating disorders are creative solutions to inner turmoil.

Those teens who are vulnerable to depression, anxiety, or have been wounded by the social mandate to get thin at all costs often find in their eating disorder a way to give meaning to their lives and a structure to organize a shaky sense of self. Parents may want to scream at their child, "Will you stop this nonsense and just start eating again!! Ahmed Boachie and Karin Jasper, Canadian therapists, appreciate this frustration but convey to parents how eating disorders truly are an illness that progressively hijacks the personality, autonomy, and health of a teenager.

Parents Guide to Defeating Eating Disorders begins with "A young person with an eating disorder may ask for help and then deny that she wants it, like someone who has an intruder in her home and calls , but when help arrives, finds that the intruder is standing at her back with a gun, forcing her to say everything is all right after all.

After some time living with the illness and giving up hope of being rescued, the young person may also start thinking of the intruder as her protector, believing that it is better to live with the eating disorder than to give it up for some other coping mechanism which may not work. In this case, when a professional treats a young person with an eating disorder, the young person experiences the professional as an unhelpful or dangerous alternative to her protector, the eating disorder.

The authors help parents learn to take over the controls for their child's eating so the whole family becomes part of the solution to heal the teen. Boachie and Jasper strongly believe in the need to utilize creative analogies and metaphors to enliven and encourage parents and teens on the road to recovery. Excellent, heartfelt book!

September Reviewed by Mary Anne Cohen. Amanda Sainsbury-Salis before she became Australia's leading weight-loss scientist. Frustrated with her repeated failures to lose weight, she turned to the study of molecular science and has produced ground breaking research into weight loss regulation which she describes in her book, The Don't Go Hungry Diet: The scientifically based way to lose weight and keep it off forever.

Conventional methods of weight loss dictate: eat less, move more, and keep at it until you reach your ideal weight. Amanda as she calls herself sets out to prove that long term restrictive eating slows down weight loss while at the same time it increases ravenous hunger and cravings for fattening foods. She calls this the "Famine Reaction. When dieting reaches this plateau and hunger begins to reassert itself, Dr. Satisfying your hunger will "reassure" the Famine Reaction that you don't plan to starve your body.

Amanda also demonstrates how to activate the Fat Brake which can help blunt your appetite and boost the metabolic rate. She writes, "If you can master the simple art of eating only when you feel physically hungry, then your Fat Brake will work miracles to prevent you from gaining weight. Amanda offers a compelling and valuable physiological approach to disarm and thwart the Famine Reaction. However people's overeating is emotionally complex and goes deeper than the systematic principles of how to scientifically lose weight.

I would have appreciated the author's acknowledgment that depression, anxiety, grief, and sexual abuse can cloud a person's ability to identify hunger and fullness as well as her acknowledging the valuable and healing role that psychotherapy can play in helping people clear the channels to connect with inner sensations of hunger and fullness. August An Australian family chronicles the devastating descent of their daughter into anorexia. Until that time, the family - parents and three children - enjoy one another, go on vacations, have dinner together, and lead regular normal lives.

But then, Summer, age 13, develops anorexia which puts her in the hospital's emergency heart unit, followed by time in the inpatient eating disorder unit, and then eventually back home where she continues to require intensive care and monitoring from her family. We see a family desperately struggling to bring their daughter back from the brink of death, "Our family was just holding it together by a string and Summer was holding the scissors.

All names in the book have been changed for privacy. Through poetry, drawings, and journal entries, the family recounts their harrowing journey from hell to hope to healing. The family credits the Maudsley Method with helping them rescue their daughter. This approach does not view the family to be at fault and believes the best place for a child to recover is in her own home with ongoing family love and support. Grace describes Maudsley's three prong approach: weight restoration, returning the control of eating back to the adolescent, and establishing a healthy adolescent identity.