Managing Distress in Eating Disorders

If you have an eating disorder, or know someone who does, you probably know how difficult experiencing an eating disorder can be. Part of what makes an eating disorder so difficult is the experience of distress, which unfortunately is a fundamental aspect of having an eating disorder. This post will explore some ways of managing distress in eating disorders. In many ways, the behaviours that produce an eating disorder, come about as way of avoiding distress related to food, exercise, and weight and shape. To illustrate this point, if someone is very fearful of gaining weight and believes eating particular foods will lead to weight gain, [...]

Tips for Meal Supervision

Taking care of your child with an eating disorder can be incredibly difficult. You can see how much your child is struggling, and want to make sure that you’re doing the best you can to be able to help and support them. Meal supervision is an important part of Family Based Treatment – the evidence-based treatment for young people with eating disorders like Anorexia Nervosa. Here are some tips for meal supervision to support parents new to this treatment. Before the meal starts – be prepared: Spend some time before each mealtime considering what you would like to get out of the meal and what support you [...]

Over being over-controlled?

I recently attended a webinar about Radically Open – Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO-DBT) presented by the originator Thomas Lynch. He is a great and engaging presenter who I have seen before. I walked away both times thinking is there something more to this that I don’t understand. Below are some of my thoughts about how we may use principles of RO-DBT in eating disorders treatment. Some parts of RO-DBT resonate with me. It sees anorexia nervosa, particularly in its more severe and enduring form (and perhaps where autism spectrum disorder is comorbid - thought to be about 30% of women with AN), as a disorder of over-control. [...]

Guest Blog Post – Family Led Refeeding & Recovery

Today The Redleaf Practice welcomes a guest blogger, Belinda Caldwell, who is a carer consultant and project manager with the Victorian Centre for Excellence in Eating Disorders.  Belinda is the mother of a daughter who developed anorexia nervosa in 2011 at the age of 16 and participated in treatment at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne with FBT. She previously worked as CEO of APNA, the peak professional organisation for nurses in primary health care and has worked in a variety of primary health care organisations over the last 20 years, managing a range of health improvement programs and projects. She is on the board of Families Empowering [...]

The Eating Disorder Voice

Almost all my patients talk to me of the “voice” that they hear. The (usually) harsh and critical voice that talk, shouts and cajoles all the time.  Sometimes it is reported as a friend, sometimes more like a dictator. Patients often feel scared and trapped by this voice, compelled to do what it says in an effort to silence it.  Often the voice feels more powerful than the person. What is the relationship between the anorexic voice and anorexic symptoms. In a paper that I was involved with we (Scott, Haystack & Thornton, 2014) found that the voice played a role as an “abuser” and also an “ascetic voice” [...]

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