Eating disorder treatment

Family Based Treatment (FBT)

Family Based Treatment (FBT; commonly known as The Maudsley Model) is currently one of the leading choice of treatment for children and adolescents living with Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. FBT emphasises the involvement of the family system in supporting the young person in overcoming their eating disorder. FBT acknowledges the integral role families can play in overcoming this illness and helping restore their young person back to health. FBT centres on the principle that weight restoration is the first step and the key to bringing physical and mental health back to young people suffering from an eating disorder. The initial focus of treatment is on weight [...]

Tips for the Holiday Season

Whilst Christmas is generally a wonderful time with lots to look forward to, for someone with an eating disorder this time of year can present significant challenges. The holiday season means that many of us get some time off work (thank goodness) bringing us out of our regular routine. Christmas parties galore, family gatherings and meeting your mates at the pub can mean greater opportunities for indulgence, which can be challenging for those in recovery from an eating disorder. As we come into summer in Australia (la Nina, back off), the change in season brings with it new clothing and time spent at the beach, which can [...]

Schema Therapy & Eating Disorders: Part 1

“I understand it – logically I get it - but I just don’t feel like that’s true”. Therapy can be really effective at shifting your head – your beliefs, your logical space, what you agree must technically be true. However, it can be a lot harder to shift your heart – what you feel to be true. Similarly, often we understand what you need to do in therapy, but the how is much more challenging. It takes a lot for someone to really believe that they are important and deserve to care for themselves, which is especially common in people with eating disorders. There is new research [...]

Waiting to start eating disorder treatment?

The eating disorder sector in Australia is struggling to keep up with the increasing need for services.  Unfortunately, individuals and families are facing increasing waitlists to access health professionals with specialist eating disorder training. Knowing that there is a concern and reaching out for help, only to be told that there is a waitlist for appointments can be frustrating and worrying. So, what can you do in the meantime? Regular appointments with a GP It’s really important that an individual with an eating disorder has regular appointments with their GP. This provides you with a space to have a chat about concerns, but also importantly allows the [...]

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. [...]

Don’t believe everything you think you see

I was watching breakfast TV and a story came up of three Youtubers who had just set a world record for the worlds highest basketball shot. They made the shot from 200 metres up, from the top of cliff in Maletsunyane Falls in Semonkong, Lesotho in South Africa. Watch the video here. It seems a bit meaningless, but pretty cool that someone can make this shot.  I could notice my mind going ‘how amazing, those guys are awesome, how great would it be to travel the world and make trick basketball shots, what great lives they must have’.  I began to notice what we can call comparative mind. [...]

Guest Blog Post – Is weight recovery enough?

Dr Mandy Goldstein We are excited to have another guest blog post today. Dr Mandy Goldstein is a clinical psychologist with 10 years’ experience in the treatment of eating disorders and trauma, across inpatient and outpatient settings. She is the Principal Clinical Psychologist at Mandy Goldstein Psychology, and works as an Associate at The Redleaf Practice. Mandy completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Macquarie University, where her research was focused on enhancing the treatment of eating disorders. She has a particular interest in both the use of evidence based treatment, and its dissemination beyond research environments, making effective treatment more accessible to clinicians and patients alike. Is [...]

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 [...]

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