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 [...]

Resources for parents and carers

Caring for a loved one with an eating disorder can be an overwhelming experience, particularly if you are just starting out on the journey. Below are a range of different resources that you may find helpful to access additional information or support from other carers. ​How far it too far? This website is a great early intervention resource for people looking for information to increase their understanding of the risk factors and early warning signs related to eating, exercise and body image. https://www.howfaristoofar.org.au/  Emotion Coaching Resources This website features some really helpful webinars/videos, with a focus on emotion coaching. There are specific examples of how carers can [...]

Words can be tricky things

Words can be tricky things and need to be used carefully. A brief article by former editors of the International Journal of Eating Disorders (Weissman et al., 2016) look at words we should avoid or reconsider in the field of eating disorders. The article seems largely written for researchers submitting articles to the journal, but has application to clinicians as well. Terms that we should no longer use include “anorexic” “bulimic” and “binge eater”. These terms confuse the person with the disorder and refer to them as one and the same thing. We don’t refer to someone with a diagnosis of cancer as “canceric”. There is a [...]

How long should eating disorder treatment take?

We are often asked how long should treatment take. At the recent ICED in New York there was a plenary on shorter treatments where the panel seemed to feel that short treatments were equivalent to longer treatments. Put another way, most change in eating disorder symptoms occurs early in treatment. This of course is true in some cases and predicts a better outcome. If all patients could turn up highly motivated to change and successfully manage the difficulty of change (and preferably be normal weight with mild symptoms) this would be great. There is a risk of the idea that all change occurs in the first 4-8 sessions leading [...]

A helpful stance and information for carers

Treatment manuals tell clinicians what to do in therapy. They outline the things that we think to be useful in helping someone suffering from an eating disorder. What is underemphasised in those manuals is the stance of the therapist that may be most helpful in making the most of the treatment manual. Collaboration or Direction? A ‘collaborative stance’ is central to most therapies. Josie Geller from Canada is one of the worlds leading investigators of stance in eating disorder treatment.  Geller defines a collaborative stance as one that is supporting or encouraging change, whilst also supporting the individuals and showing concern and caring that is not contingent [...]

Did they just take the F out of FBT

A recent, and important article has just been published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry by Le Grange et al. The paper is the results of a Randomised Controlled Trial of Family Based Treatment (FBT) and Parent Focused Treatment (PFT) done at Royal Childrens’ Hospital in Melbourne. FBT is probably well known to most in the field. PFT is a variant of FBT which is very interesting. There is a manual available and an outline in the book Family Therapy for Adolescent Eating and Weight Disorders edited by Loeb, le Grange & Lock.  In PFT the adolescent only has a brief session with [...]

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