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A Practical Approach to Family-based Intervention for Eating Disorders

A Practical Approach to Family-based Intervention for Eating Disorders

How can Family Based Therapy help with Eating Disorders? What comes to mind when you think of a study session?  For us it was comfy clothes, great food, and pillows on the floor.  Recently, we hired Melanie Jacob, RD to fly down from her nutrition practice in Michigan to present to our team of Registered Dietitians and students on Family Based Treatment treatment.  As a result of this 8-hour intensive training, reading numerous journal articles and books we were assigned to read before her arrival, our Registered Dietitians will be offering an even more intense nutrition program for clients struggling with eating disorders.  This approach will be most effective for younger clients. Here are some of the new things that you will be experiencing as a client or a loved-one of a client (especially if your child is in middle school or high school): We will be setting projected goal weights based on the anticipated growth of your loved one in terms of age in months (not simply years) We will be working more closely than ever with parents through parent support groups and communication with parents and/or child through the Recovery Record app. We will continue to work closely with all members of the treatment team with an added component on how to help the loved ones with a specific strategic food plan based on 5-level increases which will be individualized to meet our client’s needs We will continue to monitor vital signs including heart rate and use even more sophisticated screening and quantifiable monitoring tools as your loved one progresses through treatment of eating disorders. It is our...
The Truth About Body Positivity and How it Fits Into Eating Disorder Recovery

The Truth About Body Positivity and How it Fits Into Eating Disorder Recovery

By Alex Raymond, RDN, LDN What is body positivity? Body positivity is a buzzword these days. People seem to be latching on to the idea of loving and appreciating their bodies. People post #bopo pics all the time. And while this may seem like a positive thing, unfortunately, much of the true meaning of “body positivity” is lost in mainstream social media. Body positivity is actually a social justice movement to give voices to those individuals in marginalized bodies. It’s rooted in the belief that ALL bodies are GOOD bodies. Including, but not limited to… fat bodies, disabled bodies, trans people, bodies of different races/ethnicities. And everyone deserves to find a place of body peace and respect for themselves. This is separate from having a “positive body image” and/or loving/liking the way your body looks. The body positive movement is so much more than aesthetics. It’s about existing in a world and being treated humanely regardless of how your body looks. Individuals who live in marginalized bodies have done so much work starting and continuing the body positive movement. And the problem is, well, privileged women. Honestly, like myself, white, cis, smaller bodied…etc. Have, most likely unintentionally, made it into something it’s not. I can understand why it happened. Who doesn’t like the idea of “body positivity”? But now, the voices of people who have started the movement are diluted, due to the other “body positive” noise that’s out there. Body Positivity vs. “Positive Body Image” I was inspired to write this blog after reading Lauren Newman’s (aka gofeedyourself_) instagram post on body positivity vs. positive body image. I...
Eating Disorder Recovery During the Holidays

Eating Disorder Recovery During the Holidays

By Alex Raymond, RD, LD. Aah, the holidays are right around the corner…… Even though Christmas stuff has been out in the stores since August. Sure, the holidays can be a joyful time for many of us. I personally remember loving the holidays growing up. I got to travel to my grandparents’, hang out by fire, eat some cookies, and most importantly, I didn’t have to go to school. Nowadays, the holidays are a bit different… I wind up traveling to see my mom or dad who live out west. My apartment sadly doesn’t have a fireplace, but I’ll snuggle under a blanket. And, I still eat cookies… As wonderful as the holidays can be, they can also be extremely stressful. When healing from an eating disorder, being around food, maybe moving less, hanging out with family, can all be triggers to increased ED thoughts about food and body. With many of my clients, we spend time discussing these triggers and possible healthy coping tools. That’s why I created this holiday guide. I wanted to give my clients space to brainstorm ideas about the holidays (struggles, excitements, plans, worries…etc) and different coping tools to use. You can refer back to this guide throughout the holidays when you feel you need a reminder of what to do. I’d encourage you to add to it and to use with various members of your treatment team. Click here to Download the Guide to ED Recovery During Holidays Worksheet     I also wanted to use this blog to talk about some coping skills to use, especially on the big family gathering days:   ...
Meal Support for Loved Ones

Meal Support for Loved Ones

By Dana Magee, RD, LD, guest blogger For those suffering from an eating disorder remember: “You alone can do it, but you can’t do it alone.” What is meal support?  Meal support is not taking on the role of the food police, or the enforcer.  It is the modeling of healthy food behaviors, being there with your loved one, the calmness and compassion at meal times  that has the true value. See below for some amazing tips from the New Maudsley Approach: Skills-based Learning for Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder book.  If someone in your life is affected by an eating disorder (ED) I highly recommend reading this book.  It is an invaluable resource!   Loved ones: Remember this is not easy.   Have compassion for yourself, learn, ask for help, forgive yourself if you wish you reacted differently.   To illustrate the roles family members may take I will use the model from the Skills-based Learning for Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder animal analogies.  As stated in the book it is natural, typical and instinctive to a concerned and frightened family member or friend to take on one of the following roles:     Kangaroo Dolphin Rhino You see your loved one struggling, it hurts your heart to see them in pain and you try to protect them from that pain and keep them safe as if you have them in your pouch. The challenge with protecting your loved one from any stress or discomfort is that they do not learn to do this for themselves. It traps them in the infant role, and...
Ten Tips for Mealtime Support at Home

Ten Tips for Mealtime Support at Home

Ten Tips to Support Your Son or Daughter Around Mealtime while in Recovery from an Eating Disorder By Rebecca Bitzer, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD Mealtime can be stressful for parents and family members while trying to support your loved-one struggling with an eating disorder.  Families are an important part of the recovery process, yet it can be overwhelming to come up with successful strategies to make mealtime more calm and relaxed.  As you probably know, providing a comfortable environment is the first step; avoiding all talk of food, body image, calories or any other triggering topic is key.  So what can you to do help your loved one face their food fears and consume their meal? Here are some tips that will help you both before, during and after the meal.MEAL PLAN: Make sure that you and your loved one understand the meal plan. The purpose of the meal plan is to guide you both with the food requirements needed. It is helpful to think of the food as medicine, and just like you would follow your doctor’s medication order, it will be important to follow your Registered Dietitian’s meal plan with the same seriousness.  There will be temptations from your loved one to renegotiate the plan, but staying firm to the meal plan will only help foster recovery. Your nutrition appointments with Registered Dietitian can be vital in helping develop a meal plan, strategize realistic goals, and anticipate and provide mealtime guidance, all based on your individual family meals. Mealtime Support Resources MEALTIME ATMOSPHERE: One strategy can be listening to relaxing music during mealtime. Here is an example of...

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