Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder by James Lock, MD, PhD and Daniel Le Grange, PhD
In the fall of 2005 our daughter was confined to a hospital bed with a heart rate in the 30's, being re-fed under the threat of a nasogastric tube. She had been hiding her severe restricting for only two months, but had spiraled down that quickly.
Her doctor recommended Lock and Le Grange's Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder, and that's when I first heard of the family-based Maudsley approach. I recognized my daughter's anorexic behaviors in the very first paragraph of Chapter One, but didn't realize then how invaluable the book would be in the months to follow. From "Act Now", which stresses the urgency of addressing the eating disorder and separating it from your child, to "Get into Your Child's Head", which gives insight into the disordered thinking that is so hard to comprehend, Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder offers practical advice for guiding your child back to health. Other areas covered are research on cause, therapy and treatment options, and concerns about co-morbid conditions. The authors give suggestions on how to work with the professionals involved in your child's care, and how a family can present a united front against the eating disorder.
an extremely difficult year, this book has been one oasis of sanity
that I've revisited many times, and each time I've found hope and help.
I'll continue to recommend Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder as required reading for any parent who's fighting for their child's life.
-reviewed by Ann
For additional description, reviews and a sample chapter please visit Guilford Press.
Brave Girl Eating: A Family's Struggle with Anorexia by Harriet Brown
Millions of families are affected by eating disorders, which usually strike young women between the ages of fourteen and twenty. But current medical practice ties these families' hands when it comes to helping their children recover. Conventional medical wisdom dictates separating the patient from the family and insists that "it's not about the food," even as a family watches a child waste away before their eyes. Harriet Brown shows how counterproductive—and heartbreaking—this approach is by telling her daughter's story of anorexia. She describes how her family, with the support of an open-minded pediatrician and a therapist, helped her daughter recover using family-based treatment, also known as the Maudsley approach.
Chronicling her daughter Kitty's illness from the earliest warning signs, through its terrifying progression, and on toward recovery, Brown takes us on one family's journey into the world of anorexia nervosa, where starvation threatened her daughter's body and mind. But hope and love—of the ordinary, family-focused kind—shine through every decision and action she and her family took. Brave Girl Eating is essential reading for families and professionals alike, a guiding light for anyone who's coping with this devastating disease.
Eating Disorders: A Parents Guide by Rachel Bryant-Waugh and Bryan Lask
Eating Disorders: A Parents Guide
by Rachel Bryant-Waugh and Bryan Lask gives an overview of eating
disorders in children and adolescents. The authors view parents as a
key resource in helping their children recover. Eating disorder causes
are discussed in sensible and useful way - in terms of predisposing,
precipitating and perpetuating factors. The book has a
practical and hopeful tone but acknowledges the real difficulties
parents will face in confronting the eating disorder. Although the
authors are clear that there is "no absolutely correct method of
dealing with behaviors" they give helpful guidelines. The importance of
externalizing the illness and of families working together to insure
consistency are covered. In addition parents will find advice on
handling common difficulties like hiding food and excessive exercise.
families seem to encounter extreme behavior during the refeeding
period. When my daughter was ill I thought we were confronting an
unusually difficult case of anorexia but reading about other families'
experiences has shown me that this was not so. Bryant-Waugh and Lask
describe "a stage of extreme anger, defiance and rebellion" that occurs
when eating is being normalized, which they term stage 2. Parents will
be reassured to know that the difficult behavior of stage 2, though
challenging to deal with, is not uncommon but a harbinger of recovery.
The authors give brief practical advice on getting through this. I
would recommend Eating Disorders: A Parents Guide to any parent looking for supportive advice to help their eating disordered child.
-reviewed by Jane
My Kid is Back: Empowering Parents to Beat Anorexia Nervosa by June Alexander with Daniel Le Grange
My Kid is Back: Empowering Parents to Beat Anorexia Nervosa by Australian author and journalist June Alexander will be a valuable resource for parents dealing with anorexia nervosa. June, inspired by her own experience with the illness, talks with leading experts and ten families about family-based treatment. These stories will feel familiar to anyone who who has confronted an eating disorder. Parents will identify with their fear and confusion as each family struggles to understand this baffling illness and find the help they need. The voices of the young people emerging from the disorder are heard as well. Just how do they manage to overcome anorexia nervosa? These resourceful families pull together and work out solutions. My Kid is Back will provide hope and inspiration to parents. These moving accounts will provide insight into anorexia nervosa and the real-life difficulties families face for eating disorder professionals, as well.
The families in the book all live in Australia, but the book is truly global in perspective. Professional advice is offered by leading experts on three continents. Daniel Le Grange contributes an introductory chapter explaining the Maudsley approach, its history, and research support, and a second chapter in the book’s What are Parents to Do? section, outlining practical strategies for parents. Ivan Eisler of London’s Maudsley Hospital writes the foreword and offers the UK perspective on anorexia treatment. June also talks with Westmead Children’s Hospital and Oak House to provide Australian treatment picture.
-reviewed by Jane
Eating With Your Anorexic by Laura Collins
We have read all the books listed on this site and have found them all quite helpful, yet Eating With Your Anorexic is the one I cannot say enough good things about.
We began to suspect that our daughter might be developing an eating problem in early fall 2005. Our family doctor was reassuring, suggesting that our daughter be offered a reasonably-balanced diet. We were doing that already, and always had. By the end of October that year, we knew beyond a doubt that we were in trouble. Clearly, "developing" was not the correct description of our child’s eating disorder, yet we could not get a doctor to quite share our level of concern. During those awful first few days and weeks of frantically searching for information on anorexia we, thankfully, stumbled on the Maudsley approach. It was the first thing that seemed to offer real, concrete, help for anorexia. Eating With Your Anorexic was in the first batch of books I ordered from Amazon.
Ultimately, it was this book more than any other that gave us the courage to forge ahead as we hunted and fought to find knowledgeable medical and therapeutic help for our child.
Laura Collins’ book is funny, brave, and true. It is also a frank and poignant chronicle of one family’s struggle to wrest their daughter from the grip of a disease that most front-line medical professionals tragically know little about. Most importantly, this book gave us a real, in-the-trenches, eyewitness, account of being a parent to a child with anorexia, plus the hope that we could help our child recover from anorexia in our home, at our dinner table.
Eating With Your Anorexic gave us more fair warning about what might lie ahead than any other book we read. Ms. Collins does not so much describe the Maudsley approach as it’s practiced today (probably because there is no one sharply-defined method), but she explained what it’s like in practice at home. We found this to be the sorely needed adjunct to the Maudsley texts we read. No family is ever really prepared to care for a child with anorexia, but thanks to Ms. Collins we knew that it was possible to be fired by your therapist (and also to interview them before taking your child), that just because we didn’t think we caused our child’s illness didn’t mean we were in denial--but that everyone else might think so, and that we might be considered controlling and pathologically over-involved by suggesting that our obviously starving child EAT. Thanks to Ms. Collins we had a context for the isolation, the horror, the anger, and the fear that accompany being the parent of a child with anorexia. We knew that we might need to put the rest of our lives on hold to make it all work, but that this wasn’t forever.
We also knew that many of the people in our lives—given what we have all learned about eating disorders in the popular media--would not quite understand, but that was okay.
Normally, we don’t mind being mavericks at our house, but Eating With Your Anorexic gave us the leg up we needed to take control of child’s health and recovery when the only other option at the time seemed to be to send her off to a treatment "ranch" with a huge relapse rate—and spend our life savings doing so. Ms. Collins’ unflinching description of all that’s involved (and the fact that they DID it) made us brave enough to face the demon that is anorexia nervosa. For us, this book pointed us toward a beacon of recovery in the murky atmosphere of current eating-disorder treatment.
And Laura Collins’ humor in the face of the absurdity of the situation didn’t hurt at all.
-reviewed by Malia
Off the C.U.F.F.
Off The C.U.F.F. by Nancy Zucker
Off the C.U.F.F. (Clear, Undisturbed, Firm and Funny) is a skills manual that provides the curriculum taught to parents in the Parent Training Program at Duke Eating Disorders Program.
If I were stranded on a desert island with my anorexic daughter and could bring only one book with me, Dr. Zucker’s Off the C.U.F.F. is the book I would choose. This book picks up where Lock and Le Grange’s Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder leaves off. How do you cope and remain supportive, firm, and level-headed when your daughter has flushed the family dinner down the toilet and then run to her room screaming that she will exercise herself to death if you make her eat anything? How do you keep sheer exhaustion and setbacks from wearing you down when your child requires 24 hour supervision for exercise compulsion, is in a rage at most meals, and lost weight at her most recent weigh-in? Off the C.U.F.F. offers parents the tools they need to understand disordered eating behavior and empowers them through example and skills training to respond to these behaviors in a firm but supportive manner. C.U.F.F. is an acronym that stands for Clear, Undisturbed, Firm, and Funny, the basic tenets of eating disorder management. Dr. Zucker’s skills training book is written in a compassionate, practical manner, yet you will find yourself chuckling as you work your way through the book (I know, I also could never have imagined laughing while reading about eating disorders management).
There is so much that is helpful in this book, but my favorite strategy, perhaps because my daughter has so much difficulty with emotional regulation, is surfing the eating disorder wave. Dr. Zucker helps you understand that it is important to notice the signs that you or your daughter are starting to become upset and to intervene immediately with self-soothing or distraction. If you or your daughter are already at the top of the wave and unable to think clearly, you need to lower the intensity of the emotional surge before you do anything else by leaving the situation with dignity and using calming strategies. I have copies of the Eating Disorder Wave posted on the refrigerator of our kitchen to remind myself, my daughter, and the rest of the family about how to get back to the beach when the tidal wave is surging.
This is a book that deserves a prominent place in the library of eating disorder specialists working with families with an eating disordered adolescent or young adult. I wish I was given this book when my daughter entered residential treatment instead of the recommended reading for families, a book that was written almost 20 years ago that advises parents on the first page of the introduction that trying to manage the eating disorder will end in a control battle that the caregiver will inevitably lose. I also wish that I lived in North Carolina and could participate in Dr. Zucker’s group parent training.
-reviewed by Dorothy
Written for Clinicians
Treatment Manual for Anorexia Nervosa, second edition: A Family-Based Approach by James Lock and Daniel Le Grange
This manual for treatment professionals provides an authoritative and detailed description of the Maudsley approach, the leading family-based treatment for adolescents with anorexia nervosa. The new edition reflects the latest knowledge on AN and its treatment, along with new information on training and treatment dissemination.
Treating Bulimia in Adolescents: A Family-Based Approach by Daniel Le Grange and James Lock
An indispensable clinical resource, this groundbreaking book is the first treatment manual to focus specifically on adolescent bulimia nervosa. The authors draw on their proven approach to treating anorexia nervosa in the family context and adapt it to the unique needs of this related yet distinct clinical population. Evidence-based strategies are presented for helping the whole family collaborate to bring dysfunctional eating behaviors under control, while also addressing co-occurring psychological problems and parent-child relationship conflicts. Highly practical, the book shows exactly how to carry out this time-limited therapy and what to do when problems arise. Special features include annotated session transcripts and answers to frequently asked questions.
For additional description, reviews and a sample chapter please visit Guilford Press.