What type of eating disorder?
If you’re the parent of a child suffering from the restricting type of anorexia nervosa (i.e. he or she is restricting their food intake), then this book is definitely for you because it’s where my experience lies. Likewise if your son or daughter doesn’t quite fit the anorexia nervosa diagnosis but is restricting food and over-exercising. Sometimes what you’re seeing is the early signs of anorexia and the sooner you act the better. There may be a diagnosis of atypical anorexia nervosa or other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED).
If it’s the binge-purge type of anorexia, there is much in common with the restricting type, and the tools I offer are equally relevant.
All eating disorders have big areas of overlap, so if your child has bulimia nervosa, or binge eating or any other type of disorder, then major sections of this book will be highly relevant to you. But you will also need to complement this with other sources, as there are differences in how each type of eating disorder is best treated.
The age group I focus on is young children and adolescents. The family therapy principles at the heart of this book have been validated with under-18s. I used them first when my daughter was 10 through to 12, then again as she went through some blips age 15 to 18. I update the book regularly in light of my experience and other parents’.
I know of parents who have used the same approach with their adult child, with success. The communication resources I offer are ageless, so I believe that if your child is an adult, you will find help in these pages.
I’m referring to you as ‘parents’, but I’d like to include all carers in this.
What about the country you live in? It doesn’t make any difference to the tools in this book. I’m in the United Kingdom.
For parents and professionals
Clinicians all over the world use and recommend this book because it is a ‘how-to’ for family-based treatment or anorexia-focused family therapy. It also gives them an honest insight into the issues parents face – perhaps more so than they normally see in your consulting room.
As for the emotional resources I offer, they’re valid for you, me, and everyone. The principles of communication, self-compassion, mindfulness and resilience are based on age-old wisdoms, they have been adapted and tested in modern therapies, and they apply to all human beings of all ages.