Would you love to talk with me about practical concerns, knowing I understand what it’s like to care for a child with an eating disorder? Maybe you’d really like some coaching so you can communicate more easily, or so you can help your child to eat?
Or do you want to take care of yourself by getting some emotional support?
I would be glad to help you with these needs, and it’s easy wherever you are in the world by video call (like Skype) or by email. I can help you top up your level of wellbeing so that you can cope and even thrive during these extremely demanding times.
I believe every single parent should have access to individual support of this type, but treatment centres focus – understandably – on the child. So parents have to find their own path in order to grow their resilience. My personal experience is that even at a time I knew tons about eating disorders, I found individual support invaluable. We all need other people who understand the nature of our enormous task.
Helping you access a more empowered state
- We often feel isolated, sensing that we can’t truly share with others what’s going on for us. That’s an extra layer of suffering — human beings need connection. I can be a compassionate companion, so that you feel listened to and accompanied with care.
- Our suffering can be overwhelming. We cry all the time. We carry a sense of dread or anger. We are confused, exhausted and there’s no room for clear-thinking, patience or love. I can help you access a mindful, compassionate, empowered state, where you actually feel well. A well-resourced state from where you can make wise decisions and act in line with what really matters to you. You can experience this shift of state during our calls and gain tools for when the next difficulty comes up. My experience is that in the longer term this increases our resilience and capacity for wellbeing. Think of it as post-traumatic growth.
Coaching you so you’re not walking on eggshells
- If you’re struggling with what to say and how to say it, I can offer coaching based on principles of compassionate communication, and on my learning and experience.
- Parents face daily challenges as they support their child through meals and other highly charged situations. I can offer practical pointers based on my own experience and that of many other parents.
Helping you work out your next steps
- Prompt, effective treatment greatly increases the likelihood of recovery. I spend many hours keeping myself updated to save you hours of research, delays and heartache.
- We are faced with choices every step along the way of our child’s recovery. I can help you clarify your thoughts and review your options, and I will share what I’ve learned from hours of connecting with other parents too.
- Do you engage with my personality in my writings and videos? If so, chances are you’ll feel well supported one-on-one.
- Like you I have lived, over and over again, the ups and downs of supporting my child through an eating disorder through a range of pre-teen and later teen stages. I know how it feels. I know the importance of both practical know-how and emotional support. I also know that one size does not fit all, that parents need flexibility and empathy for their own particular situation. My desire is that you should feel understood, and never judged, patronized or lectured to.
- I have accumulated thousands of hours communicating with parents and clinicians, learning from a wide range of parents’ and sufferers’ experience, reading research and talking with clinicians and researchers. I am active in the field of eating disorders through online groups, and presently represent parents on a national health steering group for clinicians. That’s saving you a lot of precious time and energy finding your way in a fast-moving field.
- I’ve been learning about psychology and self-help since my teens. I have studied and practised emotional skills for so long they are now second nature. I have hours of courses and practice in Nonviolent Communication and mindfulness under my belt. What this means is that spending time with me should bring out the best in you.
- I am learning, updating myself, going on courses and workshops, getting supervision (I will discuss confidentiality with you), so what you’re getting is the best of me and of my own network at any time.
What I am NOT offering
- I do not have official qualifications as a psychologist or psychotherapist. Although I am well informed about many therapeutic methods and I have benefited from several myself, and could discuss them with you, I do not propose to heal past traumas — there are evidence-based approaches for this for which I am not specifically qualified. I am very glad when people enjoy several sources of support in parallel.
- I am not proposing to treat your child. I would hope to be a useful adjunct to what a good treatment team is doing for you. If you don’t have decent treatment locally, please be aware there are certified FBT therapists that offer treatment via Skype. I will not tell you what to feed your child, how much she should weigh, whether he should be in hospital or out of school or on bed rest. On the other hand, if what you tell me about your child’s treatment worries me, I will share what I know from research and experience, and will offer to help you with your decision-making process.
- I am not pretending to have everything in my life worked out. I’m on a journey too and I learn more every day.
Hear from one parent the difference support has made. You can download the audio here or watch the video:
Why I do this
Supporting parents is what I’m most interested in and where I find meaning, satisfaction and connection. I put in a huge number of hours to be well-informed, update my book, produce free resources, and be as effective as I can. I do not want to waste my life on other paid work that doesn’t light my fire any more. This here is what I want to do. It is a real privilege to accompany people along a journey that is so demanding and so very precious to them. What better work could there be?
Video call or email?
I find video calls (like Skype) are a particularly effective way of supporting parents. Sometimes it’s just not possible for people to get private time online, so we can also talk by phone and email.
Price for video or phone sessions: Let me know if you’d like one full hour at £60 (note that this is longer than the typical therapy 45-50mn ‘hour’) , or an hour-and-a-half at £80. (Currency calculator here.) This includes brief email support in between sessions if you need it. If you need email support that requires a lot more of my time, see below.
For email support: A pay-per-week system, where you write to me as often as you like and I will reply twice a week: £35 a week. Or if you don’t need regular help, you may prefer a pay-per-email system: £18 for each email that I write to you that requires a significant amount of my time (because I am reading and reflecting on a long or complex email from you, or researching or checking things for you or pointing you to lots of information). Pricing for email support is bound to get a little blurry, and my intention is to use common sense, give you plenty of clarity and keep checking that it’s working for you.
Peace of mind for you: if you are not happy with our first session, you can choose not to pay for it.
How to pay: I’ll invoice you after our session with details of how to pay. If you are in the UK this will be by bank transfer. Anywhere else, I’ll send you a Paypal invoice and Paypal will deal with the currency exchange. You won’t need a Paypal account – you can pay using your own credit card. If we needed to speak by phone I would ask you to bear the cost.
Keeping it easy for you: You don’t need to commit to any number of sessions. Some people want support once a week, others much more randomly. I’ve had feedback from a few people that just one session completely turned them around. Feel free, and try to give me a day’s warning if you want to cancel a call. I will aim to do the same. We all have children (and elderly parents etc etc) so anything can happen.
If you’ve never used Skype, Zoom or similar, I’ll give you simple instructions, so you should find it easy. All you need is a computer with a camera on it, with an internet connection.
Get in touch now
- Check out my diary here
- Propose a date, time, and duration
- Tell me a few words about what you’re most wanting
Or email me:
I aim to get back to you within 2 working days — usually sooner.
Other ways for you to get support
Personally I’ve always found it a stretch to pay for support, so I’m most sympathetic to those of you who need other avenues. So what can you do if you can’t afford this? Many parents help each other out for free on forums, and I will continue doing this to whatever extent is manageable. Peer support is precious. Parents get a lot from helping others — it really is a pleasure to transform our own past difficulties into something meaningful. Enjoy the kindness and the information you can get from a local or online group. You may make individual friends there too. I’ve listed my favourite groups here. I’m there myself on and off.
And of course, ask your doctor (or employer) to refer you for counselling — hopefully you will land on someone wonderful.
For more on this subject
At times I’ve struggled to find a counsellor that suits me. Some of my learning from the process is in my book, and may help you work out what it is you really want. I also describe some forms of therapy here, including those validated for trauma. And again, if what you’re looking for is remote treatment for your child, check out the certified FBT therapists who deliver treatment by Skype.