Individual support / Coaching for parents

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.

What I offer

Here’s a 9mn video to give you an overview and let you hear a couple of parents’ testimonials:

Helping you access a more empowered stateInner power - counselling for parents - eating disorders

  • 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

Coaching parent of child with anorexia

  • 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

signpost-counselling - anorexia

  • 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.

Why me?

  • 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

snake-oil

  • 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.

Testimonial

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.

Some practicalities

Time: Usually some time between 9 am and evening UK-time. You can see my availability (more or less accurate) in your own time zone on doodle.com/evamusby

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.

Next step

Email me, writing me a few lines about where you’re at and what you’d like from me. Give me an idea of days and times that suit you, and if you’d like an hour or an hour and a half. You can propose a time on doodle.com/evamusby. I aim to get back to you within 2 working days — usually sooner.

Hope for eating disorders treatment for children


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.

Feedback from parents

I have been supporting other parents by email, phone and Skype for several years. Here is what some of them wrote me:

“Any parents receiving support & advice from you are very lucky. Your knowledge is gained through your own experience and careful thorough research, peppered with a good dose of empathy & common sense. I know you will be an invaluable support to anyone you advise!”

“You have such a gift Eva – your way of communicating is very gentle and loving and also fun! I have always felt very much listened to and cared for.

And it has been wonderful to know there is someone out there who knows what it is like and who cares and has so much experience and knowledge and wisdom to share. The emotional support you have given me has been invaluable and I have learnt a huge amount about compassionate communication from you.

Having you supporting me has definitely made me feel stronger. You are often with us in those very stormy moments overlooking it all with your gentle presence.I am very grateful to you Eva. You have helped us so very much.”

“What we parents need is compassion and practical advice and you are a master  on both.”

“Thank you so much for today.  You helped me so much.  Just being kind to my core self had a very uplifting energising effect. I was energised into doing some weeding and planting!!  So what you are doing works!”

“This is the longest happy period we have had in I don’t know how long and I just want to enjoy it.  Also she has not self-harmed for 4 days…this is amazing and I am totally linking it to your advice… I guess she was just desperate for me to hear her and not try and solve her problems.”

“I know that we only talked for a very short time but I want you to know how important that was for me.  I was very low at that time but our conversation was enough for me to realise that I needed to talk with my family and let them in.  It has been a turning point.”

“After our experiences with the professionals I had been put off seeking any help. After reading your book I felt you would be different – and you are! It felt extremely good talking to someone who’s been there, done that (and then wrote the book!). I loved your insight, experience and knowledge. But most of all I loved the fact you’re not judging us – but choosing to walk alongside us. Thank you!”

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.

Share

6 thoughts on “Individual support / Coaching for parents

  1. Good for you, Eva. Many people need a way to get help. This is an excellent idea. I wish you the best with this new venture.
    Warm regards, Shan Guisinger

  2. Thank you Shan, that’s a lovely bit of encouragement from a psychologist who is not doubt supporting lots of families all the time 🙂

  3. Dorothy said:

    Dear Eva
    I just wanted to say how very much I have appreciated the support and care you have shown to me over the past 12 months. During this time, when my now 16 year old daughter has been in her 2nd year of inpatient treatment, I have needed what I can only describe as “places of refuge” in order to keep me standing upright and able to manage. You provide a place of refuge for me during our Skype conversations. What do I mean by that? I mean the careful listening, the attention you give me, the acceptance of all that I bring, whether that be despair, sadness, anger or resentment, as well as the sometimes small steps of “progress”. You have helped me to stay connected with myself and through that to connect with my daughter. It has brought alive the messages you offer in your book and has helped me to understand NVC and how it plays a huge role in my communication with both my daughter and other people in my life, including professionals. I cannot recommend what you are offering to parents more highly and I only hope that other parents can also benefit from your kindness, compassion and huge wealth of knowledge and experience. Thank you.

  4. Anonymous said:

    I have been been doing consultations with Eva for several months for my financially independent YA daughter. Eva has been so helpful – very knowledgeable in all aspects of eating disorders, helping me figure out priorities and how to accomplish them, and giving wonderful, practical empathetic support when I was feeling hopeless about helping our daughter. She did research and found an excellent therapist even though we are on different continents, helped me figure out what needed to be done to help our daughter, what we actually could do although we have no financial leverage, and steps to achieving the goals. Although it is still very much a work in progress, I went from feeling like we could do nothing to help, to realizing there was much we could do to help our daughter. I feel our daughter is now in good hands, is invested in working on getting better, and is actually doing the work. Thank you, Eva!! I don’t feel we could have accomplished this without your knowledge, help, kindness and concern, and empathetic support.

  5. Emma said:

    Having read Eva’s book (Anorexia and Other Eating Disorders which I thoroughly recommend) I recently opted for one-to-one Skype consultations with her to help me overcome so obstacles which I have been facing in supporting my teenage daughter who is currently recovering from Anorexia Nervosa and depression. Eva’s compassionate, friendly and genuinely caring approach combined with her very well informed, helpful and practical advice left me feeling inspired, reinvigorated and superbly well supported. Thank you, Eva. You are doing amazing and important work.

  6. C said:

    Dear Eva
    I have only had a couple of skype calls with you so far but I wanted to let you know how helpful it has been to feel truly understood.My YA daughter has been ill for many years and is not really wanting to recover.
    It has really helped to practice difficult conversations. In the panic of an overwhelming ED situation I feel so muzzy-headed but this time I remembered your words and my daughter’s distress slowly diffused. With your kind and compassionate words in my head I don’t feel quite so alone and incompetent. Thank you Eva

Leave a Reply

I always appreciate comments. Parents, remember to respect your child's privacy in this public space. If you're suffering from an eating disorder, please don't post here but do get real help. All explained in my comments policy here.

*

WordPress Anti-Spam by WP-SpamShield