The book: table of contents

Last updated on August 9th, 2020

If your son or daughter has an eating disorder, these pages will help you right away

Entire chapters of the book are on this website. Follow the links on the table of contents below, and in a short while you will know:

  • the essentials about eating disorders
  • how to help your son or daughter recover from anorexia right now

If you're searching for something in particular, you may find this other, more detailed table of contents helpful. It includes page numbers for the paperback.

Amazon review-anorexia-life saver

1. How this book can help you (Entire chapter HERE)

An overview of the help I’d like to offer you in this book and some suggestions on how to find your way around the information fast.

2. How does an eating disorder affect you and your child?  (Entire chapter HERE)

What’s going on in the mind of someone with an eating disorder? And what’s it like for you the parent? The aim of this chapter is to lead the way to understanding and compassion for yourself and for your child.

3. The parent's part in diagnosis  (Entire chapter HERE)

Find out how eating disorders are diagnosed, the pitfalls you can guard against, and get tips on how to get expert care without delay.

4. Treatment: the essentials (Entire chapter HERE)

The essentials for a parent who wants immediate answers: what are the main principles of the treatments covered in this book, and how long before you can expect some relief?

5. What parents need to know about the causes of eating disorders (Entire chapter HERE)

There are many outdated theories about what causes eating disorders. Here’s what you need to know so that you can focus on what matters. If your mum thinks you gave your child an eating disorder, show her this.

6. Practical steps to help your child beat the eating disorder (HERE)

An eating disorder affects almost every aspect of our children’s lives. Here is an overview of what you can do to systematically weaken its grip and get your child back. We cover 'magic plate', meal plans, portion sizes, bingeing, purging, school, bedtime…. This chapter covers everything to get you started.

7. How do you get your child to eat in spite of the eating disorder? (The bungee-jumping analogy)  (HERE)

In this chapter I give you all the tips I’ve learned from experience, from our therapists and from other parents. I’ll use a bungee-jumping analogy to illustrate the principles. Later, I’ll offer some examples using practical scenarios.

The bungee jump analogy - help your anorexic son or daughter to eat
Photo credit: Thank you to

8. See the tools in action: mealtime scenarios (HERE)

In this chapter I’ll give you examples of things to say and not to say when you’re supporting your child at mealtimes. This will help you keep calm and will help your child to pick up that fork and eat. I then offer a scenario in which parents assist their child to eat for the first time. This chapter uses many of the practical and emotional tools described throughout the book.

9. How to free your child of fears: exposure therapy  ( HERE)

Our children can remain stuck in an eating disorder while they’re scared of certain foods or situations. In this chapter I describe how they can be desensitised to their fears through systematic exposure. Then I’ll give you a practical example of a desensitisation session.

Exposure therapy for eating disorders: rip the bandaid is one option

10. The work towards to full recovery (HERE)

What's the work once eating and weight gain are secure? Our children need guidance and practice to master 'normal' behaviours and autonomy. Often people rush this phase, so learn to place safeguards as you experiment.  We look at school, exercise, holidays, recovering ‘normal’ eating, behaviours, beliefs and body image, preparation for college, relapse prevention, and total recovery.

11. Partners, family, friends and work: help or hindrance? (HERE)

How do you get your partner, your other children, your family, to function well as a team? What about the outside world, with its money and work concerns, and people who don’t understand this illness?

12. Which treatments work?  (Entire chapter HERE)

What are the principles of successful therapies? What should you look for when choosing a therapist or treatment centre? And what are the red flags for poor treatment? I tell you more about family therapy, Family-Based Treatment (FBT), Maudsley, CBT and other approaches, suggest how to work in partnership with clinicians and look at when it might be better to find a new team. I also highlight what to look for in psychological support for yourself.

When anorexia hits strong, your child needs rescuing

13. Powerful tools for well-being and compassionate connection (HERE)

Having difficult conversation without walking on eggshells. How to communicate so as to guide your son or daughter through the toughest challenges, give them support, and help them thrive. This chapter addresses your emotional well-being as well as your child’s.

14. Love, no matter what: how to support your child with compassionate communication (HERE)

Has it become difficult to recognise your child? Do you struggle to help her as she flips between depression and aggression? Are you finding it hard to give unconditional love, and are you confused about rewards and punishment? In this chapter I offer you resources and examples to help you communicate with compassion and build connection.

15. How to build up your own resilience and wellbeing (HERE)

How to cope and even flourish: your wellbeing, your resilience, your strengths. Lots of tools and wisdoms so you can model wellness, be a lighthouse for your family, and thrive.

Resilience, survival for parents - eating disorder

Thank you (HERE)

Amazon review - anorexia best book

What parents say about the book

What professionals say about the book

2 Replies to “The book: table of contents”

  1. Hello. I am a desperate mom wanting to help my 15 year old daughter.
    I live in Johannesburg South Africa and this book is not available for us here.
    How can I go about getting a copy?

    1. Dear Vanessa
      I'm so sorry about your daughter. It is such a horrible and stressful time.
      You can buy my book as an ebook and get it right away.
      Or you can buy the paperback anywhere in the world from The Book Depository
      Details here:
      I believe that in South Africa, eating disorders are treated with the kind of psychoanalytical approach we have stopped recommending in the UK and many other English-speaking countries. Many parents who can't find a therapist offering family-based treatment are managing to do their own treatment at home with the help of books, websites and parents' online forums. There are also certified therapists who are willing to treat by Skype: And I can support parents (but it's not treatment for the child) by Skype:

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