Last updated on September 14th, 2023
"Best book ever"
From certified eating disorder therapist AND parent who's been through this AND a coach to parents, Caroline McCarter Wood
"Your work is a tremendous source of information and support"
This is from Daniel Le Grange, co-author of the FBT manual and of the most thorough studies on family-based treatment. He is Benioff UCSF Professor in Children's Health, and Eating Disorders Director, Department of Psychiatry, at the University of California, San Francisco. He also is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at The University of Chicago Medicine. Author of many books and scientific articles including these books:
“Clinicians can learn from this book”
This is from James Lock, other co-author of the above books and of the most thorough studies on family-based treatment.
Eva Musby takes as her starting point Family Based Treatment (FBT) – a therapy that encourages and supports parents to engage directly with changing the maintaining behaviors of anorexia nervosa – not eating enough, over exercising and any other unhealthy strategies for keeping weight at an unhealthy low level. She provides detailed, highly accessible descriptions of what worked for her family and for other families she knows who found ways to defeat anorexia nervosa. Importantly, she provides specific and clear answers to many common questions parents struggle with: how much do we feed her? How long do we sit at the table? Will we harm our relationship with him? How long will this take?
While clinical experts are certainly a part of her story, hearing how she and her family worked out the problems makes her account compelling and heartening to parents who will identify with the dilemmas faced.
Eva Musby uses her family’s story as the basis upon which to write a book that provides a practical guide for parents that brings to life the realities – good, bad, ugly, and beautiful – that are faced when helping a child recover from this terrible disorder.
Her style is a mix of matter-of-fact statements of what worked and what didn’t, and admission of the limits of her know-how. The result is a highly readable volume that offers practical solutions for parents to consider when helping their own child to recover for anorexia nervosa.
Therapists and other clinicians can learn from this book – not only about some of our own limitations and foibles that so often confuse and baffle the families we hope to help, but also about how we might better help families to understand those dilemmas and develop possible solutions to them.
James Lock, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, and Director of the Eating Disorder Program in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
"Brilliant for my patients and for our team"
“I am a family therapist working in the Maudsley Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders Service. Your book is packed with helpful information for parents and has been brilliant for my patients and for our team. It conveys the right message in an accessible way; that parents are an essential resource and with the right support can find their own strengths to support their child to recover. I often give parents the website link straight after the initial assessment, when I know the family is leaving the clinic feeling bewildered. Your book and video can help to sustain the family until we meet them again and guide them through the process of recovery. What you put across in your video about helping your child to eat really enhances what we convey to parents and families. I also show it in multi-family groups and in teaching the Maudsley approach to other professionals around the country."
Esther Blessitt, Senior Systemic Psychotherapist, writing on behalf of the Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders Service, Maudsley Hospital, London.
"Personal experience and expert knowledge"
“I recommend Eva Musby as a valuable source of emotional support and advice. Her personal experience is combined with an expert knowledge of the illness and treatment, as well as the compassion needed to support you to be firm with the illness, but empathic when your child is distressed.”
Sam Clark-Stone, Lead Clinician at Gloucestershire Eating Disorders Service, UK; Member of The Clinical Board of Advisors at BEAT
"Highly recommend to all parents"
"My colleagues and I routinely direct families to your website and very highly recommend your book to all the parents who attend our service. An extremely helpful and practical adjunct to attending sessions at CAMHS."
Eating Disorders Service, Harrow CAMHS, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.
"As eating disorder clinicians we find Eva's resources invaluable. Eva's videos and articles are relevant and we share them often with parents, carers and clients."
Kristen Anderson, co-founder of Chicago Center for Evidence-Based Treatment, certified family-based treatment provider and supervisor, faculty member and managing director of the Training Institute for Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders, and formerly Clinical Director at the University of Chicago Eating Disorders Program
"This is by far, by leagues, by legions, the most practical and outstanding advice for parents or caregivers battling an eating disorder in their child. Eva Musby helps parents see the light at the end of the tunnel, while giving them tools to chug along the entire way through the nearly airless space that same tunnel represents. It is comprehensive in its scope, but not overwhelming – every chapter has scenarios and suggestions that can only be learned and taught this well by someone who has lived this and come out the other side.
Ms. Musby clearly has a great deal of respect for caregivers and sufferers alike. There is a humility to her writing that makes it clear that every parent and child must find their own way into recovery together, but a confidence and knowledge that leaves the reader feeling more capable and calm than they imagined they could feel.
I love that this guide is evidence-informed but full of parent wisdom. This book distils all the sticky, challenging, fearsome things that both patients and their families encounter when faced with an eating disorder: from noticing the problem to finding effective treatment to refeeding and beyond….back to life and a child or adolescent who can live and eat and be free.
I will be recommending this to every parent or caregiver I encounter in my practice, as well as every health provider working with our patients. It is that good."
Dr Rebecka Peebles, MD, Co-Director, Adolescent Medicine, Eating Disorder Assessment and Treatment Program, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Dr Peebles also said this:
"I believe that bad therapy is worse than no therapy. So when I get a call from parents … if they cannot access someone who can work with them and their family in a respectful manner then I guide them to Lauren Muhlheim's book, Eva Musby's book, Laura Collins, and FEAST and… That's what I guide them to and I try to empower them to pull themselves up and try to do this more on their own. I know that's really scary, and I'm not saying it's ideal but it's better than working with a crummy therapist who undermines you "
"Saved many of my patients from admission to hospital"
From a GP (General Practitioner/Family doctor) whose child was diagnosed with anorexia:
"I cannot recommend Eva's book more highly. I have first hand experience of the terrible toll that this horrific illness visits on its victim and their family.
As a General Practitioner who sees many children and adolescents suffering from eating disorders, Eva's book is the first book I recommend to frightened families trying to make sense of what has happened to their child. I keep copies on my bookshelf and loan them out at their first appointment with me. When these families return for their next appointment, they have usually managed to read the first few chapters. I can see that they feel stronger as a result, empowered to take their first vital steps towards their child's recovery.
I know without a doubt that Eva's book has saved many of my patients from admission to hospital and started them and their caregivers on the journey towards recovery.
I wish I had known about Eva's book before a traumatic, prolonged hospitalisation and a series of misguided 'experts' made our situation even worse. This book was the first true light at the end of a long, dark tunnel and offered us hope that we could defeat this disease. Every page resonates with the kind of compassion and wisdom that can only come from someone who has experienced this illness in a loved one. It is a thoroughly researched, comprehensive guide on eating disorders and on family based therapy as the most effective form of treatment.
As a mother, I can truly say that this book saved us. I accrued more correct information about eating disorders from Eva' book than I had in my twenty five years as a doctor. It made us feel that we could get through this nightmare and equipped us with understanding, strength and hope when we had so little of these left.
I wish we had known about Eva's book as soon as my daughter was diagnosed: it would have saved us from many wrong turns as we stumbled along in the dark. I am proud to recommend her book as part of the treatment programme I offer my patients.
"This is amazing! I am truly gobsmacked. I have devoured (!) the excellent chapter on helping your child to eat, with the superb bungee jumping analogy. I'd like to share it with our carers' group. If I am invited to review your book for any of the journals you may be sure I will give it a very positive review."
Dr E Jane B Morris, Consultant Psychiatrist, The Eden Unit for eating disorders, Royal Cornhill NHS Hospital, Aberdeen and Chair of what used to be the Scottish Eating Disorders Interest Group (SEDIG)
"As a team dedicated to family based treatment, we have been really impressed by the information and support in your book and frequently recommend it to parents and carers of the young people we treat."
Marc Clegg, Clinical Nurse Specialist in adolescent eating disorders, Parkview Clinic, Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS trust
"The MFT Community Eating Disorder Service frequently refer to Eva’s book and online help sheet in its work with children, young people and their families, and find them to be an invaluable resource."
Rachelle Davies, Senior Eating Disorder Practitioner, MFT CEDS (Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust Community Eating Disorder Service (Note that they also kindly got my help sheets translated into Urdu)
"A great book"
Tweet from Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder Team, part of Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust:
“As a child and adolescent psychologist specializing in eating disorders, I believe strongly that parents are the patient’s most valuable resource in recovery. But when parents are in the trenches with their children, they desperately need support, guidance, and reassurance.
At last, here is a book written for parents, by a parent, which offers priceless insights from those who have gone through this horrible illness with their children and come out the other side. Parents who read this book are arming themselves with practical skills and unique perspectives that only a fellow parent can provide. I strongly recommend this book to all parents who are facing this daunting illness in their child.”
Dr Sarah K. Ravin, child and adolescent psychologist specializing in eating disorders, www.drsarahravin.com
"This is really good work. As a readable compilation of what is known and what we hope to know, it is great. In speaking with the clear, humorous and wise voice of one parent to another, it is pretty much the best I have read. […]Eva, as you know I am a pediatric eating-disorder doctor and I highly recommend [your] video for parents. Well done.”
Dr Julie O'Toole, MD, MPH, founder and Chief Medical Officer, Kartini Clinic, Oregon, USA
"Training of practitioners, support of carers"
“Eva’s book (along with her many resources) is an invaluable addition to the training of practitioners and the support of carers navigating treating for an eating disorder. Not only are the metaphors and resources superior to many of those published by clinical experts in the field but knowing that they have been developed by a carer who has walked the walk is incredibly encouraging and containing for both families and clinicians”.
Dr Kiera Buchanan, Director, Centre for Integrative Health – Psychology | Nutrition | Movement – Queensland, Australia. Clinical & Health Psychologist, Board-Approved Supervisor, Credentialed Eating Disorder Clinician
Dr Jennifer Gaudiani, or "Dr G", is the author of the fantastic book "Sick enough: a guide to the medical complications of eating disorders", the medical director of the Gaudiani Clinic, and I love the writings and YouTubes she produces.
"A fabulous resource"
"Eva Musby writes beautifully about her experiences of having a child with an eating disorder, in Britain and treated within the NHS. Her writing will speak straight to you, will inform you, whilst not preaching at you.Every family is different and will have different experiences but the core parts of the illness are the same. The unique way Eva has compiled this book — written over time with feedback and comments from subscribers — means she has drawn on more than her own experiences. We have been sharing the book with families in treatment and know how helpful it has been to them, as they are under huge pressure as the central resource for their child in overcoming an eating disorder. Eva expands on her personal journey, which helped her with these challenges. This is a unique contribution to the current literature written by parents. Eva Musby's book is brave, insightful, accessible, unique and above all a fabulous resource for parents and carers with a child with an eating disorder, written by a fellow parent who knows what it's like."
Charlotte Oakley, Clinical Lead, Connect-Eating Disorders, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Team, UK
"What no one else does: the HOW"
“Parents are starting to understand the WHY and the WHAT they must do when a loved one has a restrictive eating disorder, but Musby does what no one else does: shares the HOW. Parents need solid tools, tips, and problem-solving. Open any page in this book and you’ll find a bit of the hard-won advice that parents around the world are teaching one another. Read this book to join the growing movement of parents who are saving their sons and daughter’s futures and their lives through good information and action.”
"A real help"
"I am working with a mother who is finding your book a real help at the moment. […] One of my families had read your section on mealtimes prior to doing the FBT Family Meal in the clinic. They found it really helpful and brought lots of great ideas in to the session. […] The section on managing at mealtimes is so helpful. Love the bungee jump idea."
Karen McMahon, Specialist in Family-Based Treatment, Connect-Eating Disorders, Glasgow
"I love the ‘voice’ that you use to write – so often I have read patient’s/parent’s/service-user’s blogs, and have found them so inaccessible due to an aggressive ‘wronged’ approach, or lecturing approach, or moaning [!] or worst of all, the strident expert who really, really isn’t! Your book reads with real compassion, reassurance and excellent knowledge with the strong back story of experience. I can imagine if I was a parent reading this I would find it tremendously comforting and reassuring as well as empowering."
From our General Practitioner
"I keep 2 copies of this book in my office at all times so I can lend it out and/or highlight certain sections. It is one of the most practical, well written 'how to do this terrible job' books I have seen yet. Parents and care givers will love all the great tips and all the ways they learn to cope when their child has anorexia nervosa. Clinicians will also learn a lot about how anorexia 'acts' which is crucial to being a well informed and effective clinician."
"Always available in my pocket"
Eva’s Bitesize is a very different resource to the usual academic texts and is rooted in the compassion and love that a parent or caregiver has for their child suffering with an eating disorder.
Whether you are a parent or clinician, you want the information that you need, when you most need it. So the audio clips help me to feel more assured and confident, as they are always available to me in my pocket for when I may only have minutes to search and recap on any clinical issue that I’m working with.
In addition to the wealth of information in there, the Bitesize search function is invaluable for when time is limited and you just need jargon-free advice and ideas to share with families. As most families may only receive an hour or so of a clinician’s time in any one week, signposting families to relevant audio clips helps to empower them. The information is at parents' fingertips to guide them to take the most appropriate action for their situation. It helps parents to harness their skills in compassionate persistence, to contain their child’s anxieties and perhaps most importantly to gain their trust in the very necessary process of recovery from their eating disorder.
John Hier, Senior Eating Disorders Family Therapist. NHS Gloucestershire