This is how it is from the view of sufferers
Its not just about being a good therapist. Or having the right tools. We must realise how scary change can be. We must know what isnt helpful - that's the subject of my next blog!
The client is the expert, not us, as Emma Woolf showed us in her memoire of recovery, “An Apple A Day”. But, the client still needs us by their side as what… A therapist? A mentor? A guru? They need our wisdom alongside their own. They need our sense of humour and basic optimism. They dont necessarily need our University Degrees. They certainly dont need "what worked for us".
This is what they tell us aids their recovery; in no order of importance
Reconnection: – but not, I think the pro anorexia, community. People way that doing things like YOGA JOURNALING and SPIRITUALITY helps them to reconnect to themselves. Therapists take note!
Close relationships: Knowing that your family and friends really care about you and you are in reach.
Statements of support: "I know you're trying" “I’m there for you” – what other statements are useful and what are not.? If someone says “You are looking better these days” it can send your client into a spiral of worry.
Empathetic Friends: Its useful if your friends know what they can and can't do and say.
Compassion: Eating disorders are such hard work.Compassion must flow from us to them and they need to learn to be compassionate for themselves whatever they are doing.
Therapy: it’s good to know that therapy helps as well, but looking forward is more important than looking back. Beware of therapists who don't know anything about nutrition, or the link between food and mood. But beware of therapists who focus on food instead of your general wellbeing.
Learning HOW to eat healthfully: Now there's a big chunk. There are so many food rules inside eating disorders, like being scared of carbs and counting all your calories. Wisdom, education, experimenting and reconnecting to natural cycles of hunger and satiety must be given by an expert not just someone who wants you to start eating more (or less).
This was in The Journal of Treatment And Prevention: May-June 2012
The NCFED website tries to provide this help to people with eating problems. If there is anything that we can do or write to help people on their recovery journey, let us know. A quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org will always guarantee a personal reply from the Founder, Deanne