Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Help Your Teenager Beat An Eating Disorder

(James Lock, MD, Ph.D, Daniel Le Grange, Ph.D)

I finally finished reading this book last week. Really, it should have been the first book that I read when my son got sick a year ago. In fact, I think all pediatricians and therapists should have a stack on hand that they issue as "required reading" to all parents of newly diagnosed anorexia patients. It would be even better if it could drop into the lap of any parents suspecting their child to have an eating disorder.

The book outlines a step-by-step education process, starting with learning about the disease, understanding your child, finding appropriate treatment and ends with helping parents to be involved in all methods and processes. It took me months to cull together all this same information without the help of the book. If only I had known how thorough this book was, I could have saved myself a lot of time and energy.

I like that the researchers are pro-parent. I also like that they give a broad overview of all the research right at the beginning of the book. Lock and Le Grange like family-based-therapy and take the time to show you why the research backs up this treatment method, but they also show you the other points of view as well. I didn't feel like they were heavy-handed at all, but rather gave you all the information and let you decide for yourself. Lock and Le Grange also acknowledge that ideal treatment is not available for all patients, so they discuss the challenges and situations that many face and give suggestions for working with what is available.

For parents who have been in the trenches, fighting either anorexia or bulimia, this is a good refresher and reminder of some best practices. For the parent of the newly diagnosed child, this book is essential reading.

I paid about $12 for this book through Amazon.

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