Manipulation in Families with Eating Disorders

It is extraordinarily difficult and wearing for family members to deal with a child with an eating disorder. When manipulation enters, it is easy to lose recovery ground. Understanding and responding to manipulation with compassion and authentic expression can be achieved.

Treating Eating Disorders the New-Fashioned Way

The establishment and assuredness of a safe and trusting relationship between patient and therapist prior to making the transition from office to on-line, plus symptoms being well under control or gone, then YES, my experience has shown that continued progress and recovery is possible, particularly for eating disorder patients with underlying anxiety & depression.

Body Alterations and Enhancements: Positive or Negative

Media drives the cultural bus regarding body size and shape. Ways to alter and enhance our bodies are available through cosmetics and cosmetic surgery. Being tied to cultural dictates is not a statement of low self-worth; or is it?

Perfectionism: Inherited or A Psychological Solution?

There are many articles and research that reference Perfectionism. The term can be loosely thrown around to assume that all perfectionism is an inherited trait. This may be true for some, but not others. Perhaps psychological experiences influence a person's perfectionism. In either case, not enough is known or understood to assert causation.

Genes and Eating Disorders

The "idea" that eating disorders are genetic has yet to be proved. Despite all that we know, some continue to assert that causation is not multidimensional, but rather genetically determined. Some thoughts on the matter....once again.

How Family Becomes Food

There are many factors that contribute to eating disorders including family and relational issues. No blame....just all members accepting responsibility and learning how to change and grow.

Food is Family

Eating Disorders are destructive to the body, mind, spirit and relationships. Food is and ought to be pleasurable. Family events, rituals and celebrations involving food are often filled with anxiety and tension for those struggling with an eating disorder. This post is dedicated to finding joy and pleasure again in eating and in creating new memories around food.

Gratitude: What I Have Learned From My Patients

There is a very real relationship which exists between patient and therapist. It is a privileged one where respect, trust, safety and being responsible for how you respond and behave are possible and present. Being connected in this way contributes to my view of people that is whole and good and reinforces why healthy relationships matter so very much in life.

Why Do Women Trash Other Women's Bodies?

Comparing ourselves to others in an effort to form an opinion or decide what is appropriate for us is normal. Mean spirited criticism of others is different. When women devalue other women often competitive issues spurred on by internal and external forces are at play. What's the point in trashing someone else?

Eating as an Eating Disorder Therapist

Eating normally as an eating disorder therapist is vital. The obvious issue is how can you help someone when the therapist's eating is not normal. Sometimes, unfortunate, funny, odd sequences of events happen. Some thoughts on this as a professional at a dinner party who left hungry.

Duplicity, Lies, Manipulation, and Eating Disorders

Many patients with eating disorders lie about their symptoms to cover up. For some patients, manipulating and lying to others is painful and shameful. For other patients, deceiving others and covering up their symptoms is a way of life. Here are the recovery issues facing these different types of patients.

Sexual Satisfaction and Eating Disorders

Many patients with eating disorders struggle with sexual intimacy and satisfaction. The literature tends to report on the physiological, biological and sometimes psychological states regarding sexual disinterest and inhibition. Understanding how women with eating disorders feel about sex, their bodies and intimacy is important.

Growing Old, Hollywood, Culture and Loss

Our culture continues to glorify youth. Why are we afraid of aging? Though standards of beauty may change from small breasted to large breasted, from shorter to taller, from skinny to athletic, the emphasis on being young does not seem to change with media and cultural shifts. .

Culture Dictates the Standard of Beauty

Not only does our culture determine who is desirable, but it also attempts to manipulate our primitive and intuitive sense about who we deem attractive. Culture continues to win and has even given us permission to hurl insults at those who don't make the grade. What's the point?

Getting Well Ain't Easy

Patients with eating disorders struggle to get well. Sometimes despair, loss of hope and "why bother" attitudes set in. Finding and maintaining the motivation to hang in there involves commitment, courage and kindness. Relationships matter in recovery. Kind voices, empathy and trust in those around you can help maintain motivation.

Is the False Self really the True Self in Eating Disorders?

A typical understanding of eating disorders is that they serve a purpose to conceal and psychologically protect an individual. D.W. Winnicott coined the phrases, True and False Selves. Are the symptoms of an eating disorder an attempt at expressing and experiencing aspects of the True Self? Are symptoms useful?

Compassion and Eating Disorders this Holiday Season

When the symptoms of an eating disorder hit, they hit hard and often feel to the sufferer or appear to loved ones that the eating disorder has a mind of its own. Advice and tip columns accessible on the internet provide practical solutions to complex emotional states. How are they helpful?

Gluten-Free: Fad, Friend, or Foe?"

The newest life-style approach to healthy eating and living is Gluten-Free. Very true if you are a person with Celiac Disease-life and health saving, for sure. What about the rest of folks who have hopped on the band wagon of eating no gluten. Companies, shops and restaurants are making money, lots of it. Is gluten-free another quick fix attempt, or worse, eating disorder?

Fat Versus Eating Disorder

Americans are getting fatter. Does this mean therefore that everyone who is "triggered" to overeat really has an eating disorder? Perhaps understanding what motivates a "trigger" can shed some light.


SuicideGirls: " Women who commit ‘social suicide’ by refusing to conform to the American ideal of a beautiful woman, by refusing to fit in to the mold." Does alternative beauty need to leave some wondering whether or not its definition is linked with sensationalizing versus alternative or perhaps associated with low self-esteem?

Losing Perspective, Magazines and TV in NYC

Living and working as an eating disorder specialist in NYC offers many rewards and reflections on culture in the development of eating disorders. Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is unique in that the diagnosis is heavily influenced by cultural expectations regarding body size and shape. Media controls culture. Thoughts on changing attitudes without appealing to the media.

The Fear of Fat: What Does It All Mean?

Diets which severely restrict fat intake and eliminate all or most fat fail to work long term in keeping weight off. Yet, we repeatedly are led toward their claims of quick success - here are some thoughts about what the fear of fat means for the eating disorder sufferer and for the culture at large.

In Celebration of Life: Water May Be Too Much a Good Thing

Water….. replete with symbolism. Drinking clean water often represents the taking in of life, restoration, healing and celebration - except when there is a serious and life threatening condition known as Hyponatremia.

PTSD and Eating Disorders

Studies have demonstrated statistically significant links between patients who suffered abuse and the later development of an eating disorder. One of the primary purposes of eating disorder symptomatology is to avoid and cope with painful, disquieting or uncomfortable feelings or affect. The eating disorder serves both to distance oneself from these feelings or states as

EDs Across Cultures - Increasing in Prevalence & Awareness?

Eating Disorders are on the rise and perhaps so is awareness about their causes. Understanding can help in better prevention and treatment efforts.

Culture Provides Context, Not Cause

Culture provides the context for eating disorders to develop. Internal forces become externalized on to the body and idealized images regarding beauty and worth. What gets churned up in our life needs to find expression; eating disorders provide a way out of sorts.

"Coolness" associated with Celebrities with Eating Disorders

Is the "coolness" associated with celebrities with eating disorders causing more young people to develop eating disorders so they can be “cool” too?

Young Endurance Runners Draw Cheers & Concerns

I read the Sunday, November 4, 2012, NY Times article by Barry Berak, “Young Endurance Runners Draw Cheers and Concerns,” with an open mind and enthusiasm as a long time distance runner and someone who knows the psychological and physical benefits of running from a young age.

Celebrities with Eating Disorders

Seeking perfection and the lure of celebrity status is an attempt to feel stronger but it often backfires because the industry is so harsh and perfection is unattainable.

Eating Disorders and Social Anxiety

Individuals with eating disorders often report that their anxiety generally centers on fear of criticism or humiliation when in public or social situations. Typically, they fear being judged in both body shape and size and for how and what they eat