Description of the Book

You have just been told your child has an eating disorder. You go on the Internet and look up "eating disorders" at an on-line bookstore and find that there are over 700 books written on the topic. You begin to feel overwhelmed and confused - how can you get the straight answers you need?

This guide is designed to be an introductory resource to help you and your family learn what you can do when your child has been diagnosed with an eating disorder. There is currently an overwhelming amount of information available; some of it is scientifically sound, and some of it is not. Parents who are interested in understanding their child's eating problems and learning how to help are often in the difficult position of trying to distinguish between accurate information and unfounded theories and opinions. While we cannot answer all of your questions in this guide, we do want to help you sift through the overflow of information that is available. Our goal is to provide practical, concrete advice to help you manage this difficult time in your family by translating the latest scientific findings into understandable, useful guidelines for you and your child to use at home.

At the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders, we work with families in which a member has been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or an eating disorder-NOS (not otherwise specified). We are committed to the scientific study of eating disorders and the importance of using treatments that have been evaluated and proven to be effective. At our clinic, parents have expressed confusion about the multitude of myths that exist regarding why eating disorders develop and what is necessary to treat them. Meanwhile, adequate resources to help parents learn about eating disorders have not been readily available. This guide emerged as we began to put together resources for the families we treat at our clinic. We hope this book will be like having your own eating disorders expert by your side as you try to find the answers that are right for your family.

This workbook is divided into seven chapters, each addressing a different aspect of your child's eating disorder. Within each chapter, we debunk common myths about the topic, highlight the latest scientific research in the area, and respond to the questions we hear most frequently from the families at our clinic. In addition, we include descriptions of real clients and their families who have faced different challenges in their struggle with disordered eating. Each chapter includes interactive exercises so that you can apply what you have learned to your own family. Finally, each chapter ends with a list of resources to help you learn more about the topics most relevant for your family.