At Kartini Clinic, we have had a parent support group from the beginning. At first my husband Steve and I led parent group. After a few years it was taken over by a much more competent leader, Kartini family therapist Leslie Weisner LMFT, in whose hands it remains today. As our program grew and developed we added more groups, all free of charge, for our patients’ parents. Jean Malnati, our parent advocate and herself a parent of a child with an eating disorder, leads the parenting…Read More
Viewing blog posts categorized under "Eating Disorder Treatment"
On Friday, Netflix released "To the Bone," a film about a young woman struggling with anorexia nervosa. The film has received a great deal of publicity, raising some questions and concerns among parents of children and adolescents with eating disorders.
Here are five questions you may have about the film.
My child is recovering from an eating disorder; should they watch this movie?
The question we would ask is why? If it is to gain “insight” into a complex brain illness in…Read More
8 AM: drop-off time at Kartini Clinic. It’s early, and patients and parents alike have a day of hard work ahead of them. But then... enter Ryla.
Family therapist Lisa Peacock says that one of her favorite moments of the day is seeing the mood in the waiting room transform when Ryla or Baxter, her two therapy dogs, run in to say good morning. That’s one of the simplest but most effective aspects of animal therapy: most people like animals, and having one around makes them happier.… Read More
Nearly every day I am anxiously asked whether or not our young patients can have rice “milk,” almond “milk,” soy “milk” or coconut “milk” instead of the whole milk that is on our menu. These inaptly named “milks” are about as related to milk as cheese whiz is to cheese, and although not harmful (and even delicious), should not be mistaken for the white beverage given to early mankind by dairy animals as a source of protein, fat, calcium and vitamins. They are perhaps more properly…Read More
1) Weight loss in children isn’t normal
Imagine you’re a parent of a bright, active 12 year old boy. He gets good grades and has lots of friends. He excels at sports. Then something changes; he begins to lose weight. At his last checkup his pediatrician registers a heart rate in the low 50s. He starts to withdraw, not doing many things he used to enjoy, with the exception of exercise. He now exercises with a new intensity.
His doctor tells you not to worry. “It’s just a stage”, she…Read More
It’s not every day that I read something forwarded to me by another provider in a related field that just stops me cold. This announcement by Dana Sturdevant, MS, RD was one such. In it Dana was advertising a webinar (How Healthism Overshadows Healing: Ethical Considerations in Treatment Planning) that she and her colleague Hilary Kinavey MS, LPC put together on the subject of “Healthism.” I had never heard the term, but the moment I read it I knew exactly what it must mean.
One of the challenges of swimming against the stream -- as when, for example, one insists that parents don’t cause eating disorders when many providers learn and believe otherwise -- is that you become a bit of a pariah. At a minimum, people will prefer to talk to those of their colleagues who think as they do.
So building a web of safety around our patients once they leave the immediacy of Kartini Clinic has been a challenge. What are the needs of our young patients once they leave…Read More
Setting a goal weight is not simple. And it is never harder than in a growing child, where it is a moving target.
I have written some rather lengthy guidelines for determining ideal body weight in the pediatric patient and about what we at Kartini Clinic call “state not weight.” Today, we use the term “goal weight” rather than “ideal body weight” as “ideal” has so much baggage.
Professor Bryan Lask once asked me to participate in a debate in an international journal about whether…Read More
Kids and animals, it’s magical. Although some researchers have tried to figure out why, exactly, really - who cares? Many a little kid, or even older kid, who refuses to talk to grown ups will happily spend time with an animal. Some find courage through the presence of one.
I remember a little boy who was sent to us from a distant hospital. They’d told us he was “the sickest kid they had ever seen” and that he “refused to talk to anyone.” Indeed, he was curled up into a ball in the…Read More
I was thinking about the notion of healing at our weekly All Staff meeting recently as we went through the recitation of our patients and examined their progress as a group. I can’t tell you how often we need to remind ourselves of that “fifth dimension” to healing: time. There’s a reason old fashioned physicians counseled younger ones to prescribe a “tincture of time” for many of the ills their patients experienced.
It’s actually a bit like baking bread. Bread needs basically five…Read More