Viewing blog posts categorized under "Anorexia Nervosa"

Finding Your Sass

posted by Julie O'Toole on August 29, 2018 at 10:51am

When I first thought about writing this blog I had patients with anorexia nervosa in mind. Patients with AN often struggle to find their voice, regardless of how smart, competent and encouraged they may be by others. On the other hand, our patients of high body weight for whom metabolic problems have lead to obesity, can have the same problem: shame and self-loathing has made them reluctant to use their voice, to fight back.

Unfortunately, “finding their voice”, a commonly stated…

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20 Tips and Tricks for Re-Feeding Your Child

posted by Julie O'Toole on May 11, 2018 at 10:42am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the past 20 years (yes 20!) of re-feeding children with eating disorders, we at Kartini Clinic have learned some tips and tricks, which I thought I would pass along. Whether you are re-feeding a child at home or in a clinical setting, I hope these pointers can be helpful to you.

Remember: even though life stops until you eat and that without weight restoration you will get nothing, there are ways to help make the process less painful and more…

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A Parable for Staying the Course in Treatment

posted by Julie O'Toole on April 6, 2018 at 1:22pm

Have you ever heard of the ancient Chinese book called the I Ching, also known as The Book of Changes? If you were young during the 60’s and 70’s, I bet you have, otherwise, probably not. Sources of inspiration, when doing really complex and challenging things, such as re-feeding a sick child who resists and resents your efforts, can come from unexpected places. For me, this week, that source of reflection was the I-Ching, as I remembered a story in it about a fox.

Wikipedia says:…

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The Use of NG tubes in Pediatric Eating Disorder Treatment

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 18, 2018 at 12:14pm

It's funny what one gets criticized for. Recently a couple of young patients have let me know that some other eating disorder providers in our community have tried to steer them away from Kartini Clinic because “Kartini Clinic just shoves a tube in everyone”.  You can imagine this was rather startling to hear. And -- goes without saying, I hope! -- quite untrue.

The history of nasogastric (NG) tube use at Kartini Clinic is this: on our pediatric inpatient unit we have always been…

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Thanksgiving with your child

posted by Julie O'Toole on November 21, 2017 at 10:56am

Here we go into our season of Thanksgiving again. And we, at Kartini Clinic, give thanks for a lot of things: for the healing of our patients, for the continued evolution of  (more) affordable healthcare for families, for enough food to put on the table, for the health and safety of our loved ones. 

That’s the good side of Thanksgiving for us, but there is a challenging side as well.  Thanksgiving is not just about gratitude in this country.  Traditionally it has also been about…

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Back To School And The Risk Of Relapse

posted by Julie O'Toole on September 28, 2017 at 10:51am
 

When you practice as long as I have in the field of childhood eating disorders, one thing becomes abundantly clear: there are cycles to the frequency with which patients appear on our doorstep for treatment -- and on the doorsteps of all the other treatment centers as well. The trouble is, it has proven difficult to understand the peaks and troughs of these cycles and correlate them to much of anything. But there do seem to be a few tentatively recognizable patterns. And these…

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The Importance of Parent Groups

posted by Julie O'Toole on August 17, 2017 at 9:06am

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…

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To The Bone: What You Should Know

posted by Morgan O'Toole-Smith on July 20, 2017 at 9:41am

 

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…

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Why Animal Therapy?

posted by Julie O'Toole on May 25, 2017 at 9:35am

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.

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The Role of Parents in Treatment

posted by Julie O'Toole on April 27, 2017 at 9:30am

This post was originally published on December 16, 2015. 

Possibly nothing has changed so much over the last ten years as the acceptance of parents’ role in the treatment of children and adolescents with eating disorders.

When I founded Kartini Clinic in 1998, “dysfunctional” parents were widely considered to cause eating disorders in general and anorexia nervosa in particular. Toxic and enmeshed mothers were commonly cited by therapists, doctors and lay people as the common…

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