Viewing blog posts categorized under "Eating Disorder Treatment"

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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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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Self Punishing

posted by Julie O'Toole on August 4, 2016 at 10:31am

One of the lesser known symptoms of early onset anorexia nervosa is “self abnegation” or even “self punishment.” Although these symptoms can be seen in older patients (adolescents) too, our experience has shown it to be most common in the younger patients. And most heartbreaking too.

What does it look like? Well, let me tell you, it is torture, both for the child as well as for the parents. It looks like this:

The 12 year old boy of very engaged and devoted parents who calls…

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About Food: Corn

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 28, 2016 at 12:54pm

Over the next few weeks I am going to do a series of blogs on food.  No surprise, I imagine, but by “food” I mean “ingredients”.

At Kartini Clinic we spend our lives restoring the health of our young patients. Their families look to us for advice, sensible advice, about food and eating and this series is part of that. Our therapists turn out to be (almost) as interested in food and good food as our kitchen crew, and our parents often equally so. But in the case of our parents they…

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Can Measuring Leptin Lead to Happiness?

posted by Julie O'Toole on August 19, 2015 at 2:27pm

In our clinic we spend a lot of time thinking and talking to our patients about the hormone leptin.

In another instance of the concordance of important findings to obesity science and eating disorder science, the study of leptin and body weight, leptin and menstrual function and now leptin and mood, has revealed relevance to both of these groups.   According to an article titled Leptin Predicts Decreased Depressive Symptoms, from the Neuroendocrine Unit of the Department of…

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Where Are The Grown-Ups?

posted by Julie O'Toole on August 5, 2015 at 2:00pm

I read an article on Medpage the other day - “Docs have Role in Preventing Childhood Obesity” - about recent recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which I found both annoying and discouraging in equal amounts.

First the annoying part: a prominent, almost certainly staged picture of two overweight children with their mouths open, watching TV, a huge spread of take-out food on the coffee table before them.  Who allows their children to be photographed like that?…

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Traveling with ED

posted by Julie O'Toole on May 28, 2015 at 1:48pm

I am writing to you from Berlin tonight and thinking about a recent article written by Dr. Bulik on the challenges of international travel for those with an eating disorder, in particular anorexia nervosa. In the article Dr. Bulik talked about time changes and irregular meals, of long distance transportation being a danger to those whose brain chemistry is less anxious when they don’t eat and more anxious when they do. It's how a person’s weight may slide down inadvertently, because…

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Connecting the Dots

posted by Julie O'Toole on February 6, 2015 at 4:33pm

Two current Kartini parents handed me an excellent article the other day whose lead author, Walter Kaye, is likely well known to our readers.  The article, Temperament-based Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa, appeared in the European Eating Disorders Review.

I was especially pleased to see this article, although many of us have heard Walt speak about meal planning and the latest neuro-biological and neuro-radiological evidence before.  Neuro-biological and neuro-psychological evidence…

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Game Plan For The Holidays

posted by Julie O'Toole on December 18, 2014 at 8:05am
Christmas is not just one single holiday at Kartini Clinic, it is several. In fact it’s a season involving many celebrations and special events. Some of our patients’ families do not celebrate Christmas as such, of course, but for those who do, some “highlights”: Baking… baking… baking. It’s a problem in many ways. And the truth is, no matter how appealing the picture of doing so may be, or how often it’s been done before in your family, probably not everyone should… Read More

What To Do With An Affected Parent?

posted by Julie O'Toole on November 5, 2014 at 9:15am
This blog is asking for help from those of you who have a child with anorexia nervosa but who may have experienced an eating disorder yourself. Any clinic or provider who treats pediatric eating disorders will sooner or later see children whose families have more than one affected (or partially affected) family member. This is the fancy way of saying that when you do a careful history you are likely to find other family members who have eating disorders in addition to the child.… Read More
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