How to Help Your Anorexic Child Publication date : May 25, 2009
Yves Simon is a psychiatrist-psychotherapist and the founder of a centre to treat adolescents suffering from eating disorders. He is the co-author (with François Nef) of Comment sortir de la boulimie (OJ Self-Help Guide, 2004) and Comment sortir de l’anorexie (OJ Self-Help Guide, 2002).
Isabelle Simon-Baïssas is a psychotherapist and social psychologist, with a doctorate in pharmacy.
Is your teenage daughter anxious about her weight? Is she losing weight? Are you worried? Why is her behaviour so destructive? Why does her personality seem changed? Is she anorexic?
As a parent, you are constantly worrying about what you should or should not do. You don’t know what attitude to adopt, and you fear you may aggravate the situation.
You want to help your child but she rebuffs you, telling you to mind your own business and affirming that she has no problems and that in any case she is old enough to take care of herself.
But you are right to worry, for, as her parent, you play an essential role.
The authors’ goal is to guide parents and to give them confidence to deal with their child’s anorexia. In this book, parents will find answers to their worries and, particularly, the advice they need to make sure they are giving their child the right form of support (principles to follow to take nutritional control, attitudes to be avoided, how to communicate, helping an anorexic child eat, enabling her to become less of a perfectionist, etc.).
Finally, parents will find much-needed support in the clear and committed advice given here — the result of twenty years’ experience treating eating disorders.
Parents used to be systematically blamed for the causes of eating disorders. They were distanced from the treatment and, in some cases, their presence was regarded as harmful. The mistaken opinions that resulted from this (never validated) theory persist and continue to intensify parents’ guilt feelings. Yet, recent studies show that parental involvement in an anorexic child’s treatment is the keystone of a successful cure.
The ideas expressed here are a landmark in the treatment of anorexia.