Solange Cook, Catherine Doyen

Fifty Exercises to Overcome Anorexia Publication date : May 15, 2008

This concise practical guide to eating disorders for adolescent girls from 12 to 18 aims to help them: understand their anorexia, know themselves better, find the energy and desire to change, turn to their families and friends, learn how to ask for help, take control of their eating habits, drive out anorexic thoughts, change certain forms of behaviour, accept their bodies, accept themselves, assert themselves, treat themselves well, start wanting to grow up, relinquish excessive perfectionism, and overcome anorexia confidently and with hope.

Included here are 50 fun-to-do exercises (drawings, letters) that are designed to help teenagers apply the contents of each chapter to their own particular cases.

The reader keeps a diary in which she writes every day. She can go back to it, reread entries and make changes and additions.

If the reader is undergoing a particularly severe anorexic phase, the “diary” becomes a “correspondence notebook”, which the teenager uses to communicate with her therapist or parents. The letters become part of the therapy.

Although anorexia strikes teenage girls more than any other group, there is a lack of appropriate reading material for them. Most existing books are personal testimonials, novels or else overly difficult works for adults and specialists.

The originality of this book resides not only in the content but also in the form: it is a logbook, simultaneously a diary and a workbook.

The authors, two of the top specialists on anorexia, work in one of the best child psychology hospital units in France. They have treated anorexic teenage girls for more than fifteen years.

Solange Cook-Darzens, a psychologist and family therapist, works in child psychology at Hôpital Robert-Debré, in Paris.

Catherine Doyen is a medical psychiatrist at Hôpital Sainte-Anne and at Hôpital Robert-Debré, in Paris.

Together they created a unit specialising in the treatment of eating disorders in children and adolescents, at Hôpital Robert-Debré.