Posts Specific to Eating Disorders

What is the Family Outpatient Program for Eating Disorders- Dr. Tony Paulson 

img  Family Outpatient Program is unique in that the focus of the treatment is to provide families with the tools and resources they need to facilitate their loved ones' recovery. Our philosophy in this program is recovery happens at home. The intensive treatment day is intended to give families the knowledge and tools they need to insure their loved ones recovers from their eating disorder. In addition, this program is designed to minimize any disruption to school or work schedule. For example, the intensive treatment day occurs on a Saturday so patients do not have to take time away from school and family members do you have to take time away from work or other commitments.

When do you know you are in the right type of treatment?  -Dr. Tony Paulson

This is a common question as patients and their loved ones struggle to find the best type and level of care. The goal of treatment is recovery so if you see improvement and movement toward recovery that would be an important consideration. Another thing to consider is whether the treatment is helping in your long term recovery. In other words are you learning things in treatment that will help you recover and stay recovered? The relapse rate for people suffering from eating disorders is nearly 50%. Why is this so high? Why do so many people after leaving treatment relapse? Part of the answer has to do with the level of family involvement in the patients treatment. Are the family members learning how to help their loved one sustain his or her recovery when she is no longer in treatment? I tell patients and their families that the combination of family involvement and treatment that leads to abstinence from their eating disorders is the right level of care for them as long as they do not need acute medical care. If the combination of family involvement and treatment is not producing a change in their eating disorder behavior a change in the treatment is warranted and can include more intensive family involvement or higher levels of treatment.

Promoting Healthy Body Image for Pre-Teens, Teens and Young Adults (Part 1)  -Dr. Tony Paulson

Body image is the way you feel about your body and having a healthy body image influences your self-confidence and self-esteem. Conversely, having a negative body image often leads to not feeling good about yourself and even your abilities.  It also increases the risk for depression, substance abuse, and eating disorders. Raising children with healthy body images is crucial to their overall development and quality of life. Unfortunately, this task has become increasingly more difficult with societal pressure to look a certain way and the almost constant pressure from social media to adhere to this ideal. In addition, the normal physical changes kids go through as they grow and develop can put added pressures on their body image.  For example, it is normal for kids to gain weight during puberty and for their bodies to go through several physical changes. Many kids are unaware of these normal changes and become anxious and distress when they occur. We, unfortunately, have created an environment in which healthy positive body image is difficult to attain for many kids. Lack of information about normal development, the unrealistic expectations we assign to body image and pressures created by social media to look a certain way all contribute to the struggles many kids have in developing and sustaining a healthy body image.

Check back soon for more about what specifically you can do as a parent to promote healthy body image with your kids.