Being a young person of 13-20 years is a turbulent experience. This is a time of inner conflict and a search of oneself. It is a difficult time for their parents as well, as they feel how much teens want to belong and be separate at the same time. It is particularly hard and even dangerous time when the teen has an Eating Disorder. I have a very extensive experience working with teens. I really enjoy helping them find that balance of listening to themselves and being true to themselves with their responsibilities to their families. I base my approach to treating teens with eating disorder on the following 3 components:
1. Every individual is unique.
I truly believe that there is no one treatment fits all and it is important to really listen and try to “get it”. I empower my clients to be true to themselves and tailor treatment to fit individual challenges and needs.
2. Family is very important.
Having and eating disorder is usually very isolating and lonely experience and the more teen removes herself from her family, the more eating disorder thrives. I always find a way to engage family, provide support and resources. I use Family Based Treatment (FBT), which is the only evidence based treatment for anorexia. I also use Emotionally Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) approach to empower caregivers and help them find a way to help their loved ones, when nothing else seems to help.
As a parent myself, I realize how much guilt and shame comes to our lives as soon as we become parents and learning how to navigate between personal needs, needs of the family members and pressures of the society is the key to having an empowered family.
3. The strength is in numbers.
Research into the effectiveness of Eating Disorders treatment showed that the multidisciplinary approach is the most effective. I always collaborate with the client’s team: physician, dietitian, psychiatrist, school, sport club etc. Coordinating care is a key to success to treating Eating Disorders.