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The European Eating Disorder Review published two interesting case studies utilizing the NF therapuetic intervention which resulted in some differences (though it appeared both participants found the method beneficial from their personal feedback) which involve three distinct Sessions:
- Session 1 – Neuropsychological Assessment
- Session 2 – Feedback, Formulation & Target Setting
- Session 3 – Reflection
Researches Carolina Lopez, Marion Roberts, Kate Tchanturia and Janet Treasure make clear that these results are preliminary and indeed need further development and study, but that they show promise towards working individually with AN sufferers (I would also think this modality can be implemented and fine-tuned specifically within the other eating disorder spectrum/diagnosis’ as well) and their distinct cognitive processes that can be or become increasingly rigid, singly focused, and inflexible keeping one “stuck” (my words) in a repetitive cycle usually not helpful for an eating disorder sufferer. The “aim of the intervention is to help individuals transcend their information processing styles and develop a more balanced strategy in their relationship with food and shape/weight“.
What stood out positively within the study was pointing out that there is no “right or wrong” in terms of a sufferers cognitive style, and that the emphasis was not to constantly drill a negative personal message of something being “wrong” with an individual. But rather, using the modality to assist in being able to “step back” (where the reflection session comes in) and gain some personal perspective, more reflectively to “problem solve” and restrategize what may be perpetuating a cyclical unhealthy processing in terms of the eating disorder and cognitive-rigidity; and expand a broader scope to better assist and support the sufferer within continued recovery.
What also stood out to me personally in reviewing the case studies was a reflection upon how “acting quickly”, finding treatment, experienced and trained providers, and having a “plan of action” earlier vs later cannot be understated. And sometimes you have to really be a bug up someones arse to get things moving and changing, or finding better care if you’re not getting the services you or your loved one need– so don’t give up, keep plugging forward — everyday is a new beginning.
As any writer knows, the power of words can be Herculean.
Reuters Health briefly highlights a ‘applied text analytic methods’ study carried out by Dr Markus Wolf at the University Hospital Heidelberg in Germany that can be helpful towards improved therapeutic treatments, and better understanding of the cognitive processing of the eating disordered brain.
Many of us, as parents with children suffering from an ED might also know how delicate, negative, and self-defeating our childs’ thoughts, behaviors, and words can be to themselves- especially when we know how this illness robs our children of their true selves during treatment and recovery.
That’s why it’s even more vital to remind ourselves first and foremost: we are not to blame or at fault for our childs’ eating disorder; and secondly, to separate your child from the eating disorder/illness, especially at the most difficult moments through refeeding, treatment and recovery when it can be the most challenging thing to remind ourselves of.