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In a perfect world everyone would experience the powerful benefits of working with colour, wet-on-wet, light&darkness…
As an artist I’ve taken this type of “work” for granted- it’s as basic as breathing- but I do believe art evokes such deep emotion and response from both its creator as well viewer.
Many residential treatment programs incorporate AT within their weekly schedule for patients (and this is great!) but what about those that are not hooked into a IP/OP program that believes in multi-disciplinary treatment apporaches towards ED recovery? Finding an excellent AT is as difficult as finding fully trained and experienced medical Dr’s who have working knowledge of ED’s.
“Healing requires movement, inner movement
for change and growth. One of the greatest gifts of
our time is for encouraging such movement in artistic therapy.”
-Adam Blanning, MD
It’s encouraging to know that some incredible clinicians are furthering the research and support of the efficacy of Family-Based Therapy within treatment of adolescents who suffer from eating disorders.
As parents of eating disordered children we know how painful it is to watch our children succumb to this deadly disease. And what makes things even worse is not having treatment incorporate the entire family to best help, educate, empower and support not only our loved ones, but ourselves as well; and also to help heal and guide the family through the journey we take on the road towards our child achieving full recovery.
Dr Walter Kaye with the University of California, San Diego is heading probably one of the largest research studies jointly with Stanford School of Medicine to find the most effective FBT, BFT, and placebo controlled trials including more studies into the use and efficacy of fluoxetine (Prozac) in the treatment of adolescents who suffer from Anorexia Nervosa.
Dr Kaye is certainly not the only clinician to take the lead in pioneering this momentum, Dr Daniel leGrange from the University of Chicago, Eating Disorders Program also has conducted a 5yr NIMH study of similar worth, and at this time the data that has been collected is being sent for publication.
Too many today still adhere to a very outdated, erroneous and unproductive notion that dysfunctional families/parents are the sole cause of eating disorders. Yes, this is the 21st century, and when our daughter was diagnosed with AN last year, not only were we carrying very limited Karen Carpenter knowledge of ED’s, but to our complete shock and dismay, the hospital where our daughter spent the next 20days- along with the next year of hit&miss follow-up outpatient treatment- had Dr’s, nurses and staff who seemed to be practicing a very draconian and almost at times inhumane form of ED treatment/care with even less experience and knowledge, and horrifyingly no real training and background in ED’s, and how to help sufferers and their families/carers beyond the basic ”medical stabalization”. I never would have imagined through our experience, how backwards and utterly frustrating this road to finding quality, intelligent, evidenced-based and compassionate care would be.
So there is continued reasons to be hopeful and remain optimistic that at some point ED treatment and standards of care will indeed get better, and our voices will be heard, blame will take a vaporizing exit, and efforts and focus will stay centered towards much more rational, ethical, affordable, and compassionate care for ED’s.
Some reviews have been posted for Victoria Zackheim’s new anthology For Keeps: Women Tell the Truth About Their Bodies, Growing Older and Acceptance worth taking a look at as well and reading her latest work.
Words and our collective voices have the power to heal. Of course that task is not so straight forward in ED recovery of our children, but they too need to find their way back to their true Selves pre/post-ED; get beyond the entrenched self-loathing, negative self-talk perpetuated by malnutrition and rigid/ritualized behaviors. And through regaining their health, with continued love and support, they begin to slowly find their own sense of strength, determination, self-acceptance and healing.
Zackheim’s collection of essays is especially meaningful for mothers and daughters, reconnecting to one another and finding joy vs abhorrence through our stages of Life and change, which society and our culture still seem hellbent on perpetuating unrealistic ideals.
Parents need to maintain a sense of themselves, separate through their child’s recovery from an eating disorder. They need to take time for themselves, self-care/self-love, and for one another, as a family with other siblings, and within a marriage, relationship. It’s important to find others who support and comfort you through your child’s illness, and other parents who share your struggle are absolutely invaluable in helping one another which culminates its own collective of powerful and healing stories.