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Books on Eating Disorder Treatment are Reviewed and Recommended




HAVE YOUR BOOK REVIEWED -- We are ACTIVELY looking for good eating disorder books to review. Mary Anne Cohen is the EDReferral.com professional book reviewer. One book will be reviewed each month. There is a small fee but the newsletter insertion is included at no additional cost. If you want your eating disorder related book reviewed in this newsletter-- and for more details, contact Mary Anne Cohen at the following: macohen490@aol.com.



November 2017: Brain Over Binge by Kathryn Hansen.(click on the image below to order the book)

Brain Over Binge by Kathryn Hansen. "Just Say No" became the anti-drug rallying cry of the 1980s. Kathryn Hansen applied a variation of this premise to successfully cure her six-year chronic anorexia, bingeing and compulsive exercise disorder. After reading Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction by Jack Trimpey, the author realizes that all her therapists were wrong: there were no underlying emotional problems triggering her eating disorder. She may have had emotional issues, but her eating disorder was provoked by her dieting and food restriction which snowballed into an addictive habit. Ms. Hansen paraphrases Trimpey, "Even if you solve problems of self-worth, self-awareness, childhood conflicts, you are still left with the urge to binge." Within the brain lies an "animal" brain determined to binge/purge because it falsely believes excessive food is urgent for survival. But you can enlist your "higher or human brain" to control and tame these cravings which will enable you to Choose not to binge. By reinterpreting her eating disorder as a "terrible habit," Ms. Hansen declares, "I pictured myself standing outside my own brain looking in, listening to those thoughts as if they were distant from my own. I reminded myself that my human, higher brain could choose not to respond to the lower brain's instructions. How empowering that felt." Our author demonstrates the brain's ability to rewire itself (neuroplasticity) as she withdraws her attention from her animal brain and reinvests it in her higher brain. In this provocative and informative book, Ms. Hansen shows how the brain can rewire itself, and she illustrates techniques to help people train themselves to observe their cravings, acknowledge them, and yet detach and resolve not to act on them. As a therapist myself in the field for 45 years, I must add that everybody's eating disorder is unique as a fingerprint. There is never a One-Solution-Fits-All approach for everybody, but learning a new method on how not to respond to the call of cravings can help everyone's recovery!

October 2017: Jean MacDonald, Survival of a Guinea Pig: Living with a New Vision (click on the image below to order the book)

Survival of a Guinea Pig: Living with a New Vision by Jean MacDonald This book is a cautionary tale. The author begins by recounting her health plights that began at age 26. She tells of developing an eating disorder in high school but  never spells out which one, although readers may surmise it was anorexia. Ms. Macdonald’s symptoms read like a series of Biblical plagues: dizziness, headaches, vomiting, damaged optic nerve with blindness in one eye, breast tumors, welts, coughing spells, anemia, hemorrhages, H-pylori, gall bladder removal, chronic nausea and vomiting. She describes consulting many different specialists who offered varying and contradictory diagnoses. Ms. Macdonald eventually became part of a Compassionate Program which provides drugs not yet approved by the FDA. She began the experimental drug Copaxone to save her sight which is targeted for relapsing multiple sclerosis. She injected this drug for 13 years. Ultimately she learns she was being prescribed such a high dosage that the medication had its own list of dangerous side effects. Ms. Macdonald finally says, “the truth and answers were discovered by a Neuro-Opthamologist as the result of an eating disorder.” In other words, she was suffering a severe vitamin deficiency especially of B12 brought on by her eating disorder. She has now improved by following a nutritional regime with vitamin supplementation as well as holistic and conventional health remedies such as chiropractic care. Survival of a Guinea Pig is the story of a sick woman who never gave up. She advises others to thoroughly investigate if they are prescribed an experimental medication. This book often feels like the author’s private diary with all the minute details included. Her grit and resilience are truly inspirational, although it is not clear how readers can apply her personal experiences to resolving their own eating issues.

Sept 2017: Iris Ruth Pastor, Tales of a Bulimic Babe (click on the image below to order the book)

Tales of a Bulimic Babe by Iris Ruth Pastor: Iris Pastor was bulimic for 45 years. Every single day she'd rendezvous with her lover, companion, and support system named ED (eating disorder) from the time she was 19 until age 66. In this sincere, sad, candid, and often humorous memoir, Ms. Pastor describes the when, where, why, and how of her lifetime relationship with ED and how she finally managed to recover after so many decades. On the outside, Ms. Pastor had a privileged life - a loving marriage, five children, author of a popular newspaper column and a motivational speaker. Yet, behind the scenes, she was obsessed with weight, bingeing, and her secret life of chronic purging. No one knew the real Iris. Although she called herself the "Guru of Coping," inwardly she felt like a fake and a fraud. We are astonished at her ability to juggle her two separate worlds and how gradually she melds them to become an integrated and authentic self. Ms. Pastor commits to breaking through her bulimia by cobbling together a series of Small Victories and pledging to, "Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." (quote by Robert Collier). She enrolls in outpatient treatment three days a week, becomes more reflective about her eating triggers especially fatigue and anger, studies mindfulness, joins Weight Watchers, takes up knitting, and, most importantly, implements her golden rule: No Purging, No Matter How Much You Eat! This memoir illustrates Carl Brand's dictum: "Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." We witness our author forging ahead, ruefully accepting her imperfections, and learning to relish her life with more peace of mind. Well written, instructive, and enjoyable.

August 2017: Lara Lyn Bell, Does This Feel Familiar (click on the image below to order the book)


Does This Feel Familiar?: For Mothers of Children Struggling with Eating Disorders. Parents who have a child with an eating disorder struggle with a wide range of emotions: disbelief, confusion, shame, blame, guilt, anger, and self-doubt. This book, written by “a collection of families, friends, and brave survivors” helps parents tackle their fears and create a treatment support team. Knowing you are not alone as a parent and that other families have gone through recovery with their child is deeply reassuring. The anonymous authors explain that an eating disorder may develop when a child has a combination of: 1. a genetic predisposition, 2. an anxious, people-pleasing or perfectionistic temperament, 3. intense emotional intelligence which makes a child hyper-sensitive to others and the environment. The authors include many clinical vignettes from mothers, fathers, siblings, afflicted kids, grandparents, and therapists to illustrate how families brought their child back from the brink of an eating disorder. Recommendations include individual therapy (for the child and the parent), family therapy, consultations with a registered dietician, and most of all solid advice about how a parent should not lose themselves to their child’s eating disorder. Too often parents allow themselves to get hijacked and neglect their other children, their spouse, and even their own self-care that will keep them strong in the battle of a child’s healing. Themes explored include a variety of treatment options, insurance issues, digging deep into how to make your family emotionally strong through honest communication as well as the possibility of turning to faith and service to others. This is a heart-felt book written by parents who have walked the walk and want to share what they have learned to spare other parents from starting at square one with a child’s recovery.

July 2017 (click on the image below to order the book)

Easy Fitness for the Reluctant Exerciser by Cinder Ernst. “Lose 10 pounds in 10 days!” “Get rock hard abs in just 4 weeks!" Advertisements constantly shriek at us to get in shape right now, no excuses, just do it! Cinder Ernst’s book, Easy Fitness for the Reluctant Exerciser is the antidote to all that pressure and anxiety which invariably sets us up to fail. Ms.Ernst, a personal trainer, life coach, and medical exercise specialist, encourages us to throw out that hype and to focus, instead, on a gentle, unhurried, self-loving and accepting program. For people who are intimidated by exercise, plus-sized, uncomfortable with movement, or stuck and frustrated, the author demonstrates with illustrations a series of simple yet powerful exercises for strength and flexibility. She describes the core of her program: Alignment (purposely imagining good-feeling thoughts to get you in the mood to exercise), Action (practicing the exercises in small, incremental steps), and Appreciation (to acknowledge with gratitude your willingness to do this program gently and with self- compassion). The author explains, “When you take any action from a place of blame or shame, your outcome is never really good or sustainable.” Easy Fitness teaches you how to listen to your inner body wisdom rather than reacting to your self-critical attacks. Patience, not punishment! Cinder Ernst is an enjoyable companion and guide as you strive to break out of your personal gridlock and embrace movement, grace, and growth. Your knees, hips, back, tush, and shoulders will thank you!


June 2017 (click on the image below to order the video)

VIDEO: Restorative Yoga for Anxiety, Stress Reduction & Body Awareness by Dr. Ann Saffi Biasetti. The treatment of eating disorders most often focuses on the “talking cure” of psychotherapy where people are encouraged to speak about their problems with food, anxiety, and depression in order to resolve these struggles. But what about the body which is the source of so much anguish and conflict for people with eating disorders? How do we integrate healing the body along with one’s emotions? Dr. Ann Saffi Biasetti, an eating disorder psychotherapist as well as a yoga therapist, offers a helpful way to make peace with your body through her Restorative Yoga program. In this video, the author explains that restorative yoga is known as the yoga of resting and digesting. “Restorative yoga has a powerful effect upon your nervous system bringing it back into balance and ease. It does this through gently opening areas of your body, especially your spine. When our nervous system is at ease, our breathing regulates, digestion takes place, and we come back into a balanced mind and body as one.” This hour-long video introduces a sequence of restorative poses that are intentionally designed to work with your nervous system to provide relief from anxiety, repair and refresh a stressed mind and body, and heighten healthy body awareness. The practice begins with an introduction to explain the poses, a beginning meditation to help you decide on a healing goal to focus on, a sequence of six simple, restorative postures, and a final meditation. Dr. Saffi Biasetti offers verbal instruction throughout as two women demonstrate these restful poses. Through this video, the author provides techniques that will help you regulate emotions and create a healthy relationship with your body which is the cornerstone of all eating disorder recovery.  http://www.anembodiedlife.com/restorative-yoga-video-course.



May 2017 (click on the image below to order the book)

Eating Disorders Anonymous By Anonymous Authors. In 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous was founded to help recovering alcoholics achieve and maintain sobriety. AA is based on a program of 12 steps and provides one of the gold standards of addiction treatment today. Many other programs evolved from AA - Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous. The program of Eating Disorder Anonymous offers a fresh and invigorating perspective to help readers recover from their eating problems. In this book, Eating Disorders Anonymous, 33 different authors contribute their powerful, honest, and poignant life stories of how they healed their eating disorders by working this program. While most Twelve-Step groups for eating disorders focus on abstinence and talk about food as if it were addictive, EDA does not. In EDA, the focus is on balance—not abstinence from anything. EDA encourages sound nutrition and discourages any rigidity concerning food, weight, and body image. EDA members don’t count anything—no weighing and measuring, no calorie counting, no scales, no numbers at all. Rather, EDA appreciates “milestones of recovery” - a self-defined marker on a person’s journey in recovery. Members underscore that even on your worst days, you need to also acknowledge the things you ARE doing right to support your recovery. Through attending self-help meetings (phone meetings also available), EDA readings, practicing the 12 steps, cultivating compassion and trust for yourself, making a conscious decision to rely on a Higher Power or a higher purpose, EDA believes you Can fully recover from your eating problems. The program’s motto is HEALTH: honesty, equality, accountability, love, trust and humility. This book is written from the heart and offers a program of hope and healing strategies for emotional eaters. Highly recommended!



April 2017

No review this month.


March 2017 (click on the image below to order the book)

Helping Patients Outsmart Overeating: Psychological Strategies for Doctors and Health Care Providers by Karen Koenig and Paige O’Mahoney. “You need to lose weight!” declares the doctor to every overweight patient (no matter what the patient’s complaints may be). But the frustration in achieving that goal is widespread and disheartening. Helping Patients Outsmart Overeating is a most valuable guidebook for those mapping their own growth, recovery, and self-care. This book - a collaboration by a medical doctor and a seasoned eating disorder therapist - puts the pieces of the puzzle together for physicians, health care providers, psychotherapists and their patients. Koenig and O’Mahoney first focus on the pitfalls of dieting and how restrictive weight loss plans are a set-up for failure, “Dieting is actually a proven risk factor for weight gain, weight regain, disordered eating, and, ultimately, weight cycling which contributes to the chronic diseases that weight loss is purported to prevent!” They then explore the “psychology of eating” and demonstrate step-by-step how dysregulated eaters can overcome their personal gridlock: (a) shift your attention from weight loss to creating a healthy life style; (b) learn to identify and resolve emotional triggers; (c) find ways to self soothe yourself that do not involve food; (d) appreciate your small steps of progress; (e) diminish the demands of perfectionism; (f) tune into your inner signals of hunger and fullness. The authors integrate the latest scientific research on Motivational Interviewing, Prochaska’s Stages of Change, the Health at Every Size movement, Intuitive Eating, and Lifestyle Medicine to demonstrate the myriad ways that people can reclaim their health and empower themselves to make lasting and sustainable improvements in their eating and weight. Each chapter ends with a questionnaire “Brain Food for Patients” and “Brain Food for Providers” to stimulate insight into one’s personal and professional pitfalls and to help patients and health care providers to communicate and collaborate more effectively. In a most original section, this book also challenges health care professionals to review and remedy their own relationship with food. After sharing their own stories of recovery, Koenig and O’Mahoney highlight the key ingredient to healing: “Self-compassion is actually a first step toward developing and sustaining wellness. It helps patients become more resilient in the face of lapses or failures.”


February 2017 (click on the image below to order the workbook)

Getting Over Overeating for Teens By Andrea Wachter, LMFT. Teenagers who overeat are often lonely, confused, ashamed, and secretive about their eating and weight issues. They suffer in silence believing they are the only ones in the world who struggle with food and hate their bodies. Fortunately, Andrea Wachter’s workbook comes to the rescue! Written in a warm, compassionate style, the author explains to teens how food has helped them cope with uncomfortable feelings – from insecurities to family stress to social isolation and loss. She teaches adolescents how to make sense of why they are overeating and offers healing strategies to overcome negative behaviors and thoughts. This workbook – a comprehensive, mini-course in adolescent overeating - is divided into 4 sections: Feelings, Thoughts, Taking care of your body, and How to fill up in non-food ways. Ms. Wachter, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, integrates behavioral and emotional techniques using the language of teens: “How to retrain your brain to new upgraded kind thoughts.” “The alternative to rigid black and white thinking is rainbow thinking where you open your mind to all options.” “Upgrade your internal soundtrack from critical to caring.” “Take care of your body with the same care you recharge your electronic devices!” She encourages teens to write out their thoughts and feelings in the pages of this workbook by offering structured exercises including (my favorite): writing a letter of apology to your body for the ways you have not taken good care of it. She shows how the teen can befriend her body by pointing out the wonder of how the body digests food, how it walks, breathes, laughs, and sleeps. This is an excellent and enjoyable hands-on resource for teens, their parents, and the health care professionals who treat them. Ms. Wachter dedicates this book to all teens who think that overeating is their only means of comfort and sweetness and adds, “May you find help, hope, and healing.” This workbook supplies heartfelt and healing nourishment in large portions!


January 2017 -- June 2016

No reviews these months.


May 2016 (click on the image below to order the book)

Measuring Health from the Inside: Nutrition, Metabolism & Body Composition By Carolyn Hodges Chaffee & Annika Kahm. This book provides an eye-opening look at understanding the role nutrition plays in eating disorders and the crucial need to monitor and measure "health from the inside." Very often people try to eat healthier and lose weight by consuming less protein, fat, or carbs. However, these nutritional deprivations can often result in harmful malnutrition and reduced calorie burning. In Measuring Health from the Inside, the authors point out that weighing a person on a scale does not provide sufficient information to help evaluate if someone has reduced metabolism or is malnourished. Malnourishment can occur with anyone, anywhere, at any time regardless of body weight. Symptoms of malnourishment include obsessive thinking, compulsive exercising, depression, insomnia, anxiety, and even the inability to lose weight. Chaffee and Kahm, two experienced nutritionists, describe valuable tools to the armament of treatment strategies: Metabolic Testing, a simple breathing test, determines how efficiently the body is burning calories, whether someone is malnourished, and how well the body is using protein. Body Composition Analysis, in which a small electric current is passed through the body, measures the amount of fat and lean tissue. Better than knowing a person's weight, these tests reveal a deeper and more accurate assessment of the patient's health or deterioration. Hopefully - the authors explain - these concrete tests will prove to patients in denial that their food restrictions are really doing internal damage to their bodies. And, hopefully, this awareness will motivate patients to make the nutritional improvements necessary to support better health and metabolism. The treatment of eating disorders remains a complicated task for patients, their families, clinicians, and medical professionals. These illnesses are psychological, emotional, and culturally-induced, biological, and defy easy resolution. Measuring Health from the Inside: Nutrition, Metabolism & Body Composition, is a thoughtful and significant examination of the role nutrition plays in resolving an eating disorder and restoring a person's physical and emotional vitality.



April 2016 (click on the image below to order the book)

Binge Crazy: A Psychotherapist's Memoir of Food Addiction, Mental Illness, Obesity, and Recovery by Natalie Gold. Natalie Gold's book belongs to the genre of "wounded healers" -- memoirs describing a person's decline into addiction and mental illness and their subsequent journey towards healing, and then on to become a therapist treating others. "Binge Crazy is a true story of how I lost my mind and ultimately came to my senses," begins the author who suffered from severe binge eating disorder, obesity, depression, a psychotic breakdown, and suicidal behavior. In this book, Ms. Gold purges every hurtful thing that was ever done to her especially by her mother who called her "fatandugly" as if it were one word and as if it were her daughter's only characteristic. Ms. Gold winds up in a Canadian psychiatric hospital and recounts in detail her 10 months there. What is original here is that Ms. Gold was able to access her hospital records from that time written by her psychiatrist and includes them in the book with her own commentaries. Fortunately, Ms. Gold eventually becomes a singer and musician which gives her another identity beyond her eating disorder and, most importantly, she discovers the 12 Step program of Overeaters Anonymous and learns that she is a sugar addict who must refrain from her trigger food of sugar. Discovering her personal higher power helps to cement her ongoing recovery and she continues her journey by becoming a Gestalt therapist and addiction specialist. Ms. Gold provides an appendix that illuminates the underlying physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and socio-cultural issues which will help readers become more aware of their own personal vulnerabilities.



March 2016 (click on the image below to order the book)

The Body Tourist By Dana Lise Shavin. When your mother calls you "a fat ugly pig" as a child this does not bode well for your future self esteem or a happy body image. This abusive comment is probably one of the most painful wounds a mother can inflict on her daughter. Dana Shavin describes how her mother suffered from anorexia and transmitted hurtful messages to her daughter about eating, weight, compulsive exercise and the virtues of self-denial. "A half-sandwich is the hallmark of a whole woman," advises her mother. In one poignant scene, both mother and daughter are hungry. The mother's solution is to break a stick of chewing gum in half for each of them. Her father provides little emotional nourishment. The Body Tourist is a memoir of Ms. Shavin's own struggles with anorexia, but it is written in such a funny, intelligent, self deprecating way that you come to love her and root for her success. The author "fleshes out" her story of anorexia and reveals how the anorexic command to always make do with less was not only about food but had expanded to all areas of her life: dismal relationships, ungratifying jobs, ungiving boyfriends, bare bones apartments. This is not a memoir that dryly lists the five things you should do in order to recover now. Rather, it is a portrait of a woman who slowly begins to yearn for more and begins to make choices that speak to her deepest self: her love of horses, her love of painting and pottery. Through therapy, self exploration, and her wry sense of humor, Ms. Shavin emerges from the tentacles of anorexia to claim a full-bodied life. The eating disordered person rejoins the world, the author believes, by asking, "Whose dreams, ideals, goals, beliefs, and standards shall I go by, and at what point do I accept authority over my own life?" She adds, "The road to recovery is always under construction." The Body Tourist is a very heartfelt book.



February 2016 (click on the image below to order the book)

French Toast for Breakfast: Declaring Peace With  Emotional Eating. By Mary Anne Cohen. The New York Center for Eating  Disorders is pleased to announce the reissuing of Mary Anne Cohen's first book,  French Toast for Breakfast: Declaring Peace with Emotional Eating. This new,  revised second edition includes current information about medication for eating  disorders and the role of psychotherapy in healing binge eating, bulimia,  compulsive overeating, anorexia, chronic dieting, and body image distress. This  warm, compassionate guide delves into the emotions that underlie eating  problems: anger, shame, guilt, sexual difficulties, and the fear of success. The  book is filled with dialogues from actual therapy sessions, an in-depth  comparison of treatment options, an exploration of relapse, and a unique and  comprehensive questionnaire to help readers determine which path to healing is  best for them. Psychotherapist Dr. Richard Joelson writes, "Mary Anne Cohen  continues as the premier voice on the subject of emotional eating and the many  ways this impacts peoples' lives. Her fluency with these complex issues is  always in evidence as she informs us in a most readable and entertaining way.  French Toast for Breakfast, as well as Lasagna for Lunch are valuable  contributions to the literature on eating disorders and are an important read  for everyone affected by these issues. One way or another, that really is  everyone!" Author Susan Schulherr of Eating Disorders for Dummies describes,  "There’s plenty to celebrate in Mary Anne Cohen’s 20th anniversary reissuance of  French Toast for Breakfast, her gift to self-help eating disorder literature.  Full of clinical wisdom and human compassion, Cohen shares her vision that  ultimately recovery is the richest of banquets, offering satisfaction, not  deprivation, redirecting those captured by the tyranny of “thin” to trust in  self and in human relationships. Richly illuminated with examples from real  people and tools for self-examination, Cohen demystifies a confusing and complex  disorder and makes accessible a path toward hope and healing."



 January 2016 (click on the image below to order the book)

Tutu Thin - A Guide to Dancing Without an Eating Disorder

TuTu Thin: A Guide to Dancing without an Eating Disorder. Dawn Smith-Theodore, MA, MFT, CEDS. When we watch a graceful ballet with its willowy dancers, we don't usually think about the fierce effort needed to achieve such beauty. Dawn Smith-Theodore gives us a rare look behind the scenes at the complex relationship between dancers and eating disorders and explains how eating disorders can too easily develop in this talented and driven, yet vulnerable population. The author, a dancer from the age of three, describes how she "grew up in front of a mirror," and given her perfectionistic, goal oriented personality, she developed anorexia nervosa. She describes how eating disorders and dancers can have much in common: tormenting self criticism plus the corrosive belief, "You are never good enough. Your dancing can always be better. Your body can always be thinner." Ms. Theodore - now a therapist specializing in eating disorders - advises, "A dancer must learn how to step out of their comfort zone of technique to achieve humanness." She recommends that the key to preventing eating disorders is cultivating balance and perspective: fun and enjoyment in activities other than dance, supportive nutrition, friendships with non-dancers, and the ability to identify and communicate one's needs. A chapter to parents recommends they be on the lookout for warning signs in their child of excessive rules, restrictions, rigidity, and rituals which may indicate the beginning of an eating disorder. The author advises parents how to guide children about their food, auditions, and handling competition. Ms. Theodore offers a comprehensive description of treatment options; this information is key since one in five ballet dancers develop an eating disorder.


December 2015 (click on the image below to order the DVD)

Reconnect with Food...Unplugged (DVD) By Beverly Price.  Integrating the body, the mind, and the spirit is the key to a full recovery from an eating disorder. In this DVD, Beverly Price takes us on a journey that weaves together a yoga class with messages to heal your eating disorder. Ms. Price, a registered dietician, exercise physiologist, and yoga teacher leads a group of eight women of various sizes and shapes through healing yoga poses which the viewing audience can follow along or participate in. Then, Ms. Price leads a workshop where these women share their personal issues and awareness of why they developed eating disorders and their strategies to get unstuck. One woman discusses her "suspicions about both pleasure and people." Another speaks of allowing people in her life as well as food to control her, while another member acknowledges her fear there will never be enough food or love in her life to get filled up. It is a rich experience to join in the group class of yoga and to also be a witness to the discussion of how these women are incorporating mindful awareness into their relationship with food, with people, money, sexuality, and alcohol. Ms Price, CEO and Founder of The Inner Door Treatment Center in Michigan, explains that our relationship with food parallels every other relationship in our lives. As we learn to deepen our nurturing relationship with food - eating when we are hungry, stopping when we are full, and getting pleasure and gratification from food - we can also apply the same nurturing principles to self care techniques: acceptance, nonjudgmental attitudes, embracing imperfections, and communicating our needs to others directly. Ultimately, Ms. Price helps her students move from shame and struggle to self love and satisfaction.



November 2015 (click on the image below to order the book)

The Girl Inside: Silent No More By Lindsay Ensor:  Shame and stigma are two difficult hurdles against seeking help. This is especially true if you have an eating disorder or mental illness. Lindsay Ensor had both. She also had alcohol abuse, a dependence on prescribed pain killers, starvation, "vigorous" laxative abuse, bulimia, anxiety, major depression, and multiple suicide attempts. Lindsay came from a loving Christian family and at the age of 8, her father dies suddenly, and she finds him lying in front of their house. Her guilt haunts her as he had asked for her help with a garden project but she ran off to play with her friends instead. Five months later her mother remarries. She describes her aching soul, "I tucked my pain away deep inside, hoping that one day it would just go away. That day never came." Instead, Lindsay's pain goes into hiding, and she never shares the depth of her suffering and despair with the people who love her, her husband included. She spends over 150 days in residential treatment and in-patient facilities, and was prescribed 15 different medications and electric convulsive therapy to no avail; her depression was termed "treatment-resistant." When she finally reveals that she has had constant, unremitting suicidal thoughts, her psychiatrist diagnoses that she is struggling with bipolar II disorder, and the appropriate medication is finally prescribed. Lindsay's story is a harrowing one. But through the intervention of her therapist and her ongoing trusting connection to him plus the correct medication, her life turns around and she begins to recover and rediscover her zest for life. The deep and valuable lessons of Lindsay's book are: don't ever give up no matter how much pain your eating disorder or depression is causing, you are not alone, and leave no stone unturned to get help. Lindsay's own transformation from hopeless to hopeful is a powerful example. Lindsay advocates for mental illness awareness on her website  www.healingandsurviving.com.


October 2015 (click on the image below to order the book)

Parents Guide to Defeating Eating Disorders: Spotting the Stealth Bomber and Other Symbolic Approaches by Drs. Ahmed Boachie and Karin Jasper. Eating disorders are creative solutions to inner turmoil. Those teens who are vulnerable to depression, anxiety, or have been wounded by the social mandate to get thin at all costs often find in their eating disorder a way to give meaning to their lives and a structure to organize a shaky sense of self. Parents may want to scream at their child, "Will you stop this nonsense and just start eating again!!" Drs. Ahmed Boachie and Karin Jasper, Canadian therapists, appreciate this frustration but convey to parents how eating disorders truly are an illness that progressively hijacks the personality, autonomy, and health of a teenager. Parents Guide to Defeating Eating Disorders begins with "A young person with an eating disorder may ask for help and then deny that she wants it, like someone who has an intruder in her home and calls 911, but when help arrives, finds that the intruder is standing at her back with a gun, forcing her to say everything is all right after all. After some time living with the illness and giving up hope of being rescued, the young person may also start thinking of the intruder as her protector, believing that it is better to live with the eating disorder than to give it up for some other coping mechanism which may not work. In this case, when a professional treats a young person with an eating disorder, the young person experiences the professional as an unhelpful or dangerous alternative to her protector, the eating disorder." This poignant metaphor beautifully captures the conflict of the eating disorder teen. The authors help parents learn to take over the controls for their child's eating so the whole family becomes part of the solution to heal the teen. They consider parents a "priceless resource" in their child's recovery and also examine how to determine when outpatient treatment/day hospital/multi- family therapy/inpatient treatment is the best modality. Drs. Boachie and Jasper strongly believe in the need to utilize creative analogies and metaphors to enliven and encourage parents and teens on the road to recovery. Excellent, heartfelt book!


September 2015 (click on the image below to order the book)

The Don't Go Hungry Diet by Amanda Sainsbury-Salis, Ph.D. Reviewed by Mary Anne Cohen.  "I dieted myself fat!" claims Dr. Amanda Sainsbury-Salis before she became Australia's leading weight-loss scientist. Frustrated with her repeated failures to lose weight, she turned to the study of molecular science and has produced ground breaking research into weight loss regulation which she describes in her book, The Don't Go Hungry Diet: The scientifically based way to lose weight and keep it off forever. Conventional methods of weight loss dictate: eat less, move more, and keep at it until you reach your ideal weight. Dr. Amanda (as she calls herself) sets out to prove that long term restrictive eating slows down weight loss while at the same time it increases ravenous hunger and cravings for fattening foods. She calls this the "Famine Reaction."  No amount of redoubling food restriction will break through this Famine Reaction. When dieting reaches this plateau and hunger begins to reassert itself, Dr. Amanda recommends the "Famine Busting" technique of  going back to eating sufficient amounts of food to truly satisfy your physical hunger rather than exerting further restraint. Satisfying your hunger will "reassure" the Famine Reaction that you don't plan to starve your body. Dr. Amanda also demonstrates how to activate the Fat Brake which can help blunt your appetite and boost the metabolic rate. She writes, "If you can master the simple art of eating only when you feel physically hungry, then your Fat Brake will work miracles to prevent you from gaining weight." Recipes included! Dr. Amanda offers a compelling and valuable physiological approach to disarm and thwart the Famine Reaction. However people's overeating is emotionally complex and goes deeper than the systematic principles of how to scientifically lose weight. I would have appreciated the author's acknowledgment that depression, anxiety, grief, and sexual abuse can cloud a person's ability to identify hunger and fullness as well as her acknowledging the valuable and healing role that psychotherapy can play in helping people clear the channels to connect with inner sensations of hunger and fullness.


August 2015 (click on the image below to order the book)

I Will Not Give Up On My Daughter:  A true account of a family living with Anorexia Nervosa By Grace and Summer. An Australian family chronicles the devastating descent of their daughter into anorexia. Until that time, the family - parents and three children - enjoy one another, go on vacations, have dinner together, and lead regular normal lives. But then, Summer, age 13, develops anorexia which puts her in the hospital's emergency heart unit, followed by time in the inpatient eating disorder unit, and then eventually back home where she continues to require intensive care and monitoring from her family. We see a family desperately struggling to bring their daughter back from the brink of death, "Our family was just holding it together by a string and Summer was holding the scissors." This book is a collaboration between the mother Grace and her daughter Summer, with entries from Dad Derek, older sister Mia, and younger brother James. (All names in the book have been changed for privacy). Through poetry, drawings, and journal entries, the family recounts their harrowing journey from hell to hope to healing. The family credits the Maudsley Method with helping them rescue their daughter. This approach does not view the family to be at fault and believes the best place for a child to recover is in her own home with ongoing family love and support. Grace describes Maudsley's three prong approach: weight restoration, returning the control of eating back to the adolescent, and establishing a healthy adolescent identity. The family remains baffled as to the origins of Summer's anorexia so we do not get insight into how and why the girl developed this life threatening disease. However, the family does share in detail the recovery process: psychotherapy, medication, intense family involvement, and naming Summer's anorexia "Anna" to declare that her illness is only one separate part of Summer and not her whole being.


July 2015 (click on the image below to order the workbook)

The Binge Eating & Compulsive Overeating Workbook: An Integrated Approach to Overcoming Disordered Eating. By Carolyn Coker Ross, MD, MPH. In this workbook, Dr. Carolyn Ross adds a unique voice to the field of eating disorders. She is a physician, a graduate of Andrew Weil's integrative medicine program, a consultant to several eating disorder programs, and  board-certified in addiction medicine. Dr. Ross specializes in a holistic approach which embraces the comprehensive healing of the client's body, mind, and spirit. In her book she explains the curative role of macro and micro nutrients, vitamins, and dietary supplements; explores the role of complementary medicine such as acupuncture, massage, and yoga; discusses the value of various types of psychological help such as interpersonal, Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, and CBT therapies as well as the role of medication. Self-rating scales throughout the workbook help the reader identify their personal roadblocks to recovery, and she provides strategies to work through them. "Ultimately," she writes, "the healing process is about getting back to your true self, the self that expresses the deeper urges of your soul. Your soul self is the anchor that sustains you in recovery." The importance of cultivating your "soul self" resonated for me as so many of my patients in recovery from their overeating discuss their "false" selves and describe how they fake their feelings in order to get along in their relationships. I gently explain that it takes a lot of calories to stuff down your real self and fake your way through life! Readers of this workbook will learn how to design their own personal stress management plan. Dr. Ross wisely recommends, "In all things, choose the thought or action that makes you feel the most whole." This valuable workbook will show you how.


June 2015 (click on the image below to order the book)

Overcoming Binge Eating for Dummies By Jennie Kramer, LCSW and Marjorie Nolan Cohn, RD.  "Just stop eating so much!" the parents/partner/friends of the binge eating disordered person exclaim in frustration. This book explains why exhorting the binge eater to just exert more self-control is so much easier said than done. Overcoming Binge Eating for Dummies is a collaborative effort between a psychotherapist and a nutritionist that provides a road map to help the binge eater transform the feelings and behaviors which promote the disorder. The authors highlight the underlying and complicated reasons that fuel a binge eating disorder by delving into a wide range of subjects including medicine, psychology, physiology, nutrition, addiction theory, and cultural expectations. One example of the roadmap to help the binge eater is the concept developed by Peter Drucker in his "Management by Objectives" called S.M.A.R.T.: Specific (what exactly do you want to accomplish?), Measurable (how will you know when you reach your goal?), Achievable (make your goal realistic and plan the resources you need), Relevant (why is this goal significant to you?), Timely (when will you be able to achieve this goal?). Other valuable insights include: a discussion of binge eating throughout the life cycle, the importance of affirming even one's small incremental progress, how to reboot after a relapse, the value of a nutritionist in supporting recovery, and the crucial and key role of psychotherapy in ultimately healing the disorder. If there is one shortcoming to this book, the authors neglect to give credit to those experts whose original material they cite, nor do they supply a bibliography.


May 2015 (click on the image below to order the book)

Better is Not So Far Away: Decide to Recover From Bingeing, Starving, or Cutting By Melissa Groman, LCSW. Better is Not So Far Away is about overcoming the internal conflicts many people feel about even wanting to get better. Sometimes staying trapped in an eating disorder or in a state of self injury feels like the only way to cope with pain, abuse, or trauma. The numbing effect of bingeing, purging, or starving anesthetizes suffering and provides temporary comfort. Psychotherapist Melissa Groman captures the agony and the ecstasy inside the heart and soul of women with eating disorders in a way that is rich, vivid, and deeply poignant. She describes the wrenching hurt and anguish that lead people to binge, purge, starve, or cut themselves. She writes, "When you take every measure possible to distance yourself from your feelings and from your hunger and pain, you miss out not only on the experience of learning that you can survive, but the experience of finding out who you are." Only when patients learn to fully acknowledge the depth of their despair ─ as Ms. Groman experienced in her own life ─ are they ultimately led to a place of hope, recovery, and peace. The author identifies and describes in detail the six feelings that bring people to their knees: anger, fear, worthlessness, self-pity, loneliness, and grief. She teaches that recovery is a conscious choice to be made over and over again through self reflection, journal writing, cultivating patience, self compassion and spiritual awareness. Most importantly, Ms. Groman recommends, finding a safe support system ─ be it a friend, psychotherapist, or 12 step support group. "Some pain takes a billion words. But it has to come out of you or you will continue to starve or stuff your body," she encourages. "Telling your story is like walking through the door of life... By practicing 'feeling your feelings' you will develop a six-pack set of abs in your psyche." From "hurting to healing, resistance to recovery, struggle to strength," Ms. Groman has written a compelling and original book. I strongly recommend Better is Not So Far Away.


April 2015 (click on the image below to order the CDs)


The Feeding Ourselves Method: A Guide to Achieving a Healthy Relationship with Food By Alice Rosen, MS. Ed., LMHC. A series of 4 CD tapes. Once upon a time, we were born self-regulating creatures who cried when we were hungry and stopped feeding when we were full. We were naturally in touch with our needs for food and instinctively knew when we were satisfied. No little baby ever piped up with dismay, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing!" But, as we grew, many factors began to intrude into our early body wisdom of hunger and fullness. The Feeding Ourselves Method by Alice Rosen takes us on a journey to re-learn and re-claim what was once our birthright so we can restore a balanced and healthy relationship with food. In this audio tape series, Ms. Rosen helps us identify our hunger and satiation along a continuum from starved to stuffed. "Awareness is a catalyst to healing," explains Ms. Rosen, "Our bodies inherently know when, what and how much to eat in order to maintain life." Her goal is to help us become attuned to our needs effortlessly and naturally - be they for food or for emotional nurturing. She offers an extensive compilation of exercises and assessments as well as walking us through guided meditations and journal writing assignments to heighten our awareness of our bodies and emotions. Ms. Rosen, Director of Education to Feeding Ourselves, Inc. advocates the healing ingredients of patience, nonjudgmental awareness, self-forgiveness, and humor. She draws upon the tradition of the early pioneers of the non-diet, non-deprivation approach including Carol Munter, Jane Hirschmann, Geneen Roth, Ellyn Satter and others. Through this tape series, we learn to legitimize all foods as we triumph over dieting and deprivation. These tapes will help us return to inherently trusting ourselves with food, our emotions, and our bodies' truest needs.  http://theconsciouscafe.org/shop.html



March 2015 (click on the image below to order the book)

Food Junkies: The Truth About Food Addiction, Vera Tarman, M.D. with Philip Werdell (Dundurn, 2014). Controversy abounds in the field of eating disorders about whether food is an addictive substance for certain people. Dr. Vera Tarman and Philip Werdell contend, both from their personal experiences as well as their professional knowledge that, yes, for some people food can be as addictive as drugs or alcohol. They describe how eating problems fall along a continuum from (1) normal overeaters (some may even be obese), to (2) emotional eaters who self-medicate their depression and anxiety but can learn to achieve moderation with all foods, to (3) food junkies who must abstain from their trigger foods such as sugar, wheat, and processed foods because of their chronic, progressive addiction. "Our addicted brain," the authors affirm, "whether it is for genetic, psychological, or even environmental reasons, is wired to crave more as soon as even the smallest amount has entered our system. Trigger foods ignite a fiery and voracious appetite that makes us want to eat, eat, eat." By abstaining from problematic foods, the authors explain, food addicts will experience a freedom from their disease of compulsive overeating. Tarman and Wardell have methodically researched the neurochemistry behind their claims that food junkies have no "stop switch." They include extensive footnotes illuminating their scientific research as well as a questionnaire "Are You A Food Addict?" The authors propose Overeaters Anonymous as the healing path for food junkies. Eating plans are designed to eliminate individual addictive trigger foods. Abstinence from trigger foods then paves the way for deeper recovery through the Twelve Steps. This intriguing and controversial book, with many illustrative case studies, may well provide the missing piece of the puzzle for those who have repeatedly failed to free themselves from the chains of food addiction.


February 2015 (click on the image below to order the book)

Eat What You  Love, Love What you Eat for Binge Eating: A Mindful Eating Program for Healing.  Your Relationship with Food and Your Body By Michelle May, M.D. and Kari  Anderson, DBH (Am I  Hungry? Publishing, 2014). Are you hungry for answers to finally resolve your  binge eating? If food is the "background music" of your life (or the foreground  music!), then this is the book for you. Drs. May and Anderson designed The  Mindful Eating Cycle to help you examine the why, when, what, how much, and  where of your bingeing patterns. "You can only change what you are aware of,"  they explain. "In the eat-repent-repeat cycle, when you eat what you want, you  feel guilty, when you eat what you 'should' you feel deprived. Either way you're  almost never at peace with your choices." The key antidote to binge eating is  learning to eat consciously and without judgment. "When you eat mindfully, you  eat what you love, but you don't obsess about food...Instead, you trust your  body to let you know when and how much to eat." The authors offer a rich variety  of tools and techniques to enhance your mindful eating and reprogram yourself.  Breathing exercises, meditation, and a "body-mind-heart scan" are offered. Some  of my favorite recommended techniques include: put a sign on the fridge that  says, "If I'm not hungry, what I'm looking for is not in here." Or, "If you  aren't hungry when you start eating, how will you know when to stop?" "Wanting  to eat isn't the same as needing to eat." And prompt yourself, "When I'm hungry,  I'll eat what I love. When I'm bored, I'll do something I love." By relearning  how to trust your body wisdom, you'll discover your own internal guide for when,  what, and how much to eat. This book will teach you to become an expert on you! Throughout the book,  Drs.  May and Anderson encourage us to, "Eat Mindfully, Live Vibrantly!"


January 2015 (click on the image below to order the book)

Outsmarting Overeating: Boost Your Life Skills, End your Food Problems By Karen Koenig New World Library, 2015.  Karen Koenig is a psychotherapist, educator, eating coach and author of five  books on helping people heal their eating problems. In all her books, Ms. Koenig  blends a down-to-earth style with psychological wisdom and effective behavioral  strategies. She leaves no stone unturned to help her readers and clients  recover. In Outsmarting Overeating, Ms. Koenig explains that people often resort  to overeating as their primary strategy for coping with difficult challenges  because they lack a set of essential life skills. Learning and cultivating these  life skills will help you better deal with life's stresses without depending on  excess food. Ultimately, using eating as a coping mechanism is a misguided and  unhealthy attempt to resolve problems. Ms. Koenig describes the eight essential  life skills needed to manage anxiety and achieve recovery. These skills are the  missing piece of the puzzle for eating disorder recovery: Physical self-care and  wellness are the foundations of healing an eating disorder. Emotions: Forget  what you eat and how much you eat and focus on mastering your moods. Notice what  you are feeling, name it, and don't judge it. Experience emotions as merely a  "text message" from yourself which will help you detach. Living consciously:  Practice living with intent and awareness in the here and now. When you remain  emotionally connected to everything you do, you continuously fill up in small  ways, and you avoid the emptiness that might drive you to mindless eating.  Building and maintaining relationships. Self-regulation: Rather than being  either too rigid or too excessive in eating, exercising, sleeping, or  socializing, you need to learn to blend both freedom and structure to achieve  moderation. Problem solving and critical thinking. Setting and reaching goals.  Balancing work and play. Skills are gained by practicing every single day  because this will lay down new pathways in your brain. Practice makes progress!  In this valuable book, Ms. Koenig shifts the focus away from food and explores  in great detail and with in-depth examples how you can successfully integrate  these eight new life skills into your life to finally "outsmart overeating."


December 2014


Expressing Disorder: Journey to Recovery, A DVD produced by David Alvarado (www.ExpressingDisorder.com) The stigma of having an eating disorder is no longer so shameful in our culture and, thankfully, women and girls are increasingly seeking treatment. While traditional talk therapy is the most frequent method of healing, this DVD highlights two alternative techniques: dance/movement therapy and drama therapy. In the Introduction, Anita Johnston describes how eating disorders are a language, a hidden code for unexpressed needs. This hidden meaning of eating disorder symptoms can often emerge in "body therapy" through art, poetry, dance, drama, movement, and music which taps into these unexpressed body symptoms and can be combined with traditional therapy to help women tell their stories. Susan Kleinman, a dance/movement therapist and certified eating disorder specialist, describes how women with eating disorders often have difficulty expressing their feelings: "women bury feelings and the body is the burial ground." We witness patients at the Renfrew Center in Florida proceed through a series of dance movement exercises which help them express their inner emotions which have been trapped in their bodies and their eating disorders. Carol Dietrich, a creative arts therapist and marriage and family therapist in California, leads a group of women in designing masks and costumed characters to externalize their eating disorder selves and then interact and confront them. It is powerful to observe the women searching to find their authentic selves through these body-based techniques which help to loosen the grip of their eating disorders. As a "talk" therapist myself, I would have liked to see how these creative arts treatments are woven and integrated into a broader psychotherapy. Perhaps Volume 2 will show us how!


November 2014 (click on the image below to order the book)

Doing What Works: An Integrative System for the Treatment Eating Disorders from Diagnosis to Recovery By Abigail Natenshon (NASW Press, 2009) This comprehensive guide to the treatment of eating disorders is a masterful book written for both experienced clinicians and those new to the field. Ms. Natenshon, a psychiatric social worker, weaves together the "neurological, physical, nutritional, behavioral, chemical, emotional, developmental, psychological, and relational issues" which richly illuminates the depth, breadth, and complexity of eating disorders. In this sophisticated exploration, Doing What Works also describes a wide range of treatment strategies including guidelines for family therapy, group therapy, child therapy, hospitalization, medication, and mind-body techniques (Feldenkrais and Anat Baniel methods) so the therapist can formulate an individualized and integrated approach for each client. Ms. Natenshon encourages the therapist to actively reach out to connect with "the client's core self which has been imprisoned by the impenetrable armor of the eating disorder." The growth-promoting safety of the therapy relationship enables the client to "reintegrate the 1000-piece puzzle of the client's holistic self that has been exiled." The author's enthusiasm to leave no stone unturned in helping her clients recover lends a vitality and energy to this book. In these times of managed care, where treatment results are often measured numerically for effectiveness, the human dimension of the therapy relationship can get undermined. But it is this human dimension that forms the key and most crucial intervention that Ms. Natenshon draws on to heal her clients; she is not afraid to show her affection and her authentic self to foster the growth of the client's most authentic self. In Doing What Works, Ms. Natenshon illuminates her commitment to teach, heal, and to inspire hope for both the client as well as clinicians eager to deepen their knowledge of the eating disorder field.


October 2014 (click on the image below to order the book)

The Predatory Lies of Anorexia: A Survivor's Story By Abby Kelly (Bettie Youngs Books, 2014) This past August, Robin Williams killed himself; his depression and past struggles with substance abuse defeated him. Phillip Seymour Hoffman also succumbed to a drug overdose this year. These sad losses highlight how possible it is to die from addiction, and how recovery is not simple or automatic just because you say you want it. Therefore, we need to pay careful attention to recovery stories of people like Abby Kelly to learn as fully as possible what the ingredients are that pulls someone out of the brink of despair and makes them choose recovery. In her memoir, The Predatory Lies of Anorexia: A Survivor's Story, Ms. Kelly recounts her exhausting fifteen year ordeal with "my addiction to the disease of anorexia." The author's compulsive appetite for approval, appreciation, and acceptance fueled her anorexia which became her attempt to feel special, unique, and in control. Ms. Kelly recounts her three inpatient hospitalizations, extensive counseling, and thoughts of suicide. Gradually she chooses recovery through her growing belief in God. "God broke the chains of my disease," she declares. "I am loved by God and my family. I'm beautiful just the way I am. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." There is no "one size fits all" for recovery from addiction. Every person's recovery is as unique as a fingerprint. In her book, Abby Kelly, now free from anorexia for five years, tells her unique story of her commitment to prayer, Jesus, and religious transformation which led her eventually to embrace the beauty of her body and her soul and to turn her back on the false and "predatory lies" of anorexia.


September 2014 (click on the image below to order the book)

Reclaiming Yourself from Binge Eating:  A Step-By-Step Guide to Healing by Leora Fulvio, MFT (Ayni Books, 2014, 327 pages) "Breaking Up is Hard to Do," declares that old rock 'n' roll song. And Leora Fulvio explains that healing from a binge eating disorder is like breaking up with a boyfriend with whom you've had a dysfunctional relationship. She describes binge eating as if you were enmeshed with "Ed" (your eating disorder) who pretends to care about you but, as in all abusive relationships, is out to see you suffer. Recovery from binge eating is about separating from the tyranny of Ed and learning to live in peace and harmony with your food, your body, yourself. In Reclaiming Yourself from Binge Eating: A Step-By-Step Guide to Healing, Ms. Fulvio, a marriage and family therapist, helps you negotiate your break up with binge eating and invites you to reflect on 34 steps that impart knowledge, hope, and guidance for recovery. These 34 chapters include an exploration plus an assignment and cover topics such as: Balancing Self-Acceptance with the Need to Change; Dealing with Self-Sabotage; Dealing with Your Inner Critic; Learn Intuitive Eating; Overpowering Your Urge to Binge; Sleep Issues and Night Eating. To support your growth, Ms. Fulvio recommends cultivating a mindfulness and meditation practice: "Mindfulness helps to decrease binge eating by helping you fully experience all your emotions, the joyful  ones and the hard ones. By letting yourself feel your feelings, even the really difficult ones, you increase your capacity for sitting with painful and even distressing moods, thoughts and sensations. When you are more able to sit with these feelings, you don't feel driven to do something about it. There is nothing to be done with feelings other than feel them." Ms. Fulvio's book will help you move away from your bondage to bingeing and grow more fully into healing and wholeness.


August 2014 (click on the image below to order the book)

Table in the Darkness: A Healing Journey Through an Eating Disorder by Lee Wolfe Blum (IVP Books, 2013, 200 pages). When I first read that Ms. Blum credits Jesus Christ with helping her recover from an eating disorder, I was concerned that as a non-Christian I might not be the best reviewer for this book and that it would only appeal to a limited audience. I was wrong. Blum's autobiographical story is written like a compelling novel, and we quickly come to identify with her struggles to find love and self acceptance. Through her candor, humanity, and resiliency, she transcends writing a book solely for a Christian audience. Youngest child of divorced parents, Lee often felt mistreated by her family. Alcoholism, parental infidelity, and cruelty led Lee to focus on cutting her lettuce into a million pieces. Her description of the lies and secrets in her family leads us to viscerally understand how focusing and obsessing about that lettuce can soothe us in the broken places of our being. Bits of lettuce lead the way to further starvation and bulimia, as her quest for thinness becomes her personal search for the Holy Grail. Following a suicide attempt, Ms. Blum realizes she cannot continue her inner fight with her eating disorder without surrendering her will to God. She embarks on an arduous journey with a talented therapist, medication, and an increasing commitment toward renewing her life. She identifies how her eating disorder developed as a refusal to feel her pain, but "by choosing my life, I began to have tears and laughter." Now a health educator in Minnesota, Ms. Blum has triumphantly affirmed her victory over her eating disorder. Table in the Dark is a true testament to her rebirth.


July 2014 (click on the image below to order the workbook)

The Healing Journey for Binge Eating: Your Individualized Path to Recovery by Michelle Market, M.ED, CEDS (2013, 164 pages). In this workbook, Ms. Market offers a roadmap to help people recover from binge eating and to heal their relationship with food. This book is divided into five parts: 1. understanding your relationship with food: how to create awareness of your binge eating triggers without being judgmental; diagnose what gets in the way of your recovery; identify how you use food to cope. 2.  slowing down: how to "live slow" and learn to eat mindfully. 3. making peace with yourself: reflect on your issues of self esteem, challenge your inner critic. 4. making peace with your body: how to develop body acceptance and break through barriers to exercising. 5. tools for your healing journey: create healing practices including affirmations to restore and sustain normal eating. In addition to this workbook, Ms. Market has also written a second, companion book, The Healing Journey for Binge Eating Journal: Eight Week Journal Companion. This eight week journal prompts readers to practice a morning and evening meditation each day in order to become more self reflective and aware of their feelings, thoughts, and inner messages from their bodies. This journal also teaches readers the habit of creating a daily goal to focus and strive for. Both the workbook and the journal encourage readers' participation in an interactive format through structured writing assignments. Readers are guided toward clarifying their personal self-defeating attitudes and behaviors and are provided with strategies to create new intentions and healthy rituals. As we continue to seek self-attunement in our relationship with food and our most authentic selves, Ms. Market's books can be used for self-study, in a group, or with the assistance of a therapist. Armed with Ms Market's two books, let the healing begin!


June 2014 (click on the image below to order the book)

Starting Monday: Seven Keys to a Permanent, Positive Relationship with Food by Karen Koenig LCSW, M.Ed. (Gurze Books, 2013, 288 pages) People repeatedly - but often fruitlessly - promise themselves they will finally get their eating struggles under control. When? Starting Monday! The title of Karen Koenig's book refers to this familiar resolution, and she explores why emotional eaters, filled with determination to improve their hurtful behaviors, wind up failing time after time. In this, her seventh book, Ms. Koenig offers a key approach for long lasting change: people must confront that internal part of themselves which is invested in not getting better! This is a book for those people who yearn for weight loss and body satisfaction but may have difficulty appreciating the conflicts within themselves that sabotage and defeat their best efforts. Why would someone want to derail their best efforts to be happy? Koenig shows readers how to identify "the ouch of self-recognition" and to discover what blocks normal eating. She describes seven keys to unlock your self-defeat and create lasting change: 1. apply curiosity, self reflection, and compassion to why you have been stuck. 2. make conscious choices through the mindful focus of living in the present moment. 3. feel deserving by exploring your family history which may have left you feeling unworthy or deprived. 4. comfort yourself by reaching out to others and develop strategies to cope with stress. 5. know what's enough and pinpoint where you feel unsatisfied not only with food but money, possessions, work, and relationships. 6. manage intimacy by becoming aware of your fears of closeness and your desires. 7. develop a healthy identity by claiming your most authentic self regardless of weight. What are your beliefs, your needs, your truths? In a lively, engaging style, Ms. Koenig illuminates these psychological solutions to help you get unstuck so you can live a fruitful and compassionate life every day of the week - not just Starting Monday!


May 2014 (click on the image below to order the book)

Healing Your Hungry Heart: Recovering from your Eating Disorder by Joanna Poppink, MFT (Conari Press, 2011, 246 pages). Joanna Poppink candidly acknowledges that almost 30 years of her life were controlled and consumed by bulimia. Now fully recovered, she is a marriage and family therapist who shares her personal road to recovery and the tools she uses to help others heal from a wide range of eating disorders. Healing Your Hungry Heart compassionately explains how eating disorders develop as a way to comfort yourself and help you survive emotions you find too raw and unbearable. When something threatening in your life overwhelms your existing coping mechanisms – such as the death of a loved one, divorce, abuse – you may turn to bingeing, purging or starving as a way to detour, numb, and soothe yourself. The only way to change hurtful eating behavior is “to build a sturdy internal psychological structure that allows you to respond in a healthy and self-caring way to your emotional challenges," explains Ms. Poppink. Recovery is about learning to identify and honor your boundaries and limitations, not just with food, but with money, work, sex, sleep, and by expressing yourself honestly and authentically in relationships. This involves "saying no to what is not good for you and yes to what nourishes you." While developing strong boundaries will help you create your own internal support system, Ms. Poppink emphasizes the need to sustain your progress by practicing an ongoing healing program. Recovery must be tended to every day to avoid slipping back to disordered eating. She shows how daily practices such as mindful breathing, affirmations, journal writing, and connecting with your spirituality can serve to expand your awareness and your ability to treat yourself with care. Psychotherapy can help you develop these new coping mechanisms to better withstand pain and anxiety without resorting to emotional eating. In this warm and gracious book, Ms. Poppink fulfills her promise: to help you Heal Your Hungry Heart!


April 2014 (click on the image below to order the book)

Dr. Deah's Calmanac: Your Interactive Monthly Guide for Cultivating a Positive Body Image by Dr. Deah Schwartz, ED.D. Reading Calmanac (Calming Almanac) is like sitting down for a cup of coffee with a quirky, funny friend who shares her philosophy about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and how to achieve that happiness without the tyranny of dieting and self hatred. Dr. Deah (as the author refers to herself) is a champion of the Health at Every Size Movementwhich encourages people to focus on healthy eating rather than lamenting about the size of their body. Dr. Deah's Calmanac combines a personal diary with a twelve month interactive guide. Her goal is to help readers transform their negative body image and disordered eating into a "body-positive" way of life. Each chapter (month) has four components: Personal Perspective: The author's musings on eating and emotions. Predictable Challenges: Themes to be aware of during the month. Important Dates to Remember: Opportunities for activism or possible triggers that may arise during that month. Proactive Activities: Using her extensive experience in expressive arts therapy, Dr. Deah includes arts and crafts suggestions for readers to explore their personal body image issues. In a culture where dieting, weight loss, and plastic surgery are touted as the routes to achieving happiness with yourself, Dr. Deah encourages the reader to become more responsive to hunger, fullness, and mindful eating and to love one's body without apology, judgment, or shame. Her primary theme throughout:  Body Acceptance is the true antidote to self hatred. Dr. Deah exhorts us to embrace: "I am a perfect size me!" 


March 2014 (click on the image below to order the book)

Eating Disorders for Dummies by Susan Schulherr, LCSW. Eating Disorders for Dummies by Susan Schulherr is part of the wildly popular Dummies book series about everything under the sun. Mixing great in-depth knowledge of her subject with humor and, at the same time, showing respect for the seriousness of eating disorders, Ms. Schulherr provides everything you wanted to know about eating disorders but were afraid to ask (or didn't even know to ask!). This book could easily be dubbed The Encyclopedia of Eating Disorders due to its rich and comprehensive orientation to all things eating disordered. Ms. Schulherr offers a detailed picture of who gets eating disorders and why. She illustrates the role that psychology/biology/culture plays to help clients understand and appreciate why they became vulnerable to these disorders in the first place. She helps readers deal with the shame and guilt that can stand in the way of seeking help, and she does this in such a compassionate and caring manner that you feel you are being guided by a kind, firm, and knowledgeable therapist. You can read this book in an "a la carte" fashion, searching the topics that pertain to your situation, although her extensive discussion about recovery options pertains to all. The author describes how eating disorders are coping mechanisms and that, "Surrendering your eating disorder symptoms is not recovery, but it makes recovery possible. Recovery is a building process as much as a healing one - to develop the skills, abilities, and resources within yourself to feel personally powerful and confident." Eating Disorders for Dummies paves the way to achieve that healing. For sufferers of eating disorders, family and friends, as well as psychotherapists, this book provides a deep and insightful journey toward hope, help, healing, and wholeness. This is a must read!


February 2014 (click on the image below to order the book)

Skinny Revisited: Rethinking  Anorexia Nervosa and Its Treatment by Maria Baratta, PhD. LCSW.  In her  book, Skinny Revisited: Rethinking Anorexia Nervosa and Its Treatment, Dr. Maria  Baratta – a clinical social worker with over 30 years experience in the field of  eating disorders – provides a multidimensional model for the treatment of  anorexia.  Dr. Baratta describes her book as written from a "feminist  sociobehavioral perspective,” in which she emphasizes the dominant role our  culture plays in contributing to females' perpetual dissatisfaction with their  bodies. She also weaves together family systems theory, cognitive behavioral  theory, information on psychiatric disorders related to anorexia, and the role  of medication.  The author presents vivid case examples of how the therapist can  initiate a healing connection with the anorexic patient who, most often, is  uncooperative, angry about being sent to therapy, and committed to weight loss  regardless of the impact on her body, life, and family. Dr. Barrata suggests  engaging these resistant clients by using the client's private "language of  anorexia." Rather than contradicting or confronting the patient's illogical  perceptions and possibly alienating her, the therapist joins the obsession,  follows the patient's lead, painstakingly bonding with her around discussions  about calories, weight, and the need for skinniness. As the patient feels  understood and not criticized, she becomes more trusting of the therapist. This  trust enables her to hear gentle corrections to her body image distortions and  to heed nutrition recommendations. Learning how our culture has "infected" most  females with the disease to be thin and thinner also helps the patient to feel  less alone. She and the therapist bond in health and healing.  Skinny Revisited  is scholarly yet warm, erudite yet accessible.  It is written primarily for  psychotherapists although patients and family members will find it highly  readable and informative.

 HAVE YOUR BOOK REVIEWED -- We are ACTIVELY looking for good eating disorder books to review. Mary Anne Cohen is the EDReferral.com professional book reviewer. One book will be reviewed each month. There is a small fee but the newsletter insertion is included at no additional cost. If you want your eating disorder related book reviewed in this newsletter-- and for more details, contact Mary Anne Cohen at the following: macohen490@aol.com.         



In Partnership with the American Eating Disorder Association- -SINCE 1999