Couples therapy may be useful in eating disorders

I use Medline Plus a great deal for my LIVESTRONG Foundation writing and editing work, and I’m glad I added it to my RSS reader because there’s a lot of concise, up-to-date information provided by the NIH.

Here is a short video touting the value of couples therapy in helping women to recover from anorexia, a disease for which, the physician narrator admits, few adult treatment options exist. I don’t know why I’m so struck by a desultory 64-second-long presentation, but it’s probably because most people I know who are in varying stages of recovery from anorexia learn somewhere that they need to deal with the issue themselves; “help” from friends and family had traditionally meant understanding and quiet support rather than actively planning meals or jointly facing the problem of food choices. The problem with the latter is that there’s always a psychological tug-of-war between anorexics being hyperacutely aware of others’ scrutinizing their dietary habits and choices and the fact that their fierce independence is largely what allowed them to become very sick in the first place. as with any other difficult chronic disease of the body and mind, having a partner in your life you can trust is vital; again, common sense, but somehow anorexia seems to have been quietly given an exemption to this guideline over the years.

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