Posts Tagged ‘Family’

It’s Okay not to be Thankful for Thanksgiving

Kitchen cutlery orange

Thanksgiving is lauded as a holiday of thanks, togetherness, and harmony. However, this meal-centric holiday is also considered to be a goldmine of opportunity for advertisers. From commercials about new diets to gyms promoting memberships by promising that participants can “lose that holiday fat,” it’s easy to see why Thanksgiving isn’t always something to be thankful for.

For those struggling with food, weight, or body image, Thanksgiving can be a particularity triggering holiday. Not only are diet companies, beauty stores, and exercise facilities using the holiday to promote sales based off of body shame, but individuals are often subjected to critical comments by those they love the most. While often not intentionally, those around the Thanksgiving table may contribute to eating disorder thoughts and behaviors.

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Reframing the Way we Build our Child’s Relationship with Food

Girl eating watermelon

In recent years, an awareness surrounding eating disorders has begun to break its way into society, yet there are still misconceptions associated with eating disorders. Although disordered eating is often considered to be targeted at those belonging to the late adolescence or adult demographic, the reality is: they entirely disregard age. Eating disorders don’t discriminate, affecting individuals of all cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and age. For this reason, it is increasingly important to begin encouraging your child to develop a healthy relationship with food from an early stage in their life. Conditioning positive perceptions regarding eating will equip them with a healthy attitude towards creating and maintaining a balanced lifestyle as they grow up.

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Family-Based Therapy at The Emily Program

Mom and daughter leaning on each other in nature

We offer Family-Based Therapy (FBT) at The Emily Program because we believe that incorporating a client’s family into their treatment will make the individual more successful in their recovery. Family-Based Therapy is an approach to therapy where parents play an active and positive role in their child’s recovery. This teamwork assists in restoring the individual’s weight, empowering them around eating, and helping to establish a healthy adolescent identity.

Family-Based Therapy starts with the understanding that parents are not the cause of their child’s eating disorder and that they can be a major asset in recovery. FBT understands the importance of family and that families are a key component in child development. That being said, families are able to help advocate for change in their child’s behaviors. By playing an active role in their child’s recovery, parents can help their child work through FBT and find lasting recovery.

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My Daughter and her Eating Disorder

Luanne and daughter

This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors and symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist as needed.

Lu Curtis is a former client of The Emily Program. She is a teacher and the mother of a daughter in recovery from an eating disorder.

ED (an eating disorder) reared his ugly head in 2013 in my then, 13 year old daughter. We never invited him, or at least I didn’t. However, he became significant to my daughter, ever-present, super-influential and controlling as hell. ED ruled every aspect of my daughter’s life and began to control our entire family with his horrible influences. The messages my daughter received from ED were more powerful than the messages she received from me or anyone else in the family.

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For Families

When someone you care about struggles with food, the symptoms of the eating disorder touch everyone in the family. The perplexing behaviors can bring frustration, fear and heartache. We know. Since 1993, The Emily Program has worked closely with families, friends, and other loved ones to help them cope with the consequences of eating disorders.

When your child struggles with an eating disorder

Our approach

Parents and families take an active role in the recovery journey. At The Emily Program, we use the proven Maudsley Method, also known as Family-Based Therapy (FBT), in our personalized treatment programs for children, adolescents, and young adults with eating disorders. 

Care that is right for your child

We offer a full continuum of care, including outpatient, intensive outpatient/partial hospitalization and residential, all of which provide daily therapeutic meals and snacks, therapy sessions, and time for schoolwork.

You always have our support

After you complete your intake appointment at The Emily Program, you’ll have access to the Office Manager at your service location who will be your primary resource and support for all care needs and questions.

How do I get a family member or a friend to call and schedule an appointment?

It is very difficult to watch someone in your life struggling with an eating disorder. We understand. And we know that you may be unsure of how to help. These steps can help frame how you present your concerns to your family member or friend:

Ask to speak to the person in a private setting.

Explain your specific concerns to the person in a non-judgmental, compassionate way. Use “I” language like:

  • “I’m concerned because you seem to be isolated and not wanting to be involved in any activities, especially when there is food involved.”
  • “I see a large amount of food disappearing in the house and I’m concerned that you may be struggling with an eating problem.”
  • “I see a change in your behavior during family meals, and there’s growing tension during meals. I’m concerned that eating and food is becoming a problem for you.”
  • “Your mood seems to be changing these days and I’m concerned about you.”

Offer to stay with the person while they make the phone call. If the person is resistant to making the call, let him/her know that you will continue to check in with him/her.

How can I get information on eating disorder treatment outcomes?

The Emily Program uses an evidence-based approach to treatment. See this infographic for information on outcomes.

Get support for yourself. Being concerned about someone else who is reluctant to seek help can drain you mentally and emotionally. For more information, please call us at 1-888-364-5977 or contact us.

ED 101: Understanding Eating Disorders, Treatment, and Recovery

We know how overwhelming an eating disorder diagnosis can be for families and friends. The terminology. The process. The uncertainties. Share an evening with us to learn about eating disorders, our personalized treatment programs, and the path to recovery. Our knowledgeable staff at The Emily Program answer common concerns of families and friends facing eating disorder issues for the first time. You’ll leave with valuable resources and a better understanding of this serious mental health issue. We recommend family and friends who are new to eating disorders attend this session at least once before joining a Family & Friends Support Group for a better experience in the group.

In Minnesota:

St. Paul

2nd Thursday of every other month, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Upcoming dates: currently on hold

The Emily Program
2265 Como Avenue St. Paul, MN 55108

Click here for directions

In Washington:


Virtual Event: Free Eating Disorders 101: 2nd Thursday of the month, 5:00-6:00 p.m. PT

Upcoming dates: Nov. 12th, Dec. 10th, Jan. 14th, Feb. 11th, Mar. 11th, May 8th. Join us via Zoom. Passcode: 990321

The Emily Program
1700 Westlake Avenue North, Suite 700
Seattle, WA 98109

Click here for directions

Attend our Free Family & Friends Session

The Emily Program offers free evening Family and Friends Support Groups open to the public. No need to register; just drop in.

In Washington:


Virtual Event: Friends and Family Night: 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, 6:00-7:00 p.m. PT.

Upcoming dates: Nov. 5th, Dec. 3rd, Jan. 7th, Feb. 4th, Mar. 4th, Apr. 1st, May 6th. Join us via Zoom. Passcode: 148410

And: Nov. 19th, Dec. 17th, Jan. 21st, Feb. 18th, Mar. 18th, Apr. 15th, May 20th. Join us via Zoom. Passcode: 148410

The Emily Program
1700 Westlake Avenue North, Suite 700
Seattle, WA 98109

Click here for directions

Recommended Links

Recommended Links

Warning Signs

The warning signs of eating disorders can be difficult to detect.  Make sure you know what to look for.

Guide for Family and Friends

15 important tips for supporting your loved one on the recovery journey.

Recovery Nights

Hear powerful stories that will inspire, motivate, and affirm your choices for healthy living. Recovery Night speakers share their experiences and answer your questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Emily Program is here to answer any questions you have about eating disorders and the recovery journey. We want to help.

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Creating an Identity Outside My Eating Disorder

Family in nighttime

This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

By Megan Haskins. Megan has completed intensive programming at The Emily Program and is a wife and mommy to triplets.

Who was I from the ages of 16-28 while in my eating disorder?
Who have I become these last three years?
Is the person I was before my eating disorder the same person I am now?

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