Loving Someone with an Eating Disorder
About the Book
"[Author Dana] Harron’s emotional and practical advice for this growing global predicament comes highly recommended."
In this compassionate guide, eating disorder expert Dana Harron offers hope to partners of people with eating disorders. You’ll discover ways to communicate with empathy and understanding, strategies for dealing with mealtime challenges, and tips to help you both find your way back to trust, love, and intimacy.
If your loved one is one of millions of Americans who suffers from an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia, you may feel alone, without guidance or understanding. As a romantic partner, you need to know how to navigate issues such as parenting, sex and intimacy, and running a household. This book provides that help by addressing your uniquely complex and difficult situation, and provides much-needed support for growth and healing.
In Loving Someone With an Eating Disorder, you’ll find valuable information about eating disorders, diagnostic categories, and common misconceptions. You’ll also learn about the importance of self-care and boundaries for yourself, and find writing and perspective-taking exercises to help you gain a greater understanding of your partner’s struggle. You’ll also learn skills to help you address specific problems, such as managing groceries and meals together, sex and intimacy issues, and concerns about parenting.
Finally, you’ll find a practical discussion about treatment and recovery from disordered eating—making it clear that both you and your partner need healing—as well as information about seeking further support.
Books by Dana Harron
“Loving Someone with an Eating Disorder provides solid insights and clinical theory on the causes and symptoms of dysregulated eating and related body concerns, and personalizes them via case vignettes and reflective questions. Although written for partners of eating-disordered individuals, it would be equally useful for anyone who cares about someone struggling with food. I look forward to introducing my clients and their loved ones to this comprehensive, readable, and well-researched addition to our field.”
—Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, MEd, eating disorders expert; popular blogger; and award-winning, international author of seven books on eating and weight
“Loving Someone with an Eating Disorder is a must-read for loved ones! Packed with key education, practical tools, and much-needed hope, Dana Harron’s words will surely save relationships—and lives.”
—Jenni Schaefer, author of Life Without Ed; Almost Anorexic; and Goodbye Ed, Hello Me
“There are few resources for the loved ones of those struggling with eating disorders, despite the suffering that it brings to partner relationships. This book fills that gap, bringing information, compassion, and understanding to the table, as well as practical ways for navigating the labyrinthian path towards recovery. It is a gift for those who care for someone with an eating disorder.”
—Anita Johnston, PhD, author of Eating in the Light of the Moon, clinical director of Ai Pono Hawai’i, and cocreator of Light of the Moon Cafe
“Eating disorders have profound social ramifications which become entangled within the illness, adding to the complex stranglehold that these problems present. Partners can play a key role in supporting the recovery journey, but their own needs are often neglected, and so their potential role as a strong supporter is not optimized. This book fills this gap and offers practical skills and theoretical understanding illustrated by narratives and reflective exercises which are of immense value to both professional and non-professional careers.”
—Janet Treasure, OBE, PhD, FRCP, FRCPsych, professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience of King’s College London
“Loving Someone with an Eating Disorder by Dana Harron is full of helpful tips, resources, and exercises for supporting a loved one who is struggling with an eating disorder. It touches on topics—such as intimacy with someone in recovery—that are common struggles for my clients but often not widely talked about. I highly recommend this resource!”
—Jennifer Rollin, MSW, LCSW-C, therapist, and founder of The Eating Disorder Center
“Dana Harron provides readers with an impressive array of information and practical strategies important to know when loving someone with an eating disorder. The literature has long been deficient in books for loved ones, who not only need the facts but also need specific coping skills to manage their feelings, mealtimes, communication, and even intimacy. Harron covers a range of topics from self-care to redirecting negative patterns, setting boundaries, and reestablishing a sexual relationship—treating readers as personal clients, helping them support themselves and their loved ones through a trying time. As a longtime eating disorder therapist and author, I welcome this book to my library and recommend it to clients and clinicians alike.”
—Carolyn Costin, MA, MEd, MFT, director of the Carolyn Costin Institute, author of The Eating Disorder Sourcebook, Your Dieting Daughter, 100 Questions and Answers About Eating Disorders; coauthor of 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder; and coeditor of Yoga and Eating Disorders
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