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My Kid is Back: Empowering Parents to Beat Anorexia Nervosa Paperback – February 24, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0415581158 ISBN-10: 041558115X Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews


"My Kid is Back is packed with practical, helpful and inspiring information. It gives parents a powerful message of hope – that recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Parents can feel overwhelmed when their child develops this most challenging illness. Knowing that there are ways they can help their child, and can play an active part in their recovery is so important." - Susan Ringwood, Beat, UK

"Alexander and Le Grange have combined heart, history and healing in this thoughtful book. My Kid is Back should be required reading for any parent with the slightest suspicion that an eating disorder may be developing in their child. June Alexander's own testimonial should be a warning enough that families need to take action early and head on." - Lynn S. Grefe, National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), USA

"The Maudsley Model of anorexia nervosa is one of the few evidence-based treatments for anorexia nervosa. In My Kid is Back June Alexander presents the narratives of families who have benefited from this approach when their young children have developed anorexia nervosa. This book will give hope to families who with help can provide the drive and energy to ensure that anorexia nervosa does not become too firmly entangled within the identity of the young person." - Janet Treasure, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, and Guys, Kings and St Thomas Medical School, London, UK

"After reading My Kid is Back I realised I was wrong to think that this is primarily a book for families trying to deal with anorexia nervosa. It is equally a book for clinicians and researchers who want to understand what it is like for the families. It is a remarkable book because it gives a voice to the families themselves, showing the different journeys they went through regarding both the developing anorexia and in re-establishing themselves and helping their child to recover." - Ivan Eisler, from the foreword

"This is a very useful book for parents who have an adolescent child with anorexia nervosa. However, as Dr. Eisler mentioned in his forward to the book, it is useful not just for families but also for professionals who are working with these families... I think this book is an excellent addition to the literature and it should be read by all professionals who are working with such families. I would have no hesitation in recommending it to parents of children who I am currently working with." - Cathy Feeham, European Eating Disorders Review, Vol. 18, 2010


I, and the families I work with have found My Kid Is Back invaluable. It was particularly helpful recently when I was referred two young boys with the Anorexia Nervosa disorder within a month of each other. Matthew and his family’s story helped the family to deal with it. - Glenn Munt, Thinking Families, Queensland, Australia.

About the Author

June Alexander is a writer and journalist with a particular focus on eating disorders stemming from her personal battle with anorexia and subsequently bulimia, that was undiagnosed for 21 years. June is a strong supporter of the Maudsley family approach to treating anorexia nervosa, and is based in Victoria, Australia.

Daniel Le Grange is Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry, and Director of the Eating Disorders Program at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. He trained in family-based treatment for adolescent anorexia nervosa at the Maudsley Hospital in London, where he was a member of the team that developed the Maudsley Approach as a treatment for early-onset anorexia nervosa.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (April 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 041558115X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415581158
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in 1950 and grew up on a family dairy farm in a beautiful valley in Gippsland, the south-east corner of Australia. One of my chores was to fill kerosene bottles for the lamps in the house - our farm house had no electric power until 1962. There was no television set but a wireless, books and fertile imagination meant I was never lonely - particularly as our farm bordered what is today known as the Mitchell River National Park. I loved to wander alone in the bush (forest) and help my dad on the farm. I attended a one-room primary school and won my first essay competition at the age of nine. The topic was rice, and the prize was a pen. By now I was smitten with the writing bug. Words held a fascination and more awards followed. At the age of 16, I won a national essay competition on marriage, the prize enabling the purchase of my first manual typewriter and at 17 I departed for a year in Missouri, USA, as an American Field Service exchange student. On return to Australia, a newspaper cadetship in journalism led to a 38-year career in this medium - as journalist, editor and columnist.
In 2007, on recovering from an eating disorder that I had developed way back in 1961, I switched focus to writing non-fiction, starting with my memoir, A Girl Called Tim - Escape from an Eating Disorder Hell. This led to opportunities to write international mental health and academic textbooks, the first of these being My Kid is Back. I continue to author and edit non-fiction books, both academic and mainstream, on mental illness and also have become an educator and mentor in life writing. Everybody has a story to tell and the most ordinary lives can be the most remarkable.
Following my heart and being true to my self led to presentations at eating disorder conferences in Washington, New York and Hollywood. My theme: Hope at Every Age.
In 2010, I was a recipient of an international scholarship, at the Academy of Eating Disorders Conference, Salzburg, Austria, in recognition of writing to raise eating disorder awareness.
Professional memberships include:
F.E.A.S.T. (Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders) - Board member
Academy of Eating Disorders -Advocacy and Communication Committee member
National Eating Disorder Collaboration (NEDC) - steering committee member
Australian Society of Authors (ASA) - member.
As my father said when I was 16: You won't know unless you have a go. Never give up!

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Reader Mom on October 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
My Kid is Back: Empowering Parents to Beat Anorexia Nervosa by Australian author and journalist June Alexander will be a valuable resource for parents dealing with anorexia nervosa. June, inspired by her own experience with the illness, talks with leading experts and ten families about family-based treatment. These stories will feel familiar to anyone who who has confronted an eating disorder. Parents will identify with their fear and confusion as each family struggles to understand this baffling illness and find the help they need. The voices of the young people emerging from the disorder are heard as well. Just how do they manage to overcome anorexia nervosa? These resourceful families pull together and work out solutions. My Kid is Back will provide hope and inspiration to parents. These moving accounts will provide insight into anorexia nervosa and the real-life difficulties families face for eating disorder professionals, as well.

The families in the book all live in Australia, but the book is truly global in perspective. Professional advice is offered by leading experts on three continents. Daniel le Grange, author of Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder, contributes an introductory chapter explaining the Maudsley approach, its history, and research support, and a second chapter in the book's "What are Parents to Do?" section with practical strategies for parents. Ivan Eisler of London's Maudsley Hospital writes the foreword and offers the UK perspective on anorexia treatment. June also talks with Westmead Children's Hospital and Oak House to provide Australian treatment picture.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh on October 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
Parents, if your loved one has been diagnosed with an eating disorder I very much recommend this book. I've read them all in my years of writing and talking with families, and I wish all families facing this diagnosis in their child had the benefit of this kind of experience and inspiration. Alexander tells the story of these families with great compassion and insight, and useful information.

Parents facing an eating disorder need and deserve good information and inspiration. This book offers both. The information is evidence-based, and the experiences of these ten families provides a wonderful training in how to face this daunting illness and seek good help.
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By Stella Ripper on November 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daugther is anorexic, reding this book was VERY helpfull to picture and understand the strugles and different strategies of 10 families to deal with theire child's eating disorder.
Each child has it's own way of manifesting thier desies.
This broad picture was very helpfull to understand our own's child problem and to give us strenth and wisness to deal with the new situation.
As a new commer on this subject at the time I red the book, it was realy elightning !
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By seadog on August 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a parent of an anorexic i found the book very helpful in gaining more insights into the "maudsley approach" , its rates of success against other methods,how it works and why it is worth the hard work involved.The case study stories contained in the book are well worth reading as you see many patterns of behavior that resemble your own experiences.The book gives a parent, ideas ,hope and further understanding of this terrible and relatively unknown disease outside the circle of people who are unfortunately affected by it.
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