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Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder, First Edition Paperback – January 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lock, a psychiatrist specializing in adolescence, and le Grange, an assistant professor of psychiatry, have written a comprehensive book on a difficult topic. They present some new concepts on the management of eating disorders that are somewhat contradictory to current thinking, and make valid points backed by research (the authors have a five-year grant for studying the treatment of anorexia nervosa). Early on, Lock and le Grange emphasize the need for parents to take immediate action in obtaining help for their teens and to not dwell on the "why." Many therapists balk at this approach, believing the motivations for an eating disorder are an essential part of treatment. But Lock and le Grange present research suggesting the disorder can be linked to personality traits and even genetics. The book then moves on to help parents understand eating disorders by delving into the complexity of these disorders, the distorted thinking behind a teenager's behavior and what the research says about the best ways to treat anorexia and bulimia. Finally, the authors address ways to make treatment work, drawing on experiences they've have had with families they have helped. There are many red flags that parents should recognize when it comes to their adolescent daughter or son's eating habits, and this intelligent book points them out clearly and concisely. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Navigating the treacherous ground of a child's eating disorder can be a remarkable challenge. Written by two trusted figures in the eating disorders field, this book offers parents a clear and comprehensive roadmap for helping a child overcome this serious threat to health and well-being."--Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders; author of Food Fight

"Parents receive lots of advice about how to help their children recover from eating disorders--but often it's the wrong advice. This book helps parents understand what is going on with their child and how they can take an active role in making treatment more successful. I highly recommend it."--W. Stewart Agras, MD, coauthor of Overcoming Eating Disorders

"If you are the parent of a teenager who is struggling with an eating disorder, you probably feel confused, anxious, and filled with questions. What should you do? Is it your fault? Can you help? This book, written by two eating disorder experts, will help you find some answers. It clearly explains what eating disorders are about and which treatments work best, and gives practical suggestions and encouragement. Recommended for any concerned parent."--Rachel Bryant-Waugh, PhD, University of Southampton, UK; author of Eating Disorders: A Parents' Guide

"The authors, both experienced in the field of psychiatric treatment of teens with eating disorders, make a cogent and compelling argument for greater involvement of parents in their children's care. In so doing, they serve to empower parents, marking a welcome departure from previous practice."--Iris F. Litt, MD, Adolescent Medicine Clinic, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine

"Truly excellent. An invaluable resource for parents. It provides sound, commonsense answers to all the most important questions. Written by experts--and it shows."--Christopher G Fairburn, DM, FRCPsych, author of Overcoming Binge Eating

"Finding appropriate treatment for our 15-year-old daughter has involved plenty of heartache, but this book provides information and empowerment that is helping us persevere. It offers a comprehensive account of the challenges of dealing with an adolescent's eating disorder--and what you can do to restore your child to a normal, healthy life. A 'must read' for parents!"--Mr. and Mrs. V., Naperville, Illinois

"With this groundbreaking book, parents can set aside guilt and helplessness and get on with the difficult but rewarding work of supporting their child toward healthy recovery."--Laura Collins, author of Eating With Your Anorexic

"Lock and Le Grange have written a comprehensive book on a difficult topic...There are many red flags that parents should recognize when it comes to their adolescent daughter or son's eating habits, and this intelligent book points them out clearly and concisely."--Publishers Weekly
(Publishers Weekly 2004-10-31)

"Written by two of the foremost experts in the field of treating adolescent eating disorders....They do a wonderful job translating statistics and research results into layman's terms and applicable information....I would recommend this book for parents."
( 2012-06-20)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 295 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572309083
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572309081
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Constant Reader on February 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
To say that this book is revolutionary would not be an exaggeration. For decades, Anorexia and Bulimia in their many forms were viewed as the result of a combination of family dysfunction and social pressures. Though the scientific evidence to support this was pretty weak tea, that was and still is the dominant view of experts who treat this illness. (See Hilde Bruch's "The Golden Cage". It perfectly captures this view.)

In practice, this translated into therapies for anorexics in which families were told "not to make food an issue" and that their adolescent son or daughter was really expressing a need to "control" their environment. Any effort to actually feed the starving child was discouraged. Instead, parents were and are told that their child had to "choose" to get better first.

Lock and LeGrange are both research scientists and psychiatric practitioners who stumbled upon the research done at the Maudsley Hospital in London on eating disorders. The researchers at Maudsley did three novel things. First, they decided to be agnostic on the causes of anorexia. This freed them up to do a second thing; feed the starving child. In order to accomplish this, they had to do the third and final revolutionary thing which was to enlist the parents as part of the re-feeding process. In other words, the parents were now part of the cure, rather than part of the problem.

This stood current treatment for anorexics on its head. Amazingly, the researchers documented the most successful "cure" rate for any scientifically conducted study on anorexia treatment. "Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder" introduces parents to and guides them through the Maudsley approach.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on July 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book last summer (July 2005) just before my daughter was hospitilized with an (ED)eating disorder. I tried outpatient counseling, visiting a dietician,(begging too)and encouragement. I was depressed, frustrated, sad, and angry that my daughter was not improving despite my efforts to help her--and I realized she had an ED early.

This book gave me insight and understanding to circumstances that may cause an ED and anecdotes that may relate to your child or family. It does not parent-bash, blaming failure on the parent. I shared this book with other parents with kids in ED treatment--and many bought it after looking at the content. I am grateful for the book and the treatment she received. The treatment was family-centered (mentioned in book) and involved the entire family. Treatment was difficult and necessary to save my child's life.

Parents, watch out for the internet: xanga, my space, other sites. There are communities of so- called "Ana and mia's", giving advice, and thinspirations to help your child continue their sickness.

This book is the best book on the market. It is not a manual for treatment alone, but an aide to understand and get help.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. Broady on July 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When my daughter spiraled down into anorexia we checked out 6 books and purchased another 7. This was the single most helpful of all of them. We got information from each of them, but this one synthesizes the information in understandable and concise form. Our daughter got down to a Body Mass Index of 14 and was at the threshold of hospitalization. We committed our family fully to the Maudsley Method which James Lock is a leading expert in. We have had tremendous success over two months and feel like we are firmly on the recovery track. I can not stress strongly enough that you the family have to become in charge of your daughter's recovery. Commit yourselves 100% to full nutrition every meal, every day. There will be tantrums, 3 hour breakfasts, crying, horrible things said by the daughter, but . . . . . . eventually she eats more . . . then more . . . then she slowly then steadily gains to a health weight. As she gains the behaviors and moods associated with starvation go away. Do not count on any of your care team being familiar with or supportive of Maudsley methodology. You might have to change the treatment team or become the leader. Traditional teaching stresses that eating disorders may be caused by family dysfunction or abuse or underlying mental illness. Maudsley does not focus on the why at first, but rather concentrates on re-feeding to restore normal brain function. Then any underlying issues can be addressed successfully without the effects of starvation getting in the way. Remember, you probably did not cause your daughter to have anorexia. But, you can help her recover.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Sam I Am on May 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent advice by leading researchers at Stanford and U of Chicago in eating disorders. The authors offer practical advice on helping your child recover from this strange disease.

The commonsense approach of "supported nutrition" also known as the "Maudsley method" has been clinically proven more effective than the tradition therapy approaches.

There is much "psycho-babble" about the causes of this disease which can lead to many deadend approaches to treatment.

You cannot afford to wait. Get your child treatment today and read this book. Another highly recommended is "Eating with your Anorexic" by Laura Collins which is more of a journal of her families odessy with ED treatment. Check out her site (...)

-Parent of a 12 year old anorexic
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