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Old 10-12-2008, 10:33 AM
Amanda's Avatar
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Conquering Eating Disorders: How Family Communication Heals

Young women today are thinner than they have ever been. According to “Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders,” one percent of female adolescents suffer from anorexia. In other words, one out of every 100 young women between 10 and 20 years old is starving herself, sometimes to death, and four percent of college-age women have bulimia. But how do teens and parents begin talking about the “triggers” of these obsessions? How do families come together and communicate effectively in order to change these startling statistics?

With over 50 years of combined experience in the field of eating disorders, Sue Cooper, PhD, and Peggy Norton, RD, have compiled the stories they have heard over the years into Conquering Eating Disorders: How Family Communication Heals (Seal Press, October 2008.) I recently sent you a copy of the book, please let me know if you haven’t received it and I’d be happy to re-send. Each chapter in Conquering Eating Disorders provides a different real-life scenario, at the end of which Cooper and Norton break down the story and provide parents and teens with important communication tools that are necessary to fight, and hopefully stop, the progression of a full blown eating disorder.

In Conquering Eating Disorders, Cooper and Norton field the questions that parents have about how to address issues with their teens regarding unhealthy addictions to exercise, relationships, and healthy food choices. Cooper and Norton also talk with teens about how to speak with their parents regarding their concerns surrounding family situations such as divorce, parental depression, a big move, or a parent’s addiction. The authors also discuss ways to create a strong support system through activities such as family meals and family meetings. Conquering Eating Disorders provides solid tools for parents and teens to use in order to prevent eating disorders and change the unhealthy communication patterns within their households.

Sue Cooper has presented at numerous conferences—international, national, and regional—on the subject of eating disorder treatment. Cooper is also a feedback coach at the Center for Creative Leadership. Norton opened her private practice and began specializing in eating disorders, working as a team member with therapists. Additionally, Norton has led groups for eating disordered clients as well as overweight individuals.
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