How do you spell "empower"

I'm not home yet. But I left scowling about something.

How is it that I devote my days to "how essential family involvement is in the healing of women with eating disorders" and manage to come up with such a diametrically opposed view of what involvement means?

Here's my view of involvement:

Speak up to the clinicians - not the patient.
Step up to the care - not leave it to the patient.
Take it seriously - but not expect the patient to be able to.
Put this issue first, and do whatever it takes for as long as it takes.
Learn that this illness is not anyone's fault, but that these are brain disorders, genetic and biological and they rob patients of the ability to engage in therapy and questions and "control."
To talk about nutrition's functional role in brain recovery.
To tell parents about the option of Family-Based Maudsley therapy.
To tell parents they are the very best asset and ally during recovery.
To make sure parents know that caregiving through this illness is hard and harrowing and they should call on every possible resource to support the whole family just as they would for any grave illness.
To never, ever treat this illness as a woman's issue.

I'm all about empowering families. But I know my approach to doing that doesn't resemble this one.


  1. Basically, Renfrew is tell parents to leave it to the professionals. If we had done that my d would not be here. And, no, she couldn't choose to get better, it was out of her control. I'm so sad that so many parents will believe what Renfrew says.

  2. This sounds very much like the inpatient approach used with us. Disempowering

  3. this young man points out that men get eating disorders too!

  4. What a load of crap - sounds like people trying to provide themselves with job security. There were barely a few nuggets of truth mixed in there.

  5. Laura, just something that caught my eye is that you wrote that you devote your days to "...the healing of women..." but you also wrote "to never...treat this illness as a woman's issue." I think you meant "healing people" and not just women, but I wanted to bring your attention to that inconsistency.

  6. It makes me sad that parents and familes new to eating disorders would find this information, posted by a very well known treatment center, and believe that this approach actually works! Sad to think that they would let their loved ones "make a choice" to starve themselves because they believe the advice they read was from "experts". And even sadder to think that evidence-based information isn't being presented when it could have such life-saving effects.

  7. Anonymous #3, you are right. I was quoting the article I was citing, but it was awkwardly done. Good point.


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