What page is this on in the parenting books?

Happy to point to a piece I was asked to write for Social Work License Map blog:

I Had No Idea: It’s Not In The Parenting Books

I distinctly remember my shock and terror when I realized how unprepared I was for the topic of eating disorders. I believe most parents feel the same: this is not something we thought we'd have to learn and we certainly don't realize that our learning curve is more important than any other thing we do for our kids.
  • Learn about this illness.
  • Learn the difference between the good and bad information out there.
  • Act with resolve and courage and humility.
  • Do not expect anyone else to make it easier, pay for it, make our decisions for you, make the best treatment available, or pat you on the back later.


  1. Laura, I agree with you that anorexia nervosa is not in the parenting books. Unfortunately, it's generally not in the professional psychotherapy books either, except for content that is mostly outdated, debunked, speculative, and misleading. However, in my opinion, experts in the biological sciences (as distinguished from psychotherapists) are making some pretty good headway in understanding AN. For example, it is now known that relatively aggressive re-feeding and rapid weight gain are predictive of good outcome and normally do not carry the risks of refeeding syndrome that were previously assumed to exist. Also, biological studies of the brains of people with AN are showing objectively verifiable disturbances associated with semi-starvation that help explain the psychological distress that sufferers experience. As a parent, it helped me to go on www.pubmed.gov (search for anorexia nervosa) to learn about all the latest biological discoveries. This helped me develop an understanding of the state of the science, enabling me to distinguish accurate from inaccurate information I received from professional psychotherapists. In other words, I became empowered and confident as a parent, and a more informed consumer of what I was being told by treatment professionals.


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