When to Add an Individual Therapist in FBT-Phase 1

Individual therapy in FBT

When I am working as the Family-Based Treatment (FBT) therapist for a teen in recovery, their parents will often ask whether the teen should also see a therapist individually. Unlike other therapy situations, in FBT there is no expectation that there is both an individual therapist and a family therapist. It’s there in the name: …

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Externalizing an Eating Disorder: When, Why, and How Do You Do That and Who is “Ed” Anyway?

Externalizing an Eating Disorder [image description: drawing of a child reigning in a monster]

Externalizing an eating disorder is a therapeutic strategy that became more widely known through Jenni Schaefer’s book Life Without Ed, cowritten with her therapist Thom Rutledge. The book summarizes Jenni’s recovery from an eating disorder. Jenni describes how in her treatment she learned to personify the eating disorder as “Ed,” an abusive boyfriend. As explained in …

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How do I Parent My Teen During Family-Based Treatment? When to Set Limits

Parents doing FBT often struggle with “normal parenting concerns” and setting limits while doing FBT. They’re refeeding their teens at home, doing the hard work often done by professional staff at treatment centers, but they still have to parent. It’s exhausting. Their teens who have eating disorders are often experiencing the psychological and physical consequences …

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Low-Cost Eating Disorder Psychotherapy Now Available

Low-Cost Eating Disorder Therapy

We are excited to announce that via our designation as a practicum site we are now able to train advanced graduate students in psychology in evidence-based treatment for eating disorders. This allows us to further our mission of helping to disseminate evidence-based treatments and to bring them to people in Los Angeles County who need …

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Supporting Your Loved One with ARFID

Supporting a Loved One with ARFID [woman looking disgusted at bowl of cereal]

by Carolyn Comas, LCSW There’s an eating disorder that often gets overlooked amongst the better-known eating disorders like Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder. Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is an eating disorder that can involve difficulty tolerating certain foods due to textures, tastes, or smells. It can also manifest as avoidant …

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Easing Grief Through Connection (Coping Strategy for the Holidays)

Easing Grief Through Connection (Coping Strategy for the Holidays) [Image description: jar of dimes]

By Carolyn Comas, LCSW Grief can be complicated and a painful process. This holiday season many of us are experiencing the loss of the past year we were supposed to have. For those who have lost someone special this can compound the difficulty of this years’ holiday season. 2020 has not been easy for many …

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How We Set Recovery Weights

Recovery Weight [Image description: doctor scale]

If you have an eating disorder, or your child has one, there is a good chance that weight gain will be an essential part of the recovery process. This is true not just for people in objectively small bodies, but also for people in larger bodies who are diagnosed with Atypical Anorexia, a weight-biased diagnostic …

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Structuring Your Eating Disorder Recovery Environment

Structuring Your Eating Disorder Recovery Environment [Image description: hand visible writing in planner]

  Recovery is challenging! I am repeatedly moved and impressed by the courage of my patients as they work through recovery from an eating disorder. One strategy that can help support recovery is a careful ​structuring of one’s recovery environment. This applies to adults working individually in treatment as well as to families helping adolescents to recover. Most evidence-based …

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College, COVID, and Eating Disorders: What You Need to Know

College, COVID, and Eating Disorders [Image description: woman with mask in front of computer]

  As I’ve talked about in depth here, the transition to college away from home is challenging for most young adults. It is especially fraught for young adults with eating disorders. In that article I provided a College Readiness Checklist for students who are either considering their first move away from home after a history …

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Coping With Anxiety During Anxious Times

Anxiety During Anxious Times

by Carolyn Comas, LCSW With the global COVID-19 pandemic shutting down not only towns and states but entire countries, our world has entered into an abnormal time. The lives of everyone have been interrupted and disrupted by a virus that can have devastating effects. During this time many people are reporting feeling levels of heightened …

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