January 2011 Archive
Often people enter therapy for eating disorders unsure about the process. They express feeling unsure, scared and express that it is hard to believe they could ever be free from the eating disorder. Some times, they are unsure about getting better because they are worried about making changes. This is understandable, change can always be scary and met with a sense of hesitation.
In order to better help people I work with as well as address some of these concerns, I ask many questions to identify where people are with respect to feeling ready to change. To do this, I use Prochaska and DiClemente’s Stages of Change Model.
Here is a brief overview of the model.
The Pre-contemplation Stage: This looks like denial. In this stage the person does not see ED symptoms as a problem, although those around them likely do. It is important for loved ones to begin raising the individuals awareness about EDs and expressing concern about observed behaviors that are problematic.
The Contemplation Stage: The person understands there is a problem and is open to receiving help. This is an exploration phase of treatment, the individual can begin to understand what the ED means to them and the role it has played in their life.
The Preparation Stage: The person is ready to change and begins to learn what the process may look like. They develop a treatment plan with their therapist, nutritionist, psychiatrist, medical doctor as applicable. Tools begin to be added to the tool box including a meal plan, new coping skills, food records, etc. The individual begins to identify triggers to ED behaviors and learns new ways to address and change past harmful behaviors.
The Action Stage: The individual puts new skills and awareness into play. They begin creating positive change and using new ways of coping. During this phase it is important for loved ones to validate progress and provide ongoing support.
The Maintenance Stage: This stage entails maintaining change and recovery for 6 months or more.. Increased awareness, especially regarding triggers to relapse is a part of this stage. Support from loved ones especially as change continues is important during this time.
In 2005, the Academy for Eating Disorders surveyed over 1700 people from over 40 countries about their experiences with eating disorder treatment. The responses overwhelmingly discussed a lack of access to treatment, experiences of stigma and marginalization of families. In repsonse, the AED developed the Worldwide Charter for Action on Eating Disorders. The Charter has become a “bill of rights for patients and their families” outlining the rights and expectations patients and families are entitled to (i.e. access to treatment, best treatment guidelines, etc).
In addition to providing a guidelines for patients and families, the charter can also be used to unify health care practices. The goal is to form a united coalition that can persuade policy makers around the globe to commit to the actions set forth in the Charter.
Sign on to show your support for the WW Charter by adding your name. View and sign here: http://www.aedweb.org/source/Charter/
Do you have thoughts or ideas about how to improve the charter document? Are their ways you can use the charter in promoting your organization or advocacy efforts? Feel free to share!
One of the most common things I hear from people early in recovery from an eating disorder is a sense of hopelessness. When you are in the middle of the eating disorder it can be hard enough to fight the battle never mind seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!
Some one once told me that you don’t have to have hope to get better, and I agree. Recovery is about taking it step by step, bite by bite. It is about building up a series of successes and positive experiences that ultimately lead to hope and the belief that things can be better and different.
And remember, there are people out there that have the HOPE for you until you can feel it yourself!
|April 27, 2011||to||May 1, 2011|