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Common Stages of Recovery

Once a person begins the recovery process from an eating disorder, expectations around the duration may often hinder the  recovery work and keep the person stuck in using their eating disorder behaviors to handle their anxiety. Further, the education around the timeline of recovery is important for all involved.  Clients have often stated their fears of burdening their family and loved ones during this process is their main concern. When all members of the support system are aware of the different stages of recovery, they can model for their loved one non-judgment and patience, which may ultimately lead to a swifter recovery.sad2

The stages below were published by Carolyn Costin in her book, The Eating Disorder Sourcebook.   

∞     Presence of behaviors with no sense of a separate eating disorder self.  At this stage clients often do not even accept that they actually have an eating disorder, much less an eating disorder self. The behaviors are seen as being something they are either willfully or uncontrollably doing.

∞     Denial of seriousness.  When clients do admit they have an eating disorder, they are almost always in denial of how serious it is or can be.

∞     Beginning awareness of a split self.  Continuing their behaviors, in spite of wanting to get better and their own ambivalence about recovery, helps clients begin to see that they have both a healthy self and an eating disorder self.

∞     Active engagement with the eating disorder self and the healthy self.  Clients journal from and dialogue with the two selves. This helps to discover the function of the eating disorder self.

∞     Need for behaviors while developing the healthy self.  The eating disorder self will still be acting out through behaviors, while the client is strengthening the healthy self.

∞     Decrease in behaviors but thoughts/desire for behaviors, strong.  The healthy self gets stronger and can fight off some of the eating disorder urges. The habitual nature of the symptoms begins to diminish, but the eating disorder self is often still in control.

∞     General symptom control with reduced thoughts/desire.  The healthy self is in control most of the time, but clients still battle eating disorder thoughts and act on them occasionally.

∞     Control of symptoms by healthy self but remaining thoughts/desire.  At this point the healthy self is in control of the symptoms, but clients are at risk for returning to the behaviors, because the need for the behaviors has not been resolved and eating disorder thoughts are still present. Treatment should continue until the need for behaviors is significantly diminished. It is common for clients, significant others and insurance companies to think that at this point clients are recovered or well enough to stop treatment. This is not the case and often leads to relapse.

∞     Integration of eating disorder self and healthy self (recovered).  Clients do not have to work at abstaining from eating disorder behaviors because there is no desire to engage in them. The need for the eating disorder is gone.  Clients turn to people or to their inner self to regulate emotions or otherwise get needs met. There is no separate eating disorder self; it has been integrated so there is one whole self. The person has a normal, healthy relationship with food and weight and does not need to use eating disorder behaviors to deal with problems. At this point, they are now ‘recovered’.

 

 

Making Is-ness (& Recovery) Your Business

I just finished reading a very fun yet meaningful book written by Marie Forleo, a business, relationship and self-acceptance guru for women.  Her book, ‘Make Every Man Want You’, provides more than just guidance on how to meet someone.  It offers wonderful insight into how you can be present in your life and to enjoy it!  Forleo calls it making is-ness your business and many of the tips and self-reflection exercise can also be applied to the recovery process.

In the chapter titled, Irresistibility 101, she states that to foster your irresistibility, you must take personal responsibility for your life.  Honing this responsibility will allow you to acknowledge the fact that you have the ability to respond to your life instead of automatically reacting to it.  She states that “many of us behave like robots, mechanically acting out habitual thought patterns of self-pity, overwhelming resentment.  Rather than discovering who we are now or who we are with now, we re-act, or act again, based on how we reacted to similar events in our past.”

Many of my clients sought therapy because they realized that their way of reacting to life’s stressors or challenges with the ‘support’ of their eating disorder no longer worked for them or was not working as well as it had in the past.  By acknowledging that the eating disorder thoughts and behaviors were actually getting in the way of allowing them to be present in their relationships or attracting new relationships, they were ready to begin the journey of recovery.

Per Forleo, “Being personally resinspirational-quotes-large-msg-133224814478ponsible allows you to dissolve old programming and start responding to your life appropriately rather than mechanically re-acting like you did in the past.  This is an incredibly exciting place to live.  With personal responsibility, you gain a tremendous amount of control in your life.  You can free yourself from cyclical life patterns and proactively impact the quality and existence of your relationships.”

Often, eating disorder behaviors are about gaining a sense of control.  Unfortunately the control is unrelated to what the stressor is actually about and instead turns it into a problem with your body image or weight.  Therefore, the ‘responsible’ actions are instead around food and exercise versus handling the stress or conflict in a productive and healthy way.

So how do we stop these patterns?  Forleo believes that the first step in personal responsibility is by facing the reality of how you operate in your life.   But this does not mean you should beat yourself up about it! “When you judge, berate, criticize, complain, or otherwise add commentary to your self-observations, you actually cement undesirable behaviors in place.  The challenge, of course, is that our minds are automatic judgment machines.  They instantly evaluate everything we do as either good or bad, right or wrong.  Thankfully this isn’t a problem.  The trick is to simply notice the judgment and then not judge yourself for judging yourself and if that doesn’t work, take one step out and don’t judge yourself for judging yourself for judging yourself.  At some point, you’ll reach a state of neutrality.  There’s a law in physics that states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  In other words, what we resist persists.  Judging, berating, criticizing and complaining are all forms of resisting.”

Here is your assignment:

For the next 24-hours, make is-ness your total business.  No matter what happens- your printer breaks, your date cancels, or the plane is delayed for two hours- pretend that you wanted it to happen.  You can even say, “And this is what I want!” after any circumstance that your mind wants to resist.  While this may feel odd, it will help you become aware of all the ways you resist your is-ness and unwittingly create misery, frustration and upset in your life.

 

Shrein Bahrami, MFT  |  2146 Union Street, San Francisco, CA 94123  |  415.595.8963

RecoverED Vs. RecoverING

My dear friend and colleague, Dr. Linda McCabe, graciously accepted my request to share her beautifully written and thought-provoking blog article on recovery.  In it, she shares her own recovery experience and beliefs on the differences between being recovered from an eating disorder versus being on a path of recovery or ‘recovering’.  Enjoy!

RecoverED vs. RecoverINGrite-of-passage

             Recently, I had a respectfully spirited discussion with a colleague of mine. Together, we have 39 years of professional experience (25 for her; 14 for me) in treating eating disorders. And together, we have over 50 of personal recovery experience, both of us having solidified our own eating disorder recovery and being led into helping others as a way to give back what we had been given/worked for ourselves. We were debating the terms “recovered” vs. “recovering.”

Carolyn Costin, a well-known expert in the field of eating disorder treatment is adamant about the position of being “recovered.” She states:

Being recovered to me is when the person can accept his or her natural body size and shape and no longer has a self destructive or unnatural relationship with food or exercise. When you are recovered, food and weight take a proper perspective in your life and what you weigh is not more important than who you are; in fact, actual numbers are of little or no importance at all. When recovered, you will not compromise your health or betray your soul to look a certain way, wear a certain size or reach a certain number on a scale.

http://montenido.com/to_the_client/recovered_recovering

This makes sense to me and I agree. However, I ALSO think of recovery for myself as a larger picture. I don’t see recovery from an eating disorder limited to food, exercise, and weight. I see these aspects of recovery as doorways into an ongoing journey of life-long growth. Losing weight and over-exercising to the point of becoming anorexic in my college years long ago and discovering this was a misplaced way to journey through a rite of passage into adulthood was my entryway into self discovery and recovery.  And, in the early phase of my recovery, when I struggled with bingeing and purging, I was entering another phase of the journey. Though I was still struggling with eating disorder behaviors, I was also doing the difficult work of looking at family of origin dynamics, cultivating a food plan and spirituality that worked for me, developing tools to “tolerate distress” and “regulate emotion” in ways other than using food, navigating how to keep myself and share myself in relationships, and finding a whole new identity of who am I without an eating disorder; who am I as a woman; who am I as a human being on this planet?

Owning the Shadow and Dis-identifying from an Overdeveloped Superego

I worked a 12-step program for the first ten years of my eating disorder recovery. In this program, one identifies as a “bulimic/anorexic/compulsive overeater” whether one has 1 day of abstinence from eating disordered behaviors or 20 years. The thought behind this, as I understand it, is that owning this part of one’s self (shadow) gives one the choice to be free of it and integrate its wisdom without “acting it out.” It is a practice of beginning to dis-identify from this aspect of the self enough to allow other parts of the self (the “Healthy self/Recovery Self,” Wise Mind, Playful self, Embodied self, Self that experiences sadness, anger, joy) to be discovered/re-covered.

I don’t engage in bingeing, restricting, over-exercising, or purging behaviors. I haven’t in a decade and a half. However, I do still see very clearly these parts of myself, of my brain, of my multifaceted Self.  As I say to clients, you have to give that part of yourself a voice: you don’t have to act on it and you certainly don’t have to believe what it is saying. I use the metaphor of what 12 steps call “the itty bitty committee” in your head.  Each member needs to be able to share. But that doesn’t mean that certain members get to run the show or be the dictator. The voice of an Eating Disorder, “ED” as some call it, can be very dictatorial. It is an extremely overdeveloped Superego, Critical voice. Giving it a voice is important, but dis-identifying from it enough to see that there are many, many, MANY other aspects of the self that need an opportunity to speak as well is crucial. I love how Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA) holds the position that “People can and do fully recover from having an eating disorder.” And “In EDA, we help one another identify and claim milestones of recovery” that celebrate a newly growing recovery self. http://www.eatingdisordersanonymous.org/about.html

The Importance of Humility vs. Allowing yourself to be “big,” visible and have a self

In the history of 12 step Program, and in my clinical experience working with people recovering from substance use/dependence I see there is a necessary “ego deflation” aspect to recovery. The founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Bill W and Dr. Bob, had years of narcissistic denial and grandiosity in their capacity to pause from acting out on “self-will run riot” in their alcoholism and how it was causing damage. Their philosophy of recovery stresses the importance of pausing and reflecting on how their actions would potentially hurt themselves and others before taking action. This is a necessary and essential skill for people recovering from impulsivity mixed with a lack of ability to empathically imagine how their actions will affect others. However, I see a temperamental difference in people recovering from substance use and people recovering from eating disorders. (Please excuse that this is a generalization that is not always true and that many people have both, one or neither of these tendencies.) People recovering from eating disorders have been called the “silent screamers” that are “starving for attention.” In other words, people with disordered eating often care-take others in their family system and relationships at the expense of themselves. They often have overdeveloped empathy for others and their eating disorder has prevented them from attending to the importance of caring for and developing the self. In this sense, eating disorder recovery is more about developing an ego rather than deflating it.

In this self-discovery, there is a necessary aspect of breaking through denial that both substance use and eating disorder recovery require. Both require “rigorous honesty” with challenging old beliefs. In eating disorder recovery, though, there is a necessity of the process of recovering that is less black and white than substance use recovery. You can abstain from alcohol and drugs. You can’t abstain from food. And you can’t abstain from your body and the beliefs you have around your body. In eating disorder recovery: “it is about the food and it’s not about the food,”  “it’s about the food until it’s not about the food,” and “it’s about the body and it’s not at all about your body.”  In the words of Geneen Roth, who has been travelling the path of recovery and teaching others for decades, “You begin by understanding that your relationship to food is a doorway, not a wall, an opening, not a closing,” she said. “That itself, just that, is a leap because most people don’t want to hear that. Most people want to fix it and be done with it. They want to wake up at their natural weight tomorrow.  But until you work on the unseen level first, no amount of change in your eating is going to last. The very beliefs you have are going to drive you to doing the same things over again. What I say…is the body obeys the shape of your beliefs. If you want to change the shape of your body, you must first change what is shaping it.”

Ending the harmful behaviors of an eating disorder is essential to recovery and completely possible to end.  As Jenny Schaefer, author of the books Life Without ED and Goodbye ED, Hello, Me, says, “I am recoverED. Period.”  However, inquiring into the underlying beliefs that led to these behaviors is a life-long process of recovering. I welcome this process, again and again.

 

To read more inspiring blog posts or to learn more about Dr. Linda, visit her website here

 Originally published on PsychedinSF.com

Guided Meditation Videos

Meditation is an amazing tool to help you find grounding and cultivate a sense of peace and clarity.  It is a great way to start or end your day as well as a great refresher during the afternoon.  Although it seems quite simple, it takes practice and patience.  Wherever you are in your practice, guided meditation videos can help you find or deepen your zen.  Below are a few videos I recommend, enjoy!

Three Minute Mindfulness Meditationzen

Sitting With Breath — A Guided Meditation with Lori Granger, LMFT (15 mins)

Free Healing Meditation from Deepak Chopra by NPowerYourMind.com (16 mins)

Healing Spirit: Guided Meditation for Relaxation, Anxiety, Depression and Self Acceptance (21 mins)

Healing the Body, Mind & Spirit (40 mins)

 

 

Inspirational TED Talks

I love TED talks!  Whenever I am in need of some inspiration or relaxation, I can always find something thought-provoking, funny or heart-warming.  Below are a few of my favorite videos.

And, below are the 20 most popular talks thus far.

  1. Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity (2006): 23,510,221 views
  2. Jill Bolte Taylor‘s stroke of insight (2008): 14,343,197
  3. Simon Sinek on how great leaders inspire action (2010): 14,228,854
  4. Brene Brown talks about the power of vulnerability (2010): 12,703,623
  5. Amy Cuddy on how your body language shapes who you are (2012): 12,682,694
  6. Pranav Mistry on the thrilling potential of SixthSense (2009): 12,068,105
  7. Tony Robbins asks why we do what we do (2006): 10,425,014
  8. David Gallo‘s underwater astonishments (2007): 10,266,221
  9. Mary Roach on 10 things you didn’t know about orgasm (2009): 9,435,954
  10. Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation (2009): 9.176,053
  11. Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry demo SixthSense (2009): 8, 363,339
  12. Dan Gilbert asks: Why are we happy? (2004): 7,788,151
  13. Hans Rosling shows the best stats you’ve ever seen (2006): 7,685,726
  14. Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing your creative genius (2009): 7,593,076
  15. Steve Jobs on how to live before you die (2005): 7,223,258
  16. Susan Cain shares the power of introverts (2012): 6,807,240
  17. Keith Barry does brain magic (2004): 6,371,778
  18. David Blaine reveals how he held his breath for 17 minutes (2010): 6,359,084
  19. Pamela Meyer on how to spot a liar (2010): 6,256,589
  20. Arthur Benjamin does mathemagic (2005): 4,951,918

 ted

 

 

 

 

Reject the Diet Mentality

Often, in our very “ditch-the-diet-mentalityhealth conscious, foodie, fit” society, it can be quite difficult to determine what of our food beliefs are actually health based and what are created from years and years of being exposed to a very diet focused culture.  Below is a chart taken from the book “Intuitive Eating”.  It very clearly illustrates common thoughts that are often behind the decisions we make around food and exercise and whether they are coming from a restrictive diet mentality or are truly healthy and intuitive to our bodies.  

 The Diet Mentality Versus the Non-Diet Mentality

ISSUE DIETING MENTALITY NON-DIET MENTALITY
Eating/Food Choices Do I deserve it?If I eat a heavy food, I try to find a way to make up for it.I feel guilty when I eat heavy foods.I usually describe a day of eating as either good or bad.

I view food as the enemy.

Am I hungry?Do I want it?Will I be deprived if I don’t eat it?Will it be satisfying?

Does it taste good?

I deserve to enjoy eating without guilt.

Exercise Benefits I focus primarily on the calories burned.I feel guilty if I miss a designated exercise day. I focus primarily on how exercise makes me feel, especially the   energizing and stress-relieving factors.
Progress is viewed as: How many pounds did I lose?How do I look?What do other people think of my weight?I have good willpower. Rather than being concerned with my weight, I trust that my weight   will normalize when I am attuned to my internal eating signals.  My weight is not my primary goal or an   indicator of my progress.I have increased trust with myself and food.I am able to let go of “eating indiscretions.”I recognize inner body cues.

 -Taken from Intuitive Eating, Tribole and Resch

Shrein Bahrami, MFT  |  2146 Union Street, San Francisco, CA 94123  |  415.595.8963

Self-full versus Self-less

                                                                          positiv-affirmations-for-self-esteem

A common fear that shows up when I challenge my clients to increase (or in some cases begin) their self-care  routine is ‘I don’t want to be selfish’.  I understand that this fear has pretty much been ingrained in us since childhood when our survival was no longer 100% dependent upon our caregivers.  In many ways, this value contributes to a polite and empathic society.  Yet, particularly in the US, many people are all too familiar with the feelings of resentment, anger, chronic low energy, anxiety, depression, and burnout.  And just about everyone I know is working towards or trying to maintain balance in their lives between work, responsibilities and relationships.  I think that to have balance and peace of mind, being selfish or self-full on a regular basis is a necessity.  I use the term self-full because I have found that it is nearly impossible to strip the negative connotations around behaving in a selfish way.  Oftentimes, I will ask my clients to recall a time in their life when they acted in a more self-full way.  Some will respond with a smile and say their teenage years; when they were able to pursue their passions and try new things such as exploring the creative arts (music, art, acting, etc), partaking in sports teams, joining different clubs or traveling  somewhere new.  This period in their life may also have involved much more risky decision making.  Sometimes this worked out well, other times not so much, but more often than not, a lesson was learned along the way…eventually.  Other clients will have to reflect back to childhood, as their teen years may have already been plagued with too much responsibility and not enough fun or relaxation.
To make peace with this fear requires a lot of work, mentally and by taking real action, often forcing yourself to do the simplest of things.  For instance, treating yourself to flowers, drawing yourself a bath instead of a more efficient shower or taking a nap on Sunday without an overwhelming sense of guilt for not marking off another task on the never ending to do list.  You may need to enlist the support of a trustworthy friend, family members or a  therapist to hold you accountable to this new endeavor.  In time, the benefits of being self-full will undoubtedly pay off, allowing you to be more authentic and present in your relationships as well as obtaining that golden ticket; peace of mind.

Below are a few easy and inexpensive self-care ideas, try one today and begin to create your own self-fulfilling activities list.

Go on a nature walk
Listen to your favorite music, create a playlist, purchase a new song/album from iTunes
Watch your favorite movie
Schedule a night out with your best friend
Schedule a night in with your best friend
Buy a special journal, write in it daily
Buy a new perfume, candle, lotion
Meditate or follow a guided meditation on YouTube
Take a yoga class or follow one on YouTube
Draw
Paint
Sing
Dance
Go on a picnic
Read a completely unrelated-to-work book
Buy a non body image based magazine – Oprah’s magazine is great!
Enjoy a cup of tea….sipping slowly
Netflix – watch a comedy or something ‘light’
Sleep in
Wake up a little bit early and meditate, go for a walk, journal, prepare your favorite breakfast

 

Shrein Bahrami, MFT  |  2146 Union Street, San Francisco, CA 94123  |  415.595.8963

Stages of Recovery from an Eating Disorder

 Common Stages of Recovery

Presence of behaviors with no sense of a separate eating disorder self.  At this stage clients often do not even accept that they actually have an eating disorder, much less an eating disorder self. The behaviors are seen as being something they are either willfully or uncontrollably doing.

 

Denial of seriousness.  When clients do admit they have an eating disorder, they are almost always in denial of how serious it is or can be. 

 

Beginning awareness of a split self.  Continuing their behaviors, in spite of wanting to get better and their own ambivalence about recovery, helps clients begin to see that they have both a healthy self and an eating disorder self.

 

Active engagement with the eating disorder self and the healthy self.  Clients journal from and dialogue with the two selves. This helps to discover the function of the eating disorder self.

 

Need for behaviors while developing the healthy self.  The eating disorder self will still be acting out through behaviors, while the client is strengthening the healthy self. 

 

Decrease in behaviors but thoughts/desire for behaviors, strong.  The healthy self gets stronger and can fight off someof the eating disorder urges. The habitual nature of the symptoms begins to diminish, but the eating disorder self is often still in control. 

 

General symptom control with reduced thoughts/desire.  The healthy self is in control most of the time, but clients still battle eating disorder thoughts and act on them occasionally.

 

Control of symptoms by healthy self but remaining thoughts/desire.  At this point the healthy self is in control of the symptoms, but clients are at risk for returning to the behaviors, because the need for the behaviors has not been resolved and eating disorder thoughts are still present. Treatment should continue until the need for behaviors is significantly diminished. It is common for clients, significant others and insurance companies to think that at this point clients are recovered or well enough to stop treatment. This is not the case and often leads to relapse.

 

Integration of eating disorder self and healthy self (recovered).  Clients do not have to work at abstaining from eating disorder behaviors because there is no desire to engage in them. The need for the eating disorder is gone.  Clients turn to people or to their inner self to regulate emotions or otherwise get needs met. There is no separate eating disorder self; it has been integrated so there is one whole self. The person has a normal, healthy relationship with food and weight and does not need to use eating disorder behaviors to deal with problems. At this point, they are now ‘recovered’.

steppingstones

Taken from The Eating Disorder Sourcebook

How to Support a Loved One With an Eating Disorder

holding_handsBe patient- there are no quick solutions

Recovery from an eating disorder takes a long time. Even if you are aware of this, you may still be inclined to think that the person should be improving faster and that more progress should be made. Long-term thinking and endless patience is necessary. Research suggests that full recovery will most likely take several years.

Avoid power struggles

Just as with approaching someone to get help, as much as possible find alternatives to power struggles, especially when it comes to eating and weight. Don’t make mealtimes or eating a battle of wills. Don’t try to force or overly control eating. Leave these issues to the therapist, dietitian or other treating clinician unless your involvement is discussed, requested and worked out with help from the professionals.

Avoid blaming or demanding

Don’t try to find causes or someone to blame for the eating disorder, and don’t plead or demand that your loved one stop their behavior. Neither of these actions will help; they will only serve to oversimplify the situation and may cause shame and guilt. It is easy for your loved one to feel responsible for your or someone else’s feelings. Go to therapy together.

Don’t ask how you can help – ask a professional

Your loved one will not know how you can help and may feel worse if you ask. Another possibility is that he/she thinks they know what will help but is wrong, and this will make matters worse. Trying to help when you are unsure of what to do might cause more fighting and new problems. A professional is in a better position to give you advice.

Show affection and appreciation verbally and physically

A little unconditional love goes a long way. There are many ways to show affection and support besides talking (e.g. hugging or spending special time together). Consider writing letters or just little notes to your loved one, even if you live together. This is a good way to express encouragement, concern, and support without expecting a response or putting the person on the spot.

Do not comment about weight or appearance

Avoid making looks a focus. Don’t comment about their or other people’s weight or appearance. It is a trap to answer questions like, “Do I look fat?” If you say no, you won’t be believed, and if you say anything else or even hesitate for a moment, your reaction may be used as an excuse to engage in eating disorder behavior. Telling someone with anorexia that they look too thin is a mistake. This is what they want to hear. Telling someone with bulimia they look good on a particular day may reinforce their binge/purge behaviors if they believe they are responsible for the compliment. Instead, answer honestly with some version of the following:

“You and I know that there is no answer I could give you that would really work or make things better”

“I think it is best if we stay away from talking about your weight”

“You know this kind of question is a dead-end street for us”

Do not use bribes, rewards, or punishments to control eating behavior

Generally speaking, trying to externally control eating disorder behavior through bribery, punishment, or enticements – if it works at all- is only temporary. It puts off the person having to deal with internal means of controlling their behaviors.

Do not monitor their behavior, even when asked

Do not become the food or bathroom police. Loved ones may ask you to stop them if you see them eating too much or tell them when they have gained too much weight. They may seek your praise for the amount of food they are eating. Monitoring their behaviors may work for a short time, but usually ends up backfiring. Get professional help and become a monitor only when and how advised.

Accept your limitations

Accepting your feelings and limitations means learning to set rules or say ‘No’ in a caring and reasonable but firm and consistent manner. You may have to discuss cleaning the bathroom, limiting the amount of food she goes through, charging for binged food or establishing a rule that laxatives aren’t allowed in the house. You may have to tell her that you can’t always be available. Don’t try to become a substitute for professional care. Eating disorders are very complicated and getting professional help is essential.

Getting help and support for yourself

If you care about someone who has an eating disorder, it can be painful, frustrating, and confusing. You need knowledge, guidance and support in dealing with the situation. The more knowledge you have about eating disorders and what to expect in regard to assessment and treatment, the easier it will be for you. You are going to experience a range of emotions: from helplessness to anger to despair. You may find yourself losing control of your feelings and actions. It is important to get help for yourself. You need to talk about your own feelings as well as getting guidance about how to deal with your loved one. Good friends are important, but a therapist or support group may also be necessary. You may need to go to an individual therapist where you can discuss you particular situation, feelings, and specific needs in detail. Whether or not your loved one gets help, let them know you are getting help for yourself. This may not help them take the situation more seriously; even if it does not, you must take care of yourself. If you do not stay healthy and strong, you will not be able to help someone else.

~Taken from The Eating Disorder Sourcebook, Carolyn Costin, M.A., M.Ed., M.F.T.

Marriage and Family Therapists

What does is mean to be a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)?
Generally, working with a MFT will be:
  • brief
  • solution-focused
  • specific, with attainable therapeutic goals
  • designed with the end goal in mind

Marriage and family therapists regularly practice short-term therapy; 12 sessions on average.  Research studies show that clients are highly satisfied with services of Marriage and Family Therapists.  Clients report marked improvement in work productivity, co-worker relationships, family relationships, partner relationships, emotional health, overall health, social life, and community involvement.

When a child is the identified patient, parents report that their child’s behavior improved in 73.7% of the cases, their ability to get along with other children significantly improved and there was improved performance in school.
In a recent study, consumers report that marriage and family therapists are the mental health professionals they would most likely recommend to friends.  Over 98 percent of clients of marriage and family therapists report therapy services as good or excellent.

Marriage and family therapy’s prominence in the mental health field has increased due to its brief, solution-focused treatment, its family-centered approach, and its demonstrated effectiveness.

-from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy website

Video explaining working with a MFT

 

Shrein Bahrami, MFT  |  2146 Union Street, San Francisco, CA 94123  |  415.595.8963