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Carers Support

If you are caring for a friend or loved one suffering from an Eating Disorder...

Coming up against an Eating Dis-Order can sometimes feel like hitting a brick wall!

You are not alone.

Suddenly yourself, your loved one, family and friends are thrown into a situation where you have to pick your way through the various treatments, therapies, help, or limited help available to you.

This may be with the full agreement of the sufferer or absolutely against and without their co-operation.

Watching your loved one shrinking is indescribable unless you have experienced it.

The whole experience can leave you with a range of emotions which can include;

Suddenly yourself, your loved one, family and friends are thrown into a situation where you have to pick your way through the various treatments, therapies, help, or limited help available to you.

Hold on though.

Here is the good news!

- People DO recover from Eating Dis-Orders.

- There IS a way through the Eating Dis-Order.

- It IS possible to recover and NEVER repeat the cycle.


Never give up hope. Have faith that there is a solution out there. Keep seeking help and believing that things can and will change – for the better.

It's not just the sufferer that needs help and support. Being a 'Carer' is a full time job. Build yourself a strong network of support by surrounding yourself with friends, information, helplines, support groups.

Whichever therapy your loved one chooses – give it time to take effect.

The unfortunate thing with Eating Dis-Orders is that the weight is not always the first thing to go on. How often have you heard of an individual entering a re-feeding unit and gaining weight, only to come out and lose it again? The mind needs to become ‘well’ along with the body. This takes time.

Don’t be surprised if your loved one comes away from therapy upset, claiming that their therapist doesn’t know what they are talking about! With eating disorders you are challenging many beliefs which it may be hard for the individual to face.

It can sometimes feel as though progress is two steps forward – one step back. This is usual. As long as it’s going in the right direction – it’s good!

As a carer, you may at times feel like the ‘enemy’. When you have something important you wish to say try body matching the sufferer. Literally sit or stand the way they do. By doing this you will be creating rapport on a deep level.

You will have heard phrases along the lines of ‘you cannot know another man until you have walked a 100 miles in his shoes’. On an other-than-conscious level, body matching is a bit like walking in someone else's shoes.

Try ‘pacing and leading’ the sufferer to where you want them to be. During my dis-ordered eating I reached a point where I had only eaten a cheese roll in three days. Physically I couldn’t get up from the couch. I called my Mum in tears and she came at once. Although it had been obvious for 18 months there was a serious problem, this was the first time I’d admitted it! Mum and I talked for some time before Mum went to the kitchen and arranged a tiny piece of mackerel with a slice of brown bread cut into small triangles with no crusts. She placed it in front of me and said ‘see if you can manage that’. Mum must have been so relieved at my admission that she must have felt an overwhelming urge to make me a full English breakfast! However, what Mum actually did was to ‘pace’ me in my ‘own reality’. By preparing a meal so small and tempting (she knew I liked mackerel) and adding the comment ‘see if you can manage that’. She completely took away the pressure of eating. Pace…Pace….Lead!

And finally. If you were on a plane that was about to go down….

Before you could help anyone else you would need to put on YOUR oxygen mask. It’s the same here. At times it may not feel appropriate for you to care for yourself or you may even feel guilty doing the things that you enjoy. Know that it is not only okay but essential for you to take time for yourself doing the things that make you feel good or even rested. You will lead by example and be in a far more resourceful, rested state to take care of others.

The Claire Boyle Approach to Eating Dis-Orders for Carers

If you needed your boiler fixed I doubt that you would seek advice from a friend who had a consistently faulty boiler or one that had been fixed, only to break down. Far better to speak with someone that has a boiler which has been successfully repaired!

Seek help and advice from those who have either recovered from an Eating Dis-Order themselves or have a loved one who has recovered. Ask questions. "How did they do it?".

To give your loved one the best chance of recovery -

You could be the difference that makes the difference.

In order to be clear, focused, resourceful and fully available for your loved one, consider the Claire Boyle Approach to Eating Dis-Orders for Carers.

This Four Session Package includes the opportunity to ask questions of someone who has been successful time and again in helping both carers and sufferers find a way through Eating Dis-Orders.

The Carers' Package will help you gain:

- A deeper understanding of what the sufferer is experiencing.

- A more resourceful way to approach eating and mealtimes.

- A way through the damage caused to relationships by the eating disorder.

- Fast effective simple techniques to gain greater perspective in challenging situations.

- A clearer picture of the future and the next steps to be taken.

For more information contact Claire Boyle on 01892 825866.

Or via email on the Contact Us page.

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