When Food is Family: Breakthrough Book Ties Eating-Disorder Recovery to Healthy Relationship Attachments

Sep 21, 2011, 09:01 ET from Judy Scheel, Ph.D., LCSW

NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A new book by eating-disorder expert, Judy Scheel, Ph.D., LCSW, says childhood relationships and experiences can play a role in contributing to the development of eating disorders.  As a first book of its kind to look at how and why eating disorders occur in families – and how treating them is often a family affair – it offers a step-by-step approach to healing damaged relationships that are often at the root of such issues.

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Published by Idyll Arbor, When Food is Family: A Loving Approach to Heal Eating Disorders is for families, individuals with eating disorders, health-care practitioners, therapists and others who seek to understand the relational underpinnings of eating disorders and how to treat them. Available in October, and currently on Amazon.com, When Food is Family explores the connection between eating disorders and relationships based on Attachment Theory: the emotional bond that develops and the degree to which mutual trust, respect, communication and emotional expression is experienced and shared among family members and in other relationships throughout life.

"Relationships impact the development of self-worth and self-esteem. For individuals with eating disorders, food becomes the metaphor, and the relationship/attachment to food is created because the connections these people crave in their relationships – the attachments they truly seek – feel too complicated," says Dr. Scheel.  "Eating disorders are the metaphoric voice for what ails them."

Kathryn Zerbe, MD, professor of psychiatry and training in Portland, OR says, "As a practicing psychiatrist and educator who treats eating disorders, I am often asked 'what are the best available books to assist in the 'real world' treatment of eating disorders?' Dr. Judy Scheel's When Food is Family is such a text."

When Food is Family guides the reader toward rebuilding healthy attachments – an essential ingredient to a positive treatment outcome, according to Dr. Scheel. "Helping family members accept responsibility for their role in the eating disorder without blame, shame or accusation, and helping them establish authentic communication is a primary focus of the book."

Dr. Scheel has been treating eating disorders for more than 25 years. She is the founder and executive director of CEDAR Associates, a private outpatient practice specializing in the treatment of eating disorders and other self-harming behaviors. A member of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), and the Eating Disorders Coalition, Inc., Dr. Scheel emphasizes the importance of mutual respect, empathy, trust, and the need to live authentically in eating-disorder treatment approaches.

About Idyll Arbor

Idyll Arbor provides health-care practitioners and consumers with information that plays a significant role in promoting health, wellbeing and healing. One of nation's leading publishers on topics pertaining to recreational therapy and activity programs, Idyll Arbor offers information on nutrition, eating disorders, water exercises, brain injury, PTSD, the use of writing in the healing process, and other health and recovery issues. (www.idyllarbor.com)

SOURCE Judy Scheel, Ph.D., LCSW