March 16, 2012

What needs to change?

Fiona is a young woman who had bulimia for over 20 years. She kept it a secret; it was her own private hell.

Let me tell you what I do when people come to see me with problems like this.

I look for areas of conflict. Very frequently people minimize conflicts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this answer when I query what needs to change: “nothing needs to change”, or: “its me who has to change.”

This of course is how we all live to some extent. We see ourselves of the as the prime movers of our lives.

Nevertheless, I gently ask, might there be some areas of discord?

Fiona mentioned: “well, there’s my aunt… she calls all the time, she’s very critical… but it doesn’t bother me.”

Her husband, incredulous, blurted out “it sure does bother you; you’re just afraid to confront her.”

We then proceeded to find where there were other conflicts. Work had began.

Of course I strongly encouraged her to enlist supporters as she began to address her issues. She chose her husband.

How about conflict in your life?

In your life it may be you have areas of conflict you just pretend would go away.

And as we said many times on this site, to the extent you address these conflicts, the more control you have over your eating disorder.

So so if you haven’t already done it, use the spreadsheet in the tool section.

Let us know how you proceed.

Yours in strength, Charles.

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  • carole: this makes a lot of sense to me too.I instead of asking and asking for help with my partner and kids do the...
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Book: Enduring Change in Eating Disorders

Enduring Change in Eating Disorders - Book Cover

Dr Fishman is the author of 'Enduring Change in Eating Disorders – Interventions with long -term results' (Brunner-Routledge 2004).

This book presents the powerful and proven effective model of Intensive Structural Family Therapy and its application to the treatment of eating disorders.