Books on Eating Disorders
The Binge Code; Alison Kerr
When I was first introduced to this book I thought, 'Wow, she just explained the process behind a binge better than anyone I have ever heard'...and then I went to the first chapter. The entire book is very thoughtfully written and really showcases transformative steps to help manage binge eating.
Bonus, once you buy the book, you can go to her website, here, and sign up for FREE resources including meditations to manage cravings and stop urges to, tracking tools, and a cheat sheet that lays out all of the tools/skills she talks about in her book! Plus, many of my clients really enjoyed the regular emails they would get when signing up for her listserv.
Intuitive Eating; Tribole & Resch
A tell-tale sign for me that a book is awesome is when it continues to be referenced 10 years later. And with this book, it has been almost 25 years and it is still used as one of the gold standard books to help people understand and reconnect with their bodies, seeing food and the body from a more compassionate and open lens. The 10 principles in this book apply to everyone, with and without an eating disorder, as we all can benefit from a greater connection to and care for our bodies.
Intuitive Eating Workbook; Tribole & Resch
I had never heard of this book before a client of mine brought it in one session and after taking some time to look through it, I found myself buying 2 copies - one for me and one for my patients. The practical skills draw on the 10 principles in the original Intuitive Eating book and help you implement practical skills in your everyday life and reconnect with and listen to your body.
The Body Image Workbook; Thomas Cash, PhD
An 8-Step approach to challenging the myths and distortions about our bodies from ruminating on our physical appearance or trying to change the way we look to meet certain standards. I love using the worksheets to support work I do with clients and find that the practical, reflective aspects of the workbook help clients go deeper than they may have by simply discussing the topic.
The Anorexia Workbook; Michelle Heffner
A workbook that focuses on helping you understand the specifics of your diagnosis/diagnosis of your loved one and then equips you with techniques to manage your thoughts, feelings and behaviors associated with the eating disorder. The book uses Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) as the primary treatment modality to develop the techniques and tools described in the workbook. Increasing research shows the use of ACT in the treatment of ED's and I feel like this is a great first step in making tangible workbooks using this theory for patients themselves.
Finding Your Voice Through Creativity; Levy & Foy-Tornay
An art therapy book designed to support individuals explore their relationship with food and their bodies. Drawing, writing, reflecting and creating - all tasks that are a part of this book. While I do not find every exercise applicable to every client, I think the book really allows for people to create their own combination of journaling and reflection that works for them and gives them the opportunity to keep coming back for deeper exploration.
50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food & 50 More Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food; Albers
Focusing on mindfulness and wellbeing, these books help you build your toolkit to cope with disordered eating thoughts, feelings, triggers and urges. By developing new skills and practices for relaxing your body and slowing your mind during times of distress, you can find yourself in a better position to move forward in your recovery. Plus, the skills require very little tools or resources so it is financially feasible for a wide-range of people!
Midlife Eating Disorders; Cynthia Bulik, PhD
There is so much stigma around who struggles with an eating disorder. Most people picture a thin, white, 20-something female who is wealthy and American. But the reality is, eating disorders, like cancer or pneumonia, do not discriminate. And without support and awareness around helping people understand this truth, we continue to see people of different identities hide their struggles & pain. This book helps to bring more awareness to and understanding of eating disorders that people in their middle ages face.
Almost Anorexic; Thomas & Schaefer
When I first started my treatment, I had a rationale for every behavior I did, thought I had or feeling tied to my body and food. As I worked on my recovery, it became easier and easier to do 95% of the work. But that last 5% was a real bitch. It was the messy stuff. The stuff you can't clean off with a wet rag. And it became easy to find a rationale for hose residual pieces of my thoughts, feelings and behaviors. I clung to those, almost like the dying breaths of my eating disorder and was reluctant to do any more work to try and get rid of them - I was fine. I had done enough. But then I found this book. And it helped me really understand the spectrum of my recovery and the facets of my eating disorder on a much higher level. Those small pieces I did not want to address would become the seeds for the rebirth of my ED in the future. The negative thoughts and feelings I still had would drain my energy without me even knowing it. And so, I have fought, every day to tackle that last 5%. It appears it may be decades of battle but in better understanding the pathology of an ED, I can say that it is vital for true remission. I would never leave a little bit of a tumor and so I cannot leave a little bit of this insidious disease either.
Yoga & Body Image; Klein & Guest-Jelley
Being completely honest, I used to think yoga was a terrible waste of my time - sitting in these poses, focusing on my breath...what was the payoff? And couldn't I do something more active? My brain would run all of the time and I would constantly feel unsettled. What I didn't realize is that so much of my discomfort was in getting to know the places my brain would wonder - self-hatred, doubt, rumination, dissatisfaction. My brain never seemed to go anywhere positive or even neutral. Over time, and as I learned more about the power of yoga, I started practicing it again and learned about the power in really allowing yourself to wander through that discomfort and settle in to curiosity. I learned about how to feel my body without judgment and to honor things like fullness or bloating as a process of digestion, not something that dictates my self worth and value. This book offers you 25 powerful stories, each with people using yoga in their own journey to bettering their relationship with their bodies and selves.