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Parents and Caregivers of Those With Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating, Compulsive Eating…F.E.A.S.T. Will Support You

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Families Empowered and Supporting Treatments of Eating Disorders (F.E.A.S.T.) is a website that parents and caregivers as well as eating disorder patients can turn for information and understanding.

On their website, http://www.feast-ed.org/feast.html, they describe themselves as “… an international organization of and for parents and caregivers to help loved ones recover from eating disorders by providing information and mutual support, promoting evidence-based treatment, and advocating for research and education to reduce the suffering associated with eating disorders.”

This website is as impressive as it is comprehensive: containing a blog, recipe book, insurance advice, information on clinical trials, scientific studies, links to other ED websites, letters from clinicians, stories from parents and patients, videos, pod casts, an online forum for parent and caregivers and more.

Yet F.E.A.S.T. accepts neither sponsors nor advertising. They are supported only by individual contributions and are staffed only by volunteer parents.

And their principles are as refreshing as they are clearly presented. To cite just a few, they write, “Eating disorders are biologically based mental illness and fully treatable with a combination of nutritional, medical, and therapeutic supports.” Imagine the relief felt by the victims of eating disorders who have tortured themselves with guilt thinking, why do I behave like this and why can’t I stop?

For their second principle, FEAST states, “Parents do not cause eating disorders, and patients do not choose eating disorders.” What a relief to parents who blame themselves thinking, I caused my child’s disease by giving bad example: I expected her grades to be too good, I was too neat, or I exercised or dieted too much in front of her.

The third and fourth principles are especially wonderful for parents who were expected to stand by wringing their hands while the professionals “cured” their child. F.E.A.S.T. states that “Parents and caregivers are a powerful tool for a loved one's recovery from an eating disorder, and blaming and marginalizing parents in the eating disorder treatment process causes harm and suffering.”

In addition, therapies that have been researched and found effective are defined, such as the Maudsley Method and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but they also include a list of other treatments that may be beneficial but need further study.

F.E.A.S.T. will not only give solace to parents, caregivers and patients, but it will arm them with the information they need to find a qualified therapist and to determine the proper therapy for each eating disorder.

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for spreading the word of FEAST.
As a parent of an Eating Disordered child and a FEAST member I can attest to the support and help they have given me. INVALUABLE.
I found your blog about a month ago and thank you for reaching out through your pain and loss.
Bless you,

February 11, 2010 - 8:26pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I wish I could say it’s easy, but if feels good to inform people seeking help about organizations that can give them the information they need to help those with eating disorders.Thank you for verifying my belief with your reality.
Mary Sornberger

February 14, 2010 - 10:04am

As a parent who discovered F.E.A.S.T. and found info and support there to steer my adult child to effective help for her ED, I can attest that what you say is true! I also heartily recommend the site.

February 11, 2010 - 6:15pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to KristineM)

Thank you Kristine for your comment. It's feels good to put the spotlight on organizations that help ED victims without a profit motive.
Mary Sornberger

February 14, 2010 - 9:55am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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