Monday, March 21, 2016


One of the problems of writing up my experiences of EDIC under themes rather than chronologically is that the themes overlap. Janet Treasure's work isn't a treatment, but many of the other family interventions I discussed yesterday are. 

 Ivan Eisler even gave us a history of, and two names for, the treatment he was discussing (the link goes to an older presentation on a similar theme). We were whisked through a history of FBT (or FT-AN), introduced to the three treatment manuals (going backwards Eisler's own, Lock and LeGrange and an older, unpublished one by Robin and Siegler). All three stressed working with the family, gave the parents centre stage in helping the child and encouraged separation of the illness from the child. The differences included the order and number of phases of treatment. Eisler has developed an initial phase of engagement of the family and rejects the word "empowerment". It's true, it's a word that doesn't trip easily off a British tongue and the idea that parents are being helped to be effective in caring for their sick child, rather than powerful in a battle against a monster resonated with me even if I know that others will find it confusing.

The other treatments covered in plenary sessions were CBT-E, MANTRA and effective treatment for BED. To be honest, these sessions coming after both lunch and Janet Treasure's keynote, I was a little too sleepy to really take them in. Byrne talked well about CBT-E but her main arguement, that figures for its effectiveness are not inflated, was made in a poster in the stroll. I was so interested in the history of AN with which Schmidt introduced her talk on MANTRA that I rather missed the description of the actual treatment and while the evidence is enormous that BED is very treatable my main take-home from the German talk was that funding would never be granted for such treatment in the UK as the only disappointing result was a lack of change in BMI.

I was very, very lucky to be able to go to the whole conference but not have any work to do. This allowed me to pick and choose the workshops I went to on the basis of personal interest rather than anything else. Therefore I don't know how the talk on Specialist Supportive Clinical Management  went or even what a Recovery Oriented Approach for Eating Disorders really is. I am interested in DBT, so I went to two talks on it. The British team were great. They explained what they did. They gave us practical examples. I didn't NEED to go to a second talk but I'm so glad I did. Dr Fragiskos Gonidakis seemed to have that special quality that people like Janet Treasure have, a passion for the work and a real liking for his patients.

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