Eating Disorder Insights Podcast – Series 2 Episode 1 – About your GP – Setting the Scene

Welcome to the second series where we will focus on your appointment with your GP. As you can see, I’ve change the format slightly to make it easier for you to get the information you need, so I hope it works for you.

The appointment with your GP may be the first opportunity you’ll have to get a professional opinion about your worries for your child. Therefore it is crucial that you give your GP all the information they’ll need to assess if your child is in danger of physical complications and to help you think about the best way forwards. Your initial GP appointment will be short, probably about ten minutes which isn’t long at all…

Eating disorders are complicated illnesses that can affect many different areas of a child’s life. No two presentations or eating disorder are exactly the same, so its really important that you help your yourself by preparing for the appointment.

Currently, there is a huge drive in the UK to support and train professionals to recognise and treat eating disorders. The reality is that this will take time and you may have your first appointment with a GP that’s not so confident with eating disorders. Now this isn’t something to be worried about,  it just means you need to do your homework, work with your GP and be an active part of the process.

Throughout the next five episodes I’ll explore the current climate for eating disorder treatment in the UK, I’ll guide you through how to prepare yourself for the appointment and how to support your child to talk to a professional for the first time. I’ll also discuss how you can tell if your child needs urgent treatment and what your options are should you be concerned. I’ll give thoughts to what you can do if you’re not satisfied with the outcome of the appointment and guide you through the pros and cons of choosing between including NHS and private heath care and working with independent therapists.

The full show notes are available at (either click on the link or copy and paste the address)

As usual, if you want to comment or make a contribution to the podcast, then go over to my contact page and drop me a line…

Eating Disorder Insights Podcast – Episode 2 – How to share your concerns with your child for the first time

Welcome to the second episode of the Eating Disorder Insights Podcast where we are going to explore the often difficult task of raising your concerns with your child for the first time. Many parents share that they’re not sure how to approach this and worry about making things worse or feeling anxious themselves about what they will learn in the conversation with their child. A common feeling is doubt – doubting yourself or thinking that ‘I’m probably being silly’ or ‘it’s probably normal teenage stuff’..

Let me share something with you. If you have concerns for your child, it ISN’T silly. As a parent, it’s built in that we sense when there’s something wrong. Our gut feeling is triggered. Our ‘spidey sense’ tells us that something isn’t right. I want you to learn to trust your gut instinct. It’s rarely wrong, and even when it is, you should never dismiss it..

Let me put it this way. It’s better to ask the question and be wrong than to not ask the question and later find out you were right – especially when it comes to eating disorders.

How self aware are you? how do you manage your own feelings? In this episode i will help you to take a look at how you manage your own feelings and how this is crucial if you are going to be successful in getting along side your child.

Now, what about the question of ‘normal teenage behaviour’? Well, yes, there are a lot of changes that happen when your child hits those crucial years – choosing to be on their own more often, beginning to experiment with independence and asserting themselves with you, mood changes as their hormones start to surge, paying more attention to their appearance and valuing others’ opinions more (but not yours!). All of these changes are normal – but very different for every child – no two will navigate adolescence in the same way.

Who said parenting would be easy?

So the challenge for you is ‘how do I tell the difference between what is normal and what isn’t?’ – The straight answer is – its REALLY  hard to – but it’s easier with the right help. That’s why it’s important to trust your gut feeling and to talk to your child and then see how you feel afterwards – what will your gut instinct say then?

BUT – despite all of your best efforts, it’s not guaranteed that your child will talk to you but your first approach is exactly that – a FIRST approach. It may take several attempts before your child feels safe to share their worries with you – but we will discuss this in detail in this episode. Eating disorders are complex illnesses – full of secrecy, fear and shame. Your child may have lots of reasons why they won’t share with you and paradoxically they may be desperate for help from you – so be persistent and don’t give up.

So what if your child is very resistant and is very clearly not willing to talk to you.. what next?

Good Question – and a very common one, as this can often be the case for many families. The first thing is DON’T GIVE UP – if your child responds in this way, then your gut feeling was spot on. Now, you don’t need your child’s permission or agreement to take them to see someone – despite what their new found sense of independence may tell you. If you’re in this situation, then you need to take the decision as a parent to seek a professional opinion.

So download this episode and have a listen.

Now, as I have said throughout this podcast – I absolutely welcome your thoughts, views and opinions. Have I missed something out or do you disagree with something I have said? do you have other suggestions that have worked for you as a family? Do you have a specific question that you’d like us to discuss (and when I say ‘us’ I mean you as listeners and me).

I want this to be a collaborative show that you as listeners can use to share your experiences  and questions – I have some of the answers that I’m happy to share, but you will have a VAST amount of knowledge as families living with an eating disorder – something I have no direct experience of. Nobody has all of the answers, but together maybe we can work out a ‘good enough’ fit.

Beat have a fantastic page on their website about this very subject.. ‘Worried about a Friend or Family Member’. It’s a really good source of information..

So please – go to my Contact page and say hello – if nothing more than to let me know I’m not talking to myself – you can even leave me a voicemail, it’s THAT easy!


Eating Disorder Insights Podcast – Episode 1.5 – The inbetweenisode – What’s coming up in Episode 2?

Welcome to this inbetweenisode..! (i can’t claim the name for myself – it belongs to someone else in the Podosphere..)

In the first episode of the podcast I set out the expectations for the series and discussed assumptions.  In this inbetweenisode, I talk about what you can expect from the next three episodes and share with you just how far the podcast has reached in the first week since launch – Listen in.. It’s impressive stuff..

As a summary:

The next episode (episode 2) will focus on how you can share your concerns with your child in ways that they will listen to you. I also discuss some of the common pitfalls that you can encounter when doing this and I’ll talk you through how your own emotions and feelings can either positively or negatively affect the outcome.

In episode 3 we’ll discuss how you can navigate the health system to get your child the treatment they need and also take a look at what information you should have to hand when you meet with your professional for the first time. For those overseas listeners – I’ll explain the process using the UK National Health system as an example as I have very little knowledge of other health systems. I will however make it so the information will be transferable (with a little adjustment!)

Episode 4 will be about how to separate your child’s eating disorder from your child and how to get better at spotting the difference.

Now that’s all for now, but as a reminder, episode 2 will be out in a week, so keep an eye out..!

Now time to listen..

Eating Disorder Insights Podcast – Episode 1 – Setting the scene for the series..

Welcome to the very first episode of the Eating Disorder Insights Podcast!

In this episode I’ll talk you through the assumptions I have made about you as a family, discuss the assumptions that I don’t make and reflect in some of the assumptions that you may have made about this podcast. I discuss the importance of you seeking treatment and how this podcast will compliment any treatment that you are engaged in. I discuss some of the common struggles some families may have at the beginning of eating disorder treatment, discuss the feelings that are commonly generated in the family and I set the framework for how we are going to explore how you can help your child.  This includes some of the common errors in thinking that can occur and the myths that some families have about the recovery process.

It would be fab if you could give me feedback by emailing or leaving a comment under this post. I really want to hear from you..!

If you wish to contact me, you can email me at and don’t forget to subscribe by clicking on the tab at the top of the page.