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I’m not often completely stumped by questions asked by those attending my presentations. But I was recently unsure of how to respond to a question asked about teenagers and eating disorders.

While raising a teenager can be incredibly rewarding, it can also be very challenging. A complicating factor is that normal teen behavior and eating disordered-behavior can sometimes look very similar! Because of this fact, a parent in the audience had asked me:

“How do I know whether I’m seeing normal teenage behavior or the eating disorder?”

Since I don’t have children — and I didn’t live with my parents when I sought help for my eating disorder at 22 — I reached out to my friend and colleague Courtney Morton, a primary therapist in our Austin program and a mom herself.

Courtney responded by sharing with me an exercise that she had done in one of her family groups. In this exercise, she asked parents and children to each write down five things they wish the other party knew about them.

In this post, in italics, I share what our teenage patients in eating disorder treatment wanted their parents to know. I also share Courtney’s insight for parents with teens in eating disorder recovery.

To continue reading, please click here to read the full post on Eating Recovery Center’s blog.

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