Dr Emma Gray is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and is also our Service Director. She has co-authored two books in the field of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, both of which are about eating disorders.
In this article I will be interviewing her on the most recent of the two books she has helped to write entitled “Beating Your Eating Disorder: A Cognitive-Behavioural Self-Help Guide for Adult Sufferers and their Carers”.
Hi Dr Gray, thanks for taking the time to speak to me. I’ve read both your books and I think they’re fantastic, having an eating disorder can be a terribly difficult experience and I’m convinced that with the help of your books that self-treatment can be made a lot easier
It’s my pleasure and that was one of my main goals when agreeing to help write them.
I’m going to jump straight in with some questions, my first one is: Will this book really help people with eating disorders, I have heard that they are pretty hard to recover from?
It is true that because an eating disorder is a way of coping with low self esteem it can be challenge to overcome. However, this book has been written by some of the leading experts in the field of eating disorders and it’s treatment, so if readers are able to follow the advise given and practice the techniques as suggested this book will help them. CBT is the treatment that is recommended by the government body NICE for eating disorder for the simple reason that it works.
There seems to be a lot of different types of therapy out there for eating disorders, how is CBT different?
CBT targets the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that lead to an eating disorder, whereas other therapies generally target only one or two of these. It is therefore the most comprehensive approach you can take if you want to resolve an eating disorder.
Do you have any advice for someone who knows and is worried about someone with an eating disorder?
Chapter 15 offers advise for family and friends, this will give some ideas of how best to help the person that you are worried about. However, I would suggest reading the whole book before you take any action because the more you know and understand about an eating disorder, the more you can help and support someone suffering from one.
What should a reader do if they get to the end of your book and find that it doesn’t provide all of the help that they need?
This book is intended as a self help book and will provide enough information and support for someone who has not been suffering from an eating disorder for long and/or someone whose symptoms are mild to moderate. However, if you have been unwell for a while and/or your symptoms are more severe you will need more book than this book can offer. In this case use this book to give you an idea of what formal help involves and use Section 5 of the book to guide you to find that help, this will include finding a good CBT practitioner which covered in this section.
Is there anyway of knowing before hand if a self book can help you to recover from an eating disorder or if you should just seek professional help?
There are probably three variables to consider here, the first two I have already mentioned, how long you have suffered from and eating disorder and how severe your symptoms are. The longer you have suffered and the more severe your symptoms the more likely you are to need professional help. The third variable is how motivated you are to make changes, chapter 5 and 6 are useful to help you to think about this. However, even if you think you may need professional help it will still be useful to read the book as it will give you an idea of what treatment involves so you can step into the process (which can be challenging) knowing what to expect, forewarned is forearmed.
If you would like to purchase this book or find out more information then it is available via Amazon here.