This week’s book review is on “8 keys to recovery from an eating disorder” by Carolyn Costin and Gwen Schubert Grabb. The subtitle to the book is: “Effective strategies from therapeutic practice and personal experience“.
I’ve seen Carolyn Costin – who’s now retired – speaking at various conferences over the years and I do find hers to be a very engaging voice in this field. I’ve also seen consumers in various stages of recovery from eating disorders reading this book and telling me they’ve found it really helpful (which is ultimately the most important review it could ever receive!). The info and advice in this book isn’t ground-breaking or radical, and that’s exactly what I like about it: it’s evidence-based, it’s accessible and writtenfor anyone to read, it doesn’t make wildly improbable promises of quick-fixes, and the writers are warm and nurturing in their tone. I also like the little homework tasks peppered throughout this book to try and help people really think about themselves and their thoughts and attitudes.
The duo who wrote this book have both recovered from eating disorders and then trained in counselling to help others through their recovery process. The dynamic between them is particularly unusual in that Carolyn Costin was once the therapist who worked with Gwen Schubert-Grabb. At times, the book documents verbatim counselling interactions that took place between the two while Gwen was working through her eating disorder. At other times, Gwen and Caroline offer their “Personal Reflections” about aspects of their own eating disorder and recovery which they feel will be helpful to others. I think these components make the book’s message a particularly powerful one.
“To strengthen your healthy self, you have to practice talking back to your eating disorder self, even if at first you don’t believe what you are saying…”
From 8 Keys To Recovery From An Eating Disorder, C. Costin and G. Schubert Grabb, p47.
8 Keys To Recovery is theoretically designed to be used as a self-help book, however most people with an established eating disorder would probably still need to work alongside experienced health professionals to achieve full recovery. That said, the book could potentially work as a stand-alone guide for those in the very early stages of developing an eating disorder, or perhaps as a tool to help recovery keep going after treatment has got the ball rolling.
Do remember that eating disorders thrive on secrecy, and often the most powerful thing a person can do to move towards recovery is to open up to a health professional about what they’re going through.
You can purchase “8 Keys To Recovery” from Newtown Nutrition, check your local bookstore or purchase online:
and the accompanying workbook:
Wishing everyone a body positive day!
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