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Editor's e-Note
February is Eating Disorder Awareness Month and this month’s e-exclusive addresses binge eating disorders. Acknowledging that what propels bingeing is not simply food but often underlying trauma such as (but not limited to) sexual abuse is important in understanding and treating binge eating disorders. Clinicians who work with clients who binge are working with individuals who are experiencing a loss of control just as they may have experienced with a past traumatic event. Eating disorder expert Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA, encourages clinicians “to consider that an eating disorder may be the client’s way of re-enacting or restorying their trauma.” Accordingly, clinicians must help clients find new tools to replace the food.

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— Marianne Mallon, editor
e-News Exclusive
Understanding Binge Eating Disorders
By Lindsey Getz

Treating trauma and treating binge eating disorders may seem like two entirely separate entities, but often a disorder such as binge eating is a coping mechanism. Research shows that many individuals with eating disorders have had a prior history of sexual abuse. Since binge eating is centered on consuming food, it would appear that food is the problem. Not the case at all, says Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA, founder and president of Advanced Psychotherapy Training and Education, Inc. in the Baltimore area.

“One of the key elements I want clinicians to know when treating clients with binge eating disorder is that food is just the symptom,” says Ferentz. “If someone is bingeing, there is probably a deeper pain narrative underneath that is trying to be managed with food.”

While certainly not all cases of eating disorders are linked to a past history of trauma, Ferentz says that the literature reveals many are—and that can’t be ignored. In fact, in many cases that trauma history is at the core of why the binge eating is happening in the first place.

Full Story »
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In this e-Newsletter
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Can Lead Adolescents to Increase
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Parents who very closely monitor their children’s Internet use in an attempt to reduce unsafe online behavior may actually be achieving the opposite effect, according to a new study conducted by University of Haifa researchers. Learn more »

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Letter to the Editor
(In response to the January e-News Exclusive, “Program Promotes Aging
in Place Model Community”)

Dear Editor,

I think most everyone agrees with the concept, and it is proven to be the most satisfying and economical help in most cases. Yet, as with so many things, it too often still comes down to what people can afford.

The wealthy can usually get what they want/need to stay in their homes safely. The very poor have a (limited) network of assistance/support, if they qualify. Florida has a new Medicaid structure that offers LTC [long term care] services in the community, if people qualify for Medicaid first, and there is always a long waiting list.

Too often, historically, people are pushed into (very expensive) nursing homes because it is the only 24/7 care they qualify for under Medicaid after their savings are exhausted. Most people cannot afford the premiums for LTC private insurance, prior to need. I do not have better answers; it again seems to come down to what people can afford and/or what family is willing/available for. I see it every day.

Plus, I took care of my mother in her home and an aunt in her home until they each died. I have “been there” with no outside help. We were in the middle ground: having too much to qualify for any help but not enough for support and supplies you would like to have.

Louise McEachern, MSW, CRC
Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital
Social Work Case Manager
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