When Food Is Family by Judy Scheel

When Food Is Family

Review Copy

When Food Is Family – Book Review

Today’s book review is written by my husband.
Thanks for your insightful review of this book!

I recently had the pleasure of reading Judy Scheel’s book, When Food Is Family – A Loving Approach To Heal Eating Disorders. The title resonated with me since I carry more weight than is healthy. Although I wasn’t really sure what to expect, since I didn’t read the book covers or preview the book in advance, I couldn’t help but wonder if there might be something useful inside for me.

At its core, When Food Is Family is a guide to aid families and individuals dealing with anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorder. After a general introduction and a discussion about the disorders, the author dives into a discussion of Attachment Theory and explains how it relates to the topic. Central to this theory is the primacy of the parent/child relationship or caregiver/child relationship. Proponents of this theory believe that the degree to which a child is raised with strong healthy attachments in these foundational relationships determines, in large part, their ability to cope with the world and manage their emotions.

When Food Is Family then guides the reader through various aspects of the disorder and, more specifically, the various areas where attachment is lacking and needs repair. There are several exercises which both the person with the disorder and their family can work through. These exercises are by no means easy, but there appears to be great value in them.

Judy has done a very nice job with this book. When Food Is Family is well researched and the exercises are drawn from her experience as a therapist. While the exercises may be difficult to complete because of emotional challenges, the book is easy to read and quite compelling. I believe there is great value in what the author has provided.

The only concern I have regarding When Food Is Family deals with a piece of the multi-faceted approach referenced in the beginning of the book. Judy talks about certain eastern religious practices used in her treatment centers which I cannot endorse. That, however, doesn’t diminish the usefulness of her ideas as they relate to the repairing of attachments in order to get to the root causes of these devastating disorders.

Taking all of this into account, I give When Food Is Family 4 out of 5 stars.

About Judy Scheel, PhD, LCSW

Judy Scheel

Judy Scheel, Ph.D., LCSW, has been treating eating disorders for more than 25 years. In her years of providing treatment she has found that mutual respect, empathy, and trust provide the foundation for familial and relational repair and recovery from an eating disorder. Helping patients live authentically is the cornerstone of her approach.

Dr. Scheel is the Founder and Executive Director of Cedar Associates, a private outpatient program specializing in treatment of eating disorders and other self-harm behaviors. She is a member of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), and the Eating Disorders Coalition, Inc.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Idyll Arbor for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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4 Responses to “When Food Is Family by Judy Scheel”

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  1. Miranda says:

    That’s a great review, nicely done. Visiting from the countdown linky.

  2. Amy says:

    Very nice review!

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