This months podcast coincides with eating disorder week and my guest is Claire Houston, CBT Therapist and eating disorder specialist. If you want skip right to the podcast, hit the link below or read on for more info on claire
I was absolutely delighted when Claire Houston agreed to join me on a podcast to talk about eating disorders during this special Eating Disorder awareness week. Claire is a CBT therapist (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and registered mental health nurse, with a very colourful background in helping people. She has worked in a specialist eating disorder clinic in London, for the Priory in Manchester, in prisons, community projects and drug & alcohol detox & rehab units. After breaking her back she was unable to carry out her work on a general psychiatric ward at the Priory and was offered an opportunity that she could not refuse, to delve into the ‘mysterious’ world of eating disorders – something she’ll admit she knew nothing about at the time. Luckily for so many Claire has excelled in this field and studied for many more years to specialise in this area. She now works for in the NHS as a Senior CBT Therapist, in the Private Sector,guest lecturing at Universities, colleges & schools is a guest speaker at events on behalf of BEAT (the leading UK Charity for Eating Disorders) and runs her own private practice for those suffering with eating disorders, offering remote therapy to people all across the UK, and supporting them through their journey, no matter where they are up to.
In this podcast it was soon apparent that we could only touch on this subject and there is so much to talk about. My own ignorance shone through loud and clear very early on. If you’re anything like me, you simply thought people were Anorexic or Bulimic and although you knew it was complicated, somewhere along the way you’ve probably made a throw away comment that it ‘was just all about control‘, as that’s what you’d heard somewhere.
As we go through the many disorders that exist relating to eating and food, Claire gives us some really good tips to helping us spot an eating disorder in others or ourselves and where to get support.
We answered a few on the instagram questions we got, but as I said, Claire could have talked for hours about the subject and passion really came through.
If you want to know more about eating disorders, you can follow claire on social media @clairehoustontherapy or reach out to her direct if you want to talk.
There are also other places you can go for support:
- Reach out to your GP who can discuss your concerns and if it’s a child, refer you to your loca CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services)
- BEAT – www.beateatingdisorders.co.uk who is a UK based charity focusing on eating disorders
- FEAST – www.feast-ed.org who are a global community of parents, and those who support parents. They focus on helping the parents and families who have a son or daughter who has developed an eating disorder
Claires website is currently being redeveloped, but you can follow her on instagram or reach out if you have questions and would like some support.
If you want to skip straight to the podcast listen here or scroll down for audio (not on spotify)
Sometimes spotting the signs of an eating disorder isn’t easy, as those suffering can either get good at hiding what they don’t want you to see/know or, as Claire mentioned – it isn’t always obvious because it isn’t always about large weight loss.
LIPS – Are they obsessive about food? Do they think about it, talk about it, read cook books, cook, bake and all other things food related? Is this a new thing that has emerged?
FLIPS – Has their behaviour changed recently? Are they wearing different clothes or interested in food when they never used to be. Are they just acting differently?
HIPS – Do they have distorted views about their body. They believe they look too fat or they have really huge legs? Is it so distorted that when they pass someone in a hall way (that’s big enough) they will move aside thinking that person won’t fit past?
KIPS – Are they often tired or struggling to concentrate? Again is this a new behaviour where previously they’ve been able to concentrate just fine?
NIPS – Do they disappear to the toilet after eating? Are they nipping away at regular intervals where they could be purging food? or Binging?
SKIPS – Are they exercising excessively? Do they obsess over calories in and know how long they have to run, walk or skip to get rid of those calories?
Claire would like to reiterate that the best thing is, there is help out there for anyone worried about eating disorders and recovery is possible. Don’t hesitate to make that first step today, your future self with thank you!