This is a list of the Family questions and suggestions from our Principal Clinical Psychologist. If you would like to submit a question please visit our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GroupworxPsychology. Simply submit your question to the Facebook Message Inbox and your question will be anonymously posted on our page for other parents to post their advice and comments. Advice from Principal Clinical Psychologist, Stefanie Schwartz will also be provided to EVERY question asked within 24 hours. Her advice will be posted on this page.
Eating Disorders Question
My 15 year old daughter has just been diagnosed with an eating disorder. She is seeing a Psychologist on her own, but I have not been involved in the therapy. Is this normal - should I be included? Or is she old enough to address this on her own?
Firstly, it's a really good step that your daughter has been diagnosed and is seeing a Psychologist - that's always the first important part to addressing mental health issues.
At 15 your daughter may be considered what we call a 'mature minor' which means that she has been deemed mature enough to consent and agree to the Psychological therapy she is receiving. However, if she is still living in your home then it would be ideal to have you, your daughter and her Psychologist all on a similar level of understanding of your daughter's issues and treatment, so that she can achieve the best outcomes.
There are two main effective types of therapy for adolescents with Eating Disorders: 1. Family Based Therapy - parents and caregivers are very involved in the therapy and 2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) - parents and caregivers are involved at varying levels depending on the therapist, the adolescent and the situation. It sounds as though your daughter may be receiving CBT, but even if you are not involved in every session of therapy, there are many different ways for you to be included in a way that your daughter is comfortable with.
I would encourage you to discuss this issue with your daughter and her Psychologist (so everyone is aware of your concerns) and try to come to an agreement between all three of you. It would be important to stress that you want to be involved in her therapy to help her address her issues, and not to 'sticky-beak' into her life (as many teenagers are often worried about).
Good Luck - it's so important that you have sought professional help for your daughter, Well Done!