Emma Bacon, author of Rebalance Your Relationship with Food and co-author of Eating Disorder Recovery Handbook, is the founder of BalancED MK, an eating disorder support service, which she set up after her own recovery from anorexia nervosa. She also offers mentoring and facilitates a self-support group for sufferers and carers, with the aim of spreading awareness and understanding about eating disorders. We caught up with her and asked her a few questions about her book, her inspiration and what keeps her motivated.
Bo Hejlskov Elven is a parent and one of Europe’s leading clinical psychologists specialising in challenging behaviour. In this new blog for JKP he offers insights into how the low arousal approach informs his new book (written in collaboration with Tina Wiman) on parental strategies for managing the most challenging behaviour of any child, Sulky, Rowdy, Rude?: Why kids really act out and what to do about it.
The psychologist Douglas MacGregor proposed a theory of motivation in the sixties. He argued that we can view humans in two different ways: Either we think that people are lazy and need to be controlled and motivated by rewards and punishment, or we think that people do their best if we create the right environment for them to develop autonomy. His theory was on management, and he and later psychologists have shown that the second view increases productivity. In our book Sulky, Rowdy, Rude? we adapt that way of thinking to parenting. This is in no way controversial in Scandinavia, where we live, but may be a less common view in other parts of the world. Continue reading
Betsy de Thierry, author of The Simple Guide to Child Trauma, discusses the pressures on children and young people and how societal influences are causing an increase in anxiety and depression.
Some recent data has become available which gives evidence to our experience in the services we are running in the UK.
• 235,000 young people in England were in contact with NHS mental health services at the end of June 2016
• Almost a quarter of a million children and young people are receiving help from NHS mental health services for problems such as anxiety, depression and eating disorders
• 235,189 people aged 18 and under get specialist care, according to data covering 60% of mental health trusts in England (11,849 boys and girls aged five and under among those getting help)
(The Guardian. 3rd October 2016)
• NHS study finds:
o 12.6% of women aged 16-24 screen positive for PTSD
o 19.7% self-harm
o 28.2% have mental health condition
o Between 1993 and 2014 there was a 35% rise in adults reporting severe symptoms of common mental disorders.
(The Guardian. 26th October 2016)
Children have never been so stressed and lacking in healthy relational experience. The irony is that parents are hugely stressed too, often with the need to earn enough money to buy their children what they think they need to stop them being bullied (the right brands or electronics). How ironic and sad.
In this article Sophie Ashton, author of The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting, talks reassuringly about the emotional challenges of adopting a child.
It is quite common for adopters to feel emotionally overwhelmed soon after their child moves in
In the early weeks post-placement many adopters feel a mix of emotions in response to their child. For some adoptive parents the challenging and negative emotions seem more prevalent than the positive ones, and can on occasion lead to them starting to question their reasons for wanting to adopt. Sometimes these challenging emotions can put the adoption placement at risk of breaking down. I know this – because it almost happened to us.
After four years in the adoption process we were very ready for the arrival of our daughter. Although emotionally exhausting, the eight-day introduction period went well. We warmed to her – she warmed to us; she and our birth son seemed to get on well. We were all beyond excited when she moved in – we adored her. Happy days! Our dream of a perfect family was coming true!
Our honeymoon period didn’t last long
Unbeknown to us, however, just the other side of a brief two-day honeymoon period were some pretty challenging and debilitating emotions lying in wait for us to experience in full. These emotions turned our excitement into panic, our hope into despair and our happiness into gloom. We felt heavy and weighed down by the mixed emotions we felt in response to the placement of this little girl in to our family.