When Your Child is Anorexic
How active you are may be the key to effective treatment.
Parents Learn to Let Go
Once Megan had achieved her target weight of 115 pounds, the focus of
therapy shifted gears. Siegel began to concentrate on family issues that would
keep Megan healthy. For years an avid dancer who spent many hours each week
practicing, Megan now wanted to enjoy a more relaxed teenage life. Claire,
proud of her role as a "dance parent," realized that she had
unconsciously pressured Megan to stick with her dancing. "Megan wanted more
time with her peer group but had never known how to tell her parents that,"
Once Megan's parents understood what she needed, they supported her moves
toward independence, including her plan to go away to college the following
fall. Siegel helped the Donovans balance their anxiety about letting go of
their child with an enjoyment of their newfound free time for themselves and
for each other. "They began golfing and traveling together," Siegel
says. "A chapter needed to be closed in their lives, and they were able to
Susan Chollar is a freelance writer who has written about health, behavior,
and science for Woman's Day, Health, American Health, McCall's, and
Redbook. She lives in Corralitos, Calif.