The ED Bites series on defining recovery
Next week (so soon? Ack!), I will be presenting at the London International Eating Disorders Conference on Defining Recovery with Susan Ringwood of B-EAT. We came up with the idea since there are no good, agreed-upon definitions of what recovery is. Certainly people have tried to define it, but it’s been difficult and many of the current criteria are very problematic.
Moreover, we wanted to look at how a variety of people defined recovery. Not just researchers, but also clinicians, sufferers, and family members. What do they think indicates that a person is “in recovery”? What qualifies as full and/or partial recovery? How do you measure it? Is recovery even the best word to use? Is “remission” a more accurate definition of what happens?
I started to get very interested in the subject when I was writing my latest book, Decoding Anorexia. I knew that definitions of recovery were fairly sparse and not necessarily all that descriptive, but it wasn’t until I really delved into the literature that I came to understand just how limited existing definitions really were. I couldn’t address the subject in as much depth as I might have liked, but I did try to look into the subject in a decent amount of detail.
Piggybacking onto this is the latest presentation in London. It’s a chance for both Susan and I to look at the subject from a more holistic perspective, and talk to leading ED researchers and clinicians.
Since I have all of this great material, and since it all can’t go in the talk, I thought that I would create a blog series on the subject, both as a way to organize my thoughts on what I want to actually say, and since I think none of my readers will actually be there. So over the next few days, I intend to address some of the following topics:
- How do researchers define recovery?
- How do therapists, sufferers, and family members define recovery?
- What factors predict long-term recovery?
- What happens to people after recovery?
I hope you’ll keep reading and share your thoughts on the subject.