UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Book review: Helping people with eating disorders: a clinical guide to assessment and treatment (Second… Geller, Josie Apr 4, 2016

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BOOK REVIEW Open AccessBook review: Helping people with eatingdisorders: a clinical guide to assessmentand treatment (Second Ed)Josie Geller1,2Book detailsISBN: 978-1-118-60668-1, 304 pages, June 2014, Wiley-BlackwellKeywords: Book review, Eating disorders, Recovery, GuidebookReplete with insight and passion, the second edition of“Helping People with Eating Disorders,” reads like an in-depth consultation from a wise and trusted colleague.Anyone who knows Bob Palmer will appreciate that hisvoice is clearly heard throughout this book. The in-depthreview of evidence, commentary and expert opinion canonly arise from years of clinical work and experience inthe field.The book has as its stated aim to give clinicians anoverview of current evidence-based treatment in the eat-ing disorders. It is clear, intelligent, and authoritativewhile cognizant of the limits to our knowledge and un-derstanding. With its thoughtful perspective on existingevidence, this book addresses the over-certainty that canexist in the field, offering a wise and balanced perspec-tive. The use of clinical case studies and personal com-mentaries gives richness to this informative read. Thisbook will serve as an invaluable resource for clinicians.Helping People with Eating Disorders is divided intotwo sections. Within a framework of ‘what’ comes before‘why,’ in the first section Dr. Palmer describes key featuresand characteristics of the diagnostic criteria for eating dis-orders (ED). Specifically, topics include who suffers andasks for help, the causes of EDs, thinking about EDs, andwhat is involved in recovery. Using cases that illustrate thediagnostic categories, Dr. Palmer details the difficultiespatients encounter. The second section focuses on the“Why” and how to help. It includes sections on assess-ment, pointers for Bulimia Nervosa, Anorexia Nervosa,unusual disorders, what can go wrong, and organizing ser-vices. Alive with clinical examples and personal commen-taries found in the notes at the end of each chapter, thisbook serves as a guiding hand through the literature.While the book is an easy read, “Helping People withEating Disorders” was written for those who have“chosen- or found themselves chosen – to offer help tothose suffering from clinical eating disorders.” That is tosay, it assumes a level of familiarity with both mentalhealth and medical terminology. It identifies limitationsin our current understanding and offers suggestions forfuture directions. For example, Dr. Palmer writes that overthe years, our field has become focused on biologicalmechanisms and determinants of eating disorders. Whileacknowledging the use of fascinating new technology, heexplores its clinical utility and suggests that the mostmeaningful goal for the field would be to integrate biology,psychology, technology and clinical observation.Professor Palmer’s signature warmth, human and per-sonal approach make this book an invaluable resource toall eating disorder clinicians.Competing interestsThe author declares that she has no competing interests.Correspondence: jgeller@providencehealth.bc.ca1Research, Eating Disorders Program, St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, Canada2Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada© 2016 Geller. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 InternationalLicense (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in anymedium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the CreativeCommons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.Geller Journal of Eating Disorders  (2016) 4:12 DOI 10.1186/s40337-016-0101-7


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