Hi everyone,

I am sure everyone who attended will want to join me in offering our profuse thanks to Jenny Tomei and Bernie Wright for demonstrating the National Centre For Eating Disorders lifeline technique. Bernie asked Jenny to imagine she was in relapse with her eating disorder and created a lifeline for Jenny looking back over key points, such as her story around her birth, any separation issues in first three years of life, her first awareness of having thoughts around food weight & shape and what was going on in Jenny’s life in the lead up to this (such as stress & anxiety around exams, having a friend with disordered eating patterns etc). Jenny then described her difficulties she had at university. Bernie also asked about Jenny’s experience of puberty and starting her periods (early puberty or late puberty can be distressing for young people – and around 20 to 30% of young people have a very difficult experience of their periods starting), and Jenny’s memories of being at her lowest point with her eating disorder.

The idea of the lifeline is to build a picture of the well person before the eating disorder, establish any stages of childhood that might have contributed to vulnerability to an eating disorder at a later stage, and to identify personality traits that might also contribute to this vulnerability such as perfectionism, black and white thinking, poor emotional regulation and low self esteem. It is a good starting point in establishing a therapeutic relationship.

So with my son who developed anorexia age 12, he was born 6 weeks premature, a very rapid breech birth. He underwent very early puberty which was then reversed by the starvation, and had always been very precise and perfectionist. These things don’t cause eating disorders in themselves although they can increase vulnerability in an individual. There is more on our story at Boys Get Anorexia Too – newmaudsleycarers-kent

For those of you that have attended the New Maudsley Carer Skills workshops, you will know that we use timelines to look forward to better times ahead and also for relapse contingency planning to predict trigger points for possible setbacks. I am attaching a capsule around Relapse Contingency Planning.

Several of you asked about periods resuming, self harm and body image issues that often emerge with force in the later stages of weight gain , as the ED voice fights back. I am attaching a capsule around periods returning, body image issues, and will circulate some resources around self harm separately.

Bernie stressed that the NDCFED model is in complete agreement with the New Maudsley model that families are a really important part of the solution through the entire recovery journey. Families know their young person before the eating disorder, and they also know the history around birth, early childhood and puberty as well as the personality traits of the individual. Of course, clinicians in specialist ED teams only meet the unwell patient. After treatment it is the families who will support the young person through the later stages of recovery as well.

For those of you that attended the previous group on June 21st you will already be familiar with Jenny Tomei’s story around her recovery/ discovery from her eating disorder, and the new resources she has developed for parents, school staff and students and the work she will be doing in schools. Her website is at http://www.jenup.com and Jenny is happy to share her resources with anyone who is interested – any requests can be made via her website

Bernie’s contact details and website:

Tel: 01892 546773
Mobile: 07746 679301

Bernie is more than happy to take any follow up questions or enquiries around NCFED and I will of course forward any extra information Bernie sends through

Capsules for Download

  1. New Maudsley Capsule – Amenorrhea and Periods Returning
  2. New Maudsley Capsule – Body Image Issues 2021
  3. New Maudsley Capsule – Relapse Contingency Planning 2020
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