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The Picky Eater's Recovery Book
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Book description

Are you a picky eater? Do you worry that food will make you vomit or choke? Do you find eating to be a chore? If yes, this book is for you! Your struggles could be caused by Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID); a disorder characterized by eating a limited variety or volume of food. You may have been told that you eat like a child, but ARFID affects people right across the lifespan, and this book is the first specifically written to support adults. Join Drs. Jennifer Thomas, Kendra Becker, and Kamryn Eddy - three ARFID experts at Harvard Medical School - to learn how to beat your ARFID at home and unlock a healthier relationship with food. Real-life examples show that you are not alone, while practical tips, quizzes, worksheets, and structured activities, take you step-by-step through the latest evidence-based treatment techniques to support your recovery.


‘The authors have crafted a self-help book that empowers individuals with ARFID to coordinate their own treatment pathway. This is critical given limited access to expertise in the assessment and treatment of ARFID. The book provides guidance on engaging with medical providers regarding signs and symptoms of ARFID and potential evaluations that may uncover underlying nutritional deficiency. It also offers a framework for understanding ARFID alongside valuable tools to build and support a healthy diet. The authors recognize the variable presentations of ARFID in terms of restricted volume and/or variety, provide real world examples of treatment planning and implementation, and outline a roadmap for expanding dietary intake across food groups.’

William Sharp - Ph.D., Director of the Children’s Multidisciplinary Feeding Program, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; Associate Professor, Division of Autism and Related Disorders and Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine

‘In this book, three of the most skilled and approachable ARFID clinicians on the planet usher you through a step-by-step proven approach to broaden your food horizons and conquer your food fears. They demystify exposure treatment and approach severe picky eating in a completely nonjudgmental fashion. Case histories are woven throughout the book like avatars so that you can see how real people with severe ARFID are able to be liberated from often life-long restrictions. The book’s visuals enrich the text providing a second layer of explanation and alternative ways to learn. This self-help psychology gem guides you in becoming your own therapist and illustrates how to recover at your own pace.’

Cynthia M. Bulik - PhD, FAED, Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Founding Director, UNC Centre of Excellence for Eating Disorders; Professor, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

‘Jennifer, Kendra and Kamryn give us an essential reading, both for people affected by this ‘new’ eating disorder and for professionals who wish to expand their knowledge. The accessible way in which the concepts are handled allows the individual to begin their journey towards recovery through an evidence-based method, especially important for populations with limited access to specialized treatment. The book raises awareness of the prevalence of eating disorders as well as the suffering and the limitations that living with ED symptoms entails, ultimately contributing towards breaking the stigma around these diseases. I am very honored to be one of the first to read this book and I congratulate the authors for this great contribution to our field.’

Eva Maria Trujillo Chi Vacuán - MD, FAED, CEDS, Fiaedp, FAAP; CEO and co-founder of Comenzar de Nuevo, A.C.; Clinical Professor at Escuela de Medicina y Ciencias de la Salud. Tecnologico de Monterrey.

‘Drs. Thomas, Becker, and Eddy have written a beautiful and very accessible approach to ARFID that enables those struggling with the symptoms of ARFID to not only feel seen and understood, but to also experience hope for change. The case examples, self-assessment, and theoretical model of how avoidance perpetuates the maintenance of symptoms are important treatment elements. These elements help facilitate an individual’s understanding of their unique experience with ARFID and to galvanize them to create an approachable plan personalized to their own pace. Well-known elements of cognitive behavior therapy such as monitoring of symptoms and the contexts in which these symptoms arise help individuals to develop an understanding of the factors that maintain their food avoidance and further individualize their treatment strategy.’

Nancy Zucker - Ph.D., Director, Duke Center for Eating Disorders, Associate Director, Graduate Studies in Psychology and Neuroscience, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science

‘Although officially recognized as a diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association in the DSM-5 in 2013, ARFID is still both misunderstood and underappreciated. This important new book will be an invaluable resource for both health care professionals as well as individuals seeking to understand the ‘picky’ eating habits of themselves or those they care for. It takes a scholarly evidence-based approach, but conveys the important information in accessible language with practical tools and constructive advice. It’s an invaluable addition to the body of knowledge in the field of eating disorders.’

Elissa Myers - CAE, IOM, MA, Executive Director, Academy for Eating Disorders

‘Written by ARFID experts, this engaging and pragmatic self-help book walks you, step-by-step, through the process of identifying ARFID, understanding it, and implementing effective strategies for treatment. It will undoubtedly increase access to care for those who might not otherwise seek treatment or have access to ARFID-trained clinicians. Not only is this evidence-based self-help program accessible and easy to implement for individuals struggling with ARFID it is also an excellent resource for both novice and seasoned professionals. Positive and encouraging, this book offers examples and materials to keep you focused and engaged as you work toward your treatment goals. Whether you are seeking support for yourself or a loved one, this book will deliver! Bravo to the authors for pouring their experience, wisdom, and passion for treating ARFID into this resource.’

Jennifer D. Lundgren - Ph.D., FAED, Professor of Psychology, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri

‘Drs. Thomas, Becker and Eddy are leading figures in providing the eating disorders field with much-needed information about the etiology, clinical presentation, and treatment of ARFID. To this end, they were first to publish a clinician manual on this condition and with the publication of this self-help guide, they have taken another significant step toward addressing the needs of ARFID sufferers (and their carers). This easily accessible e-book provides a step-by-step guide, based on currently available evidence, to support the sufferer in their recovery. It is not just a resource for those with a diagnosis of ARFID but will also be most helpful to those who are trying to provide support to those struggling with this eating disorder, whether a parent, other loved one, or a clinician.’

Daniel Le Grange - Ph.D., FAED Benioff UCSF Professor, Children's Health, and Director, Eating Disorders Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco

‘I am excited to enthusiastically recommend The Picky Eater’s Recovery Book by Thomas, Becker and Eddy. The overall approach described in the book is based in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)-an evidence-based approach for eating disorders-and incorporates key elements of CBT such as the use of a personalized model, self-monitoring, regularizing eating patterns, and exposure and behavioral experiments. These methods are illustrated through clinical vignettes of the three major types of Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)-sensory sensitivity, fear of adverse consequences, and low appetite. This self-help manual is clearly written and includes figures, tables, and other helpful learning tools that readers will find useful when implementing it. This book will undoubtedly be helpful for many adults with ARFID. It is practical, clinically informed, and a pleasure to read.’

James Lock - MD, Ph.D., The Eric Rothenberg, MD Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine

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  • 1 - What Is ARFID?
    pp 3-21
  • 2 - Do You Have ARFID?
    pp 22-34


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