As I sat across from my new 12 year old patient and her mom, I saw the look of dread in the girl’s eyes and in her body language. Sweatshirt hood was up, looking down into her lap, arms crossed. I am a psychologist and work at a medical center in an eating disorder’s program. I have seen this look of dread many times over the years.
“Oh, she didn’t want to come today,” the mom explained almost apologetically.
“Only crazy people come to places like this” her daughter blurts out, the first words I have heard from her.
“Well, I can totally understand why you would feel that way,” I said. “A lot of people feel that way about coming here, but actually most kids and teens who come here are just like me and you, just normal people with the normal variety of challenges.” The girls shoulders relax a bit. “It takes a lot of courage to ask for help,” I say. A little bit of eye contact now. And we have our starting point. Continue reading