Recipes for Hope and Change:
Tools and Information for Family Members
Who have Loved Ones with Eating Disorders
The information for this website is made possible by a grant from
Michael Levine, PhD,
With Laura Hill, PhD,
David Dagg, PCC, LICDC, and
Heather Guthrie, PhD, LPCC
Philosophy and Purpose
This site is designed by staff and consultants working for The Center for Balanced Living in Columbus, OH. Our philosophy is that, while eating disorders and concomitant conditions such as depression and substance abuse are very serious and very disruptive illnesses, (1) people can and do recover; (2) the process of recovery is typically long, complicated, and bumpy; and (3) family members play a critically important role in the recovery process.
We also believe that the search for causes and for something to blame is, while understandable in the face of disorders that challenge everyone’s sense of control, not productive. We choose instead to embrace and embody the philosophy that
Although no one in the family is to blame for an eating disorder, everyone in the family has a responsibility to work together to do what he or she can to facilitate the loved one’s recovery and to do so without sacrificing his or her own health, well-being, and self-respect.
The purpose of Recipes for Hope and Change is to provide family members with information, support, and other tools. Working together and with knowledgeable, experienced professionals, family members can create and sustain a strong, meaningful sense of hope and work toward positive changes for their loved one, for themselves and for their family.
The Center for Balanced Living has for many years conducted free support groups
for family and friends of people suffering from eating disorders. The Center offers
a program for family members and adults who have loved ones with eating disorders titled: Fed Up? Get FED.
These are daylong conferences that provide family members with the most current toolbox of support, research based information and “how to” tools for family members with loved ones who have eating disorders.
In addition, therapists at The Center have extensive experience working with individual clients and their families in the treatment of eating disorders and related conditions (e.g., depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder). In the course of this work, family and friends have time and again, in surveys and during support group meetings, told us that at different times, in the process of their loved one’s illness and recovery, they—as family and friends--need varying degrees and combination of the following:
There is nothing magical and extraordinary about these needs—other than how important they are, how powerful they are, and how difficult it can be to identify and sustain them. Thus, we have organized the recipes for hope and change through the first letters of these needs into the easy-to-remember acronym SHAIRE.
We share this SHAIRE model in our work, with each other, and with our clients in treatment. Consequently, we are confident in sharing it with the families and friends of loved ones suffering from an eating disorder.
Hope Filled Messages
(1)Michael Levine, PhD is the Samuel B. Cummings Jr., Professor of Psychology at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, and National Scientific Advisor to The Center for Balanced Living.
Laura Hill, PhD is CEO, David Dagg, PCC, LICDC is Director of Clinical Development and Heather Guthrie, PhD, LPCC is Chief of Family Programs at The Center for Balanced Living, Worthington, Ohio.