Managing an eating disorder can seem all-consuming. Having to approach fearful situations multiple times a day, every day, can be hard to keep up with. Yet, navigating and mastering this challenging journey is a life transforming experience, one that may provide the foundation for a vital and fulfilling life.
We don’t want you to have to take this journey alone. Our goal is to help you through that journey step-by-step to ensure the journey is a little less lonely—and perhaps even a little goofy.
The goal of this website is to offer information and tools to individuals who are affected by an eating disorder and to their families. As we launch the site, we focus on those who seek information and tools for Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). In the future, we will expand the site to include information and tools for those who have Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, and related disorders related to an individual’s disconnection from the experience of their body.
Individuals and families who learn about the complexity of eating disorders—the strong and confusing emotions; rigid and unrelenting rules and expectations; the preoccupying awareness of the experience of the body—among many other challenging experiences—are better equipped to make continuing, tangible progress. Building knowledge and skills with the support of experts and peers can give families the resilience and long-term strategies they need to help their loved ones—and still take care of themselves in the process.
The Duke Center for Eating Disorders has created this website to provide families with expertise, support and reassurance they can access from home.
By going through this learning process and developing crucial communication and coping skills, your family can actually emerge stronger and closer than before.
This site contains diverse series of brief webinars organized by type of eating disorder (e.g., anorexia nervosa; bulimia nervosa; binge eating disorder; ARFID). These series are designed to serve as self-help guides to help individuals and families develop a) better understanding and b) a roadmap to achieve personal and collective goals related to their self-connection and synchrony with others.
Learning courses will be offered in the future to both parents and professionals including both disorder-specific series, as well as themes that may pertain to several disorders. For example, parents will have an opportunity to study Dr. Zucker’s Off the CUFF parent skills manual with other parents and led by one of our therapists including homework and sharing your personal journeys.
We will also offer a series of courses for healthcare professionals for education and training for the treatment of ARFID. This will include a Certification Program whereby professionals may begin to treat ARFID in their communities using Dr. Zucker’s proven treatment methods.
In Dr. Zucker’s research laboratory, we study ways to help individuals feel connected with themselves. Connection is about knowing yourself. Examples include: what you like, what your opinion is about things, what your body responds to positively, and what your body responds to negatively.
Connection is also about self-trust: individuals trust that their body is sending messages that are important, legitimate, and need to be respected.
To achieve this requires that individuals learn to dance or be in sync with their bodies.
A person's body makes a move: it could express a need like a stomach contracting in hunger, or signaling potential danger with the butterflies of anxiety in your stomach. In a synchronous dance, the individual pays attention to what his/his body is communicating and tries to give the body what it needs. Sometimes the person may guess wrong, but it is this back and forth trial and error with the body that allows an individual to learn about who s/he is and to gain self-trust.
The mission of our laboratory is to determine why this dance becomes disrupted for some people and then to develop treatments to help them learn to dance. We focus on individuals who are struggling with this dance.
Individuals that we study include (but are not limited to) to those with:
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Binge Eating Disorder
- Selective Eating
- Childhood Somatic Pain Syndromes (such as tummy pain)
- Gender Dysphoria