Eating Disorder Families: Don't Be Scared!

This Table Talk happened on Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Juli Agajanian, LMFT shared her unparalleled gifts as an Eating Disorder Family Therapist this month. We are encouraged as practitioners to appreciate parents' fear and shame. When faced with the pain of watching their child's anxiety, they may hover, demand, or look to be in denial but they are in fact scared. So to help the child, is to see THEIR helplessness and hopelessness, and to display AUTHENTIC respect for the position mom and dad are in.

Facilitate vulnerability with plentiful use of "I Statements" ALL around. Help the CHILD to do their own talking to convey how terrible it is to live in their head. Ask permission to be part of the solution- to point out what you see as helpful. Teach parents to gently push their child towards discomfort.

To help get you in this frame of mind and keep you there, read and keep handy this document, written to US (treatment providers) a year ago from Mothers Against Eating Disorders.

We have also posted Juli's notes from her talk.

Thank you to all who attended: Christine LoebNorah McIntireCelisa Flores PsydKim Scott, Josie Tuttle, Jude WeberJanet Goldstein-Ball,Amanda Farrell JenningsJoanna SzumskiSarah Nicholson FloresSona DeLurgioDana Schwartz, and Michele Tamarkin, and again to our speaker, Juli Agajanian.


Juli has spent the last 15 years working with adolescents and their families in a variety of settings, and has been with Center for Discovery since 2007. Her previous experience includes working as a Program Director at one of Discovery's residential locations, at the PHP level of care in adolescent mental health, and as an in-home behavioral coach. As Regional Director, she is responsible for overseeing and training the clinical staff in Discovery's Southern California residential eating disorders division and is a certified Eating Disorders Specialist (CEDS) and Supervisor (CEDSS). Juli is a national speaker and trainer on the subject of eating disorders. Her passion for clinical excellence and skill as a mentor and teacher have inspired countless members of the Center for Discovery team. Juli is a fearlessly authentic psychotherapist with an approachable style, and especially enjoys helping clients reconnect with their families through the process of family therapy. Juli's infectious laugh and her warm manner are cherished by her teammates.