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Schoen Clinic Highlights Emotional Distress of Waiting Times for Eating Disorder Patients

LONDON, UK, February 28, 2022 / — The number of referrals for young adults awaiting urgent treatment for eating disorders in the UK rose 136% year-on-year, reaching record highs according to data from the NHS analyzed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists[1]. Ahead of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 28. March 6, 2022), the multidisciplinary team at Schoen Clinic UK highlights the fragility of relationship dynamics between young adult patients within the family setting, particularly in the period preceding the access. to treatment.

Parent practitioner at UK eating disorders hospital Schoen Clinic Newbridge, which treats young adults aged 8-18, points out that a patient’s treatment journey usually involves counseling the family that supports him and to eliminate the triggers of relational dynamics that are close to the patient.

Rachel Matthews, director of mental health services at the Schoen Clinic says: “Once a patient and their family have decided to start treatment, it is important that they get some kind of support as soon as possible, because family relationship triggers and the stress of waiting for support may aggravate existing problems”.

There are different forms of eating disorders and since there are different paths of development of the disease, an integrated approach to treatment has been developed at the Schoen Clinic, taking into account the physical and emotional needs of the patients, their well- being psychological and recognizing the importance of family support.

Schoen Clinic UK recently won LaingBuisson Hospital of The Year for its Birmingham hospital, Schoen Clinic Newbridge and is the only independent healthcare provider to create peer-reviewed clinical research into eating disorders and to be one of the main contributors to the International Conference on Eating Disorders 2022. Rachel adds, “Our treatment programs are recommended when young people and their families need intensive help to overcome the impact of a eating disorder, but we realize that the journey begins with the decision to seek treatment. As patients and families worry about wait times, parents and caregivers could benefit from tips and advice in the run-up to treatment.”

Schoen Clinic experts offer tips and potential triggers to watch for while patients and families wait for treatment:

The cause is usually emotional

An eating disorder, at its root, is an expression of emotional distress and a means of dealing with difficult and painful feelings. Anorexia is an eating disorder that typically occurs during adolescence, so emotional difficulties are likely to include problems at school, friendship issues, parental conflict, and difficulty coping with family. puberty. Of course, many young people face these kinds of challenges without developing eating disorders; there must be other factors involved that trigger eating disorders.

Personality Types

There are currently a number of studies looking at whether certain personality types may be more predisposed to an eating disorder. The theory is that young people with more rigid thinking styles and perfectionist traits may be more at risk of responding to difficulties with their diet. Young people who develop anorexia frequently express how losing weight has given them the sense of control they lacked in all other areas of their lives.

External factors

We often wonder about the role of the media, both mainstream and social, as a factor in the development of eating disorders. At Schoen Clinic Newbridge we see young people who have used pro-anorexia websites which have served to maintain and normalize their eating disorder. Certainly, the idealized images bombarding young people daily play a role in anxiety around body image, but it would be too simple to suggest that the media cause eating disorders. This may, in some cases, be a factor in creating a disposition to the eating disorder and/or perpetuating it after its onset.

Family dynamics

Family therapy is the cornerstone of the work undertaken at Clinique Schoen with young people and their families. It’s never about blaming families, although very often parents enter the process with great fear that the eating disorder will reflect their failure in some way. While there may be cases where, for example, a mother has food and body image anxieties that carry over to her daughter, we see many families where this is by no means the case. The family therapy and family support work we do is aimed at understanding the dynamics within each family and finding ways to harness the support in a positive way to overcome the eating disorder.

Some people go through the whole process of having an eating disorder, undergoing treatment, and recovering without ever fully understanding the root cause. For some, through psychoanalytic psychotherapy, it is very important to illuminate the cause and to use this understanding to move towards change.

In conclusion, the causes of an eating disorder are likely to be complex, not always apparent, and will involve an interaction of several factors. It is essential that parents do not blame themselves and that if the symptoms of an eating disorder are cause for concern, medical help is quickly sought, as the longer an eating disorder persists, the more intransigent it will be to treat.

Rachel Matthews concludes: “People with the condition often feel isolated and overwhelmed, experiences can range from intrusive thoughts, severe anxiety and negative self-image, so positive communication within a family setting, particularly to approach to treatment, is vital. It is particularly important to note that eating disorders affect not only the child or young adult, but the whole family unit and can inform the person’s relationships with family members. At Schoen Clinic, we not only treat the patient, but we work with the family as a unit. »

Schoen Clinic Experience

The Schoen Clinic has over 30 years of experience in treating mental health issues. Their qualified group of eating disorder specialists includes consultant psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and therapists who work as a team to provide a whole person experience, examining all aspects of the patient’s life, family relationships and his relationship to food. Once they have developed care plans, they work in partnership with the family to support them throughout.

The Schoen Clinic has 3 eating disorder facilities in the UK

Award-winning Schoen Newbridge Clinic (Hospital for 8-18 year olds)

Schoen Clinic York (adult inpatient hospital for adults 18+)

Schoen Clinic Chelsea (Outpatient clinic treating ages 11+)

About Schoen Clinic UK

Part of Germany’s largest family hospital group established in 1985, Schoen Clinic UK entered the UK healthcare market in 2018, providing award-winning, expert-led private healthcare in the specialist areas of mental health , eating disorders, and orthopedic and spinal surgery. Its accolades include the LaingBuisson Private Hospital Group of the Year 2020.

For more information, please visit the website at

For specific comments and further information, please contact Juliet Francis at;
JFPR Council I
Email: or M: 07931 363 502

[1] for-routine-care-reaching-record-levels

Juliet Francois
JFPR Council
+44 7931 363 502