Conversation cards for breaking the silence on eating disorders
Eating disorders affect people of different genders, ages and from all walks of life. They can be experienced long term or short term, and they can fluctuate or change over time.
Living with an eating disorder can also be a lonely, isolating experience, with feelings of shame often exacerbating the problem by leading to secrecy.
Eating Disorders & Other Shadowy Companions is a beautiful, highly-visual resource that aims to empower participants to bridge the isolation by sharing their experience with family, friends, teachers, counsellors, and other health professionals.
With 40 hand-drawn cards and a comprehensive booklet containing guidance on using the resource, these cards stimulate conversations that challenge the silence and shame surrounding eating disorders.
Each card includes an illustration and a question to help people reflect on and express what it feels like to live with an eating disorder and seek ways forward. Plus, these cards can be used to describe other ‘shadowy companions’ like addiction, depression and anxiety.
Eating Disorders & Other Shadowy Companions is an ideal tool for use with individuals and groups.
- Therapeutic settings
- Youth services
- Child and Family service settings
- Social work
- Teen and young adults
Stories and Reviews
I love the look of these cards, the art style is intriguing and approachable but most importantly is very respectful of some of the big concepts which they touch upon. I appreciate that eating disorders are represented as neutral on the cards, which I feel invites open and honest conversations about them, to freely explore the desirable and non-desirable things aspects of them.
The cards themselves are perfect for eating disorders but also work just as well for many other problems or “shadowy companions”. I could see them being a particularly great tool for most coping mechanisms.
The booklet provides an accessible and insightful overview of eating disorders and the wider context surrounding them. It also gives a useful explanation of each card and some great ideas of how to work safely and respectfully with eating disorders from a Strengths-Based perspective. I found this personally helpful for expanding my understanding of eating disorders. Overall, I feel more competent working with eating disorders now that I have this resource as a tool to guide and enhance my practice.
– review by Dan Jackson, NZ
Using the cards in my practice
I experimented with the cards with several clients where I felt confident that they were medically stable and psychologically in a good space. The feedback overall was very positive. The consensus was the cards would be a useful tool, especially for clinicians who are less experienced and may struggle to connect to their client. Or have difficulty moving the session forward.
The characters were seen favorably and non-confrontational. A few of the cards were chosen to be most impactful; the ‘How could you lighten the load?’, ‘What happens when eating disorders compete?’, ‘What helps you face everyday challenges?’ and the best for conversation – ‘What do you see when you look in the mirror?’
I will definitely continue to use in my practice.
– Loraine House, Counsellor/Accredited Clinical Supervisor & Educator, Specialising in Eating Disorders