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Father Hunger

Posted By AUSSIEedfamily, Saturday, June 18, 2016

Title; Father Hunger

Author; Margo Maine, Ph.D

Publisher; Gürze Books

This book provides a clinician’s view of the part that fathers play in a daughter’s life as the author describes her experiences in treatment of eating disorders.  I decided to read this book because it was written by a very close friend & colleague of Professor Michael P. Levine, with whom I was collaborating to develop a Father & Professor presentation for the 2014 ANZAED Eating Disorders conference in Fremantle. Professor Levine was supportive of this book although I had also heard from others in the eating disorder parent/carer, environment that the book was not one they supported, as they felt it was a book in the parent blaming scenario. I needed to read it & discover for myself whether it was parent blaming or parent supportive.

It was with some trepidation that I commenced reading it. As a father who is supporting a daughter well down the path of recovery, I did not want to end up being traumatised & feeling that I had caused my daughter’s eating disorder. I was doing a lot of flying & had heaps of reading time.

The book describes the authors experiences in the treatment of eating disorders & endeavours to put her views on what influences she considers the father daughter dynamic has in relation to eating disorders when there is a varying level of disconnect between father & daughter. The level of disconnect described in the book varies from simply a father being very hard working & busy providing the family income & security to fathers who were busy personally, to neglectful fathers & those who become abusive in various forms verbal, physical, emotional & sexual.

I found the book enlightening and informative. There were some parts that gave me feelings of a level of failure as a father as I was one of the hard working busy ones often away from home earning an income & providing security. The start of this busy working away started just 6 months before my daughter was diagnosed with AN. Other parts gave me a feeling of being worthwhile as a father as it described the positive things a father can do & I was doing them. It also provided me with things that I can do to provide positives to the dynamics between my daughter & I.

I have provided feedback to the author regarding the perspective that some readers may view the book as parent blaming and that in future editions she may be able to dispel such perceptions & receive a positive response.

Since finishing reading the book & discussing it in the parent/carer forum I participate in, I have discovered some parents/carers who thought the book was very good & really helped them while others who thought the book was parent blaming & not a good read.

I am glad I read this book; it enlightened me in some areas & reinforced me in others.

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