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Friends Helping Friends

A Guide to Approaching Peers About Their Potential Eating Disorder
By Allison K. Spivack, B.A. with Amanda J. Roberts, Ph.D.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60927-974-5, 116 pages


Allison, one of the authors of this book, has an original piece of artwork in her room by Sally Huss which says, "Around me I wear a coat of many colors, fabrics, and textures. It's made of friends and family here and no longer here, far and not so far. They are all part of my coat which keeps me warm wherever I go." A few summers ago, Allison noticed a hole in that very coat. One of her best friends developed an eating disorder. As the disorder progressed Allison knew she needed to find help for her, and fast. Allison made the decision to approach this friend, express her concerns, and offer her support. The extraordinary thing is, despite her fears, the friend put her trust in Allison and leaned on her shoulder.

This book not only contains the author's story, but Friends Helping Friends:

  • Is a guide on how to approach someone you love, be it a friend or family member, about their potential eating disorder.
  • Provides resources and insights regarding body image, dealing with personal issues, treatment options, risk factors, and more.
  • Teaches the reader how to approach a peer about the incredibly sensitive issue of an eating disorder.
  • Is accompanied with a workbook to help the reader gain the confidence and courage to lay out an approach.

Check your coat; are there holes? If so, reading this book may be the first step to patching some of them up.


Amanda J. Roberts received her Ph.D. in Medical Psychology at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR. Upon moving to San Diego to pursue her post-doctoral training, she began to teach in UCSD's Psychology Department. She currently works at The Scripps Research Institute as an Associate Professor in Molecular & Integrative Neurosciences and has been teaching the course "Eating Disorders" at UCSD for over 10 years.

Allison Spivack, a recent graduate of UC San Diego, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. As a junior she became exceptionally passionate about the field of eating disorders and has since become a research intern with one of San Diego's top Eating Disorder Research and Treatment Centers. Spivack also plans to pursue this specialty in her graduate studies. She currently resides in San Diego and enjoys singing, sunny afternoons on the beach, reading, and ballroom, Latin, and country line dancing, as well as musical theatre.