chapter  9
20 Pages

You Make the Path as You Walk: Working Collaboratively with People with Eating Disorders

ByELENA FERNÁNDEZ, ALEJANDRA CORTÉS, MARGARITA TARRAGONA

How the Project Began Elena and Alejandra began collaborating when Elena requested consultation and support for her work with a client who was struggling with bulimia. Alejandra, a physician also trained as a therapist who specializes in eating disorders joined Elena as a cotherapist. Th ey soon began seeing other clients together as they realized that they each had special knowledge and experience, which, when combined with what their client brought in, resulted in a true collaborative process: Alejandra was able to “take off her white coat” and become more comfortable in her role as a psychotherapist, exploring the nonmedical aspects of the client’s experiences, whereas Elena benefi ted from Alejandra’s medical knowledge incorporating the biomedical aspect of eating disorders into her therapeutic work. Th is collaboration created new options for helping clients.