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The Secret Language of Eating Disorders


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Peggy Claude-Pierre opened her outpatient practice specializing in eating disorders in 1988; the Montreaux Clinic began its residential inpatient program in 1993. Millions have been introduced to Claude-Pierre's gentle yet positive approach to the treatment of anorexia and bulimia, thanks to her appearances on 20/20 (the first show on her work won a Peabody Award for excellance) and Oprah. She consults with health professionals and government representatives in North and South America, Western and Eastern Europe, as well as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. She has been nominated for the Kiwanis World Service Medal and the Institute of Noetic Sciences Altruism Award. She is currently working with the Montreaux staff to create a teaching clinic to offer professional training to others who wish to use the Montyreaux approach. She lives and works in Victoria, Canada.


Anorexia is not about body image, insists Claude-Pierre, founder and director of Canada's Montreux Clinic, which has treated hundreds of patients with eating disorders since 1993. Claude-Pierre developed her innovative approach as an alternative to the harsh and ineffective treatments prescribed for her two anorexic daughters. Sensitive to the girls' anguish, she concluded that eating disorders are not about looks, selfishness or control, but rather arise from "Confirmed Negativity Condition" (CNC)‘a type of overly developed moral sense that causes highly intelligent and altruistic individuals to assume full responsibility for the world's ills. The result is intense pessimism, subjectivity and self-loathing. Thus regimens that impose guilt on patients are counterproductive‘victims need to be relieved of guilt, not burdened with more. At her clinic, Claude-Pierre creates an atmosphere of unconditional love and support, enabling patients to develop a healthy sense of self. Once this is achieved, she claims, eating disorders can be completely cured. Claude-Pierre's compassion and dedication are evident on every page of this account, and her insights are stimulating. Yet the book, based almost entirely on the experience of Montreux patients, lacks broader documentation and historical background, and it never fully addresses the question of why victims choose food as their particular focus. But though the book's scientific rigor is questionable, its humane and caring message will reach deep into the hearts of those who suffer from eating disorders. Photos not seen by PW. Major ad/promo; Random House audio; foreign rights sold in six countries; author tour. (Sept.)

Peggy Claude-Pierre is a warrior--ferocious and relentless--whose work has rescued a decade of sufferers.
--Edward Feller, M.D., F.A.C.P.,
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine,
Brown University School of Medicine

Peggy Claude-Pierre has created a paradigm shift in the way we view and treat anorexia. Peggy has shifted the focus of care from that of controlling the symptoms of disordered eating to healing the negativity that would otherwise plague the individual for the rest of his or her life. I have developed the utmost respect for her, for I realize that she has translated the secret language of anorexia. Now it is up to us to use the knowledge she has revealed.
--Daniel J. Smith, M.D. Peggy Claude-Pierre's work begins where attachment to the limiting obstacles of theory end. She has brought back from the dead many young lives the world deemed hopeless. . . . There are many who possess the title of 'doctor' who have never come close to her incredible example of the selfless healer.
--Craig T. Pratt, M.D.,
Chief, Division of Addiction Medicine,
Grant-Riverside Methodist Hospital

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