086: Finding Help For Eating Disorders 

Podcast Guest: Lauren Barnes

085: Finding Help For Eating Disorders

Listen to the Show:

In this Episode

In this important episode of the Stronger Marriage Connection podcast, Dr. Lauren Barnes shares her extensive knowledge about eating disorders and body image, exploring their impact on individuals and relationships. Offering hope and healing, Dr. Barnes discusses the prevalence, recovery, and the critical importance of addressing these issues within marriages. Listeners will learn from an expert in the field about the signs, effects, and treatment options for eating disorders, making this a valuable resource for those seeking to understand or cope with these conditions.

The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this podcast do not necessarily reflect the views of the Utah Marriage Commission.”

Time Markers

00:00 - Introduction to the episode's topic and guests. 
01:14 – About Dr. Lauren Barnes 
04:16 - Exploring the impact of eating disorders on individuals and families. 
05:35 - Historical context and prevalence of eating disorders. 
07:13 - Discussion on gender differences in prevalence. 
09:10 - Hope and recovery rates. 
10:37 - Distinguishing between body image issues, disordered eating, and eating disorders. 
16:44 - Effective treatments and strategies for helping young people improve their relationship with food and their bodies. 
21:47 - Approaching treatment and support for couples dealing with these issues. 
27:13 - Tips on finding a good therapist for recovery. 
28:32 - The influence of family dynamics. 
30:50- Lauren's key to a stronger marriage connection 
31:41- Lauren's takeaway of the day 
32:52- Liz's takeaway of the day 
33:20- Dave's takeaway of the day 
34:22 - Closing remarks and the importance of supportive relationships 




Eating disorders are widespread, affecting up to 9% of the population. Eating disorders are complex and they are not solely about food consumption or exercise habits. Instead, they require well-researched, specialized care and attention. Anyone struggling with an eating disorder is encouraged to seek help, as numerous resources and support options are available. 


There is significant and prolonged stress that both partners in a relationship can experience when dealing with an eating disorder. It is important to acknowledging the struggle and the impact it can have on a relationship. It is important to seek help, learn more about eating disorders, and communicate concerns to a partner in a caring and supportive manner. 


The thought of function over feature is quite beautiful. Even in just talking about it to our kids, the focus is on your body is so strong, we can go run now let's go run this hill. Isn't that wonderful? Our bodies can do this. And we're breathing and we don't even know it and our whole, all these organs are working in unison, and without us having to direct them. The body is phenomenal.  

About Lauren Barnes:

Dr. Lauren A. Barnes, LMFT is an Associate Clinical Professor in the School of Family Life and the Clinical Director for BYU’s Marriage & Family Therapy graduate program. Prior to her faculty appointment at BYU in 2013, she worked as a therapist at Center for Change treating girls and women struggling with eating disorders within a residential treatment setting. She maintains a small private practice where she primarily works with those struggling with body image, eating disorders, and life challenges within their families. Dr. Barnes grew up in a multicultural multigenerational home with her native Cuban grandparents, mom, dad, and siblings in the Pacific Northwest. During her free time, Lauren loves baking (especially cakes and cookies) walking or hiking, playing piano, and loves socializing with good friends and family. One of her current passions is speaking at women’s body image retreats because it combines her love of connecting with people, learning, and engaging in fun activities. She is married to Aaron and they have a son and daughter. 

Lauren Barnes Resources: 

Instagram: @drlaurenabarneslmft 

Email: Lauren_Barnes@byu.edu 



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