Dr. Pam Macdonald

I am a research psychologist, coach and trainer as well as having lived experience of supporting someone with an eating disorder.  I am a passionate advocate of evidence-based research that equips carers with the appropriate information and tools that will help them best support their loved one through their eating disorder.  I have worked with Professor Treasure and her team at King’s College, London since 2006 on the development of skills training interventions for carers of people with an eating disorder. 

Having had personal experience of the regular emotional challenges that can impinge upon the functioning of the entire family at different points along the recovery path, this has undoubtedly impacted and shaped my work in training and educating carers of people with eating disorders.  As well as holding a PhD in psychological medicine (Eating Disorders), I also hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and Life Coaching Diploma from the UK Coaching Academy.

In recent years, I have been actively involved in supporting carers of people with eating disorders using the principles of motivational interviewing as well as the supervision of peer mentors and befrienders in their own work with people with eating disorders.  I have co-edited a Clinicians Guide with Professors Janet Treasure and Ulrike Schmidt, written a handbook on How to Help Someone With an Eating Disorder and contributed to multiple peer reviewed papers in the academic literature.  

Our Founding Mother:  Professor Janet Treasure OBE PhD FRCP FRCPsych

Janet is the founding grandmother of the New Maudsley Approach, a carer skills training intervention that equips carers with the necessary skills to help them support their loved one with an eating disorder.  She has specialised in the treatment of eating disorders at the South London and Maudsley Hospital and King’s College, London for the majority of her career and the Unit continues to be one of the premier European academic centres for eating disorders.  In their innovative approach to training and treatment they have adopted the newest technologies including iPODs, DVDs, virtual reality and web-based programmes as part of their interventions. Professor Treasure   has spearheaded projects that introduce recovered patients and carers into the audit and development plans for clinical services and also in the delivery of training for professionals, carers and patients.

She was made a Professor of Psychiatry in 2000 and awarded an OBE for her work in eating disorders in 2013. Her research has led to greater understanding of, and better treatments for, anorexia and bulimia.  Much of her research focusing on the development of new treatments has been carried out collaboratively with, and often inspired by patients and their families. As well as editing professional texts, Professor Treasure has written several self-help books for people with eating disorders (Schmidt & Treasure, 1993; Treasure, 1997). Guided self-help using books such as these are recommended in the NICE guidelines as a first stage of treatment.  Books for carers (Treasure, et al., 2007, Langley 2018) are  featured on the home page of this website.   This work is recognized internationally, with the book having been translated into several languages.  Furthermore, treatment centres across the world are implementing this approach.

Her research has been supported by many research grants and she has supervised over 40 PhD students over her career and. She has been awarded several prizes for her work:  Royal College Psychiatrist Gold Medal, NHS Innovation Award, MHRN awards for work with carers. In 2004, she was awarded the Academy for Eating Disorders’ Leadership Award for Research.  In 2010 and in 2012 she was cited in the Sunday Times as one of the UK best known doctors. In 2014 she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Eating Disorders and a second one from BEAT- the largest eating disorder charity in the UK.  Professor Treasure has held various posts on several eating disorders charities: BEAT, SUCCEED, Student Minds, FEAST, Diabetics with Eating Disorders DWED, Psychiatry Research Trust, Charlotte’s Helix.