Anne K. Fishel, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, teacher, blogger, and family therapist. She is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at the Harvard Medical School and Director of the Family and Couples Therapy Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where she has won many teaching prizes from psychiatry residents and psychology interns. She also has a private practice focusing on clinical supervision, and individual, couples and family therapy.
Dr. Fishel is a co-founder of The Family Dinner Project, a non-profit group that works on-line and in person to help families overcome the obstacles that get in the way of family dinners. She speaks, consults, and publishes widely on a range of issues to do with families and couples.
Dr. Fishel is the author of Treating the Adolescent in Family Therapy: A Developmental and Narrative Approach (Jason Aronson, 1999). She writes a blog on Psychologytoday.com, “The Digital Family,” and has also blogged about family issues for NPR and PBS. She is an editor for the Harvard Review of Psychiatry and Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice. She lives outside Boston with her husband, and is the mother of two young adult sons.
A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University, Fishel earned her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Home for Dinner is a book for parents who want to make the most of dinnertime, given that this is the most reliable time of the day available for families to connect. The book draws on my experience as a mother, family therapist, professor of psychology, and co-founder of The Family Dinner Project.
I start with a round up of the scientific findings that demonstrate how regular family dinners are good for the brain, the body, and the spirit. I then explore the ways that family dinner changes at each stage of the life cycle from the early feeding of an infant all the way to old age. There are chapters on healthy eating, playing with food (by using all the senses, art and science, and memory), table talk, and story-telling. The final part of the book addresses the ways that dinner can lead to change– with examples from workshops and community dinners I’ve led with The Family Dinner Project; clinical stories from my therapy practice; and the ways that food and mealtime can spur social justice activism.
This book explains why family dinners are so important to the well-being of families and then offers tips and advice to families about how to improve, increase, and enliven them. Throughout the book there are about 40 recipes offered that are healthy, quick, and most require 8 or fewer ingredients.