Author Topic: Lena Zavaroni  (Read 6906 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Padgates staff

  • Guest
Lena Zavaroni
« on: February 28, 2013, 06:40:41 PM »
Does anyone know about the Montreux Counselling Clinic and Peggy Claude Pierre? I came accross it when I was watching a programme about Lena Zavaroni earlier in the week.
 Lena Zavaroni
Lena Hilda Zavaroni (4 November 1963 – 1 October 1999) was a Scottish child singer and a television show host. With her album Ma! (He's Making Eyes At Me) at ten years of age, she is the youngest person in history to have an album in the top ten of the UK Albums Chart. Later in life she hosted TV shows and appeared on stage. She died at the age of 35 after suffering from anorexia nervosa since she was 13.
Life and career
Early life
Lena was born in Greenock and grew up in the small town of Rothesay on the Isle of Bute with musical parents, who owned a fish and chip shop. Father Victor Zavaroni played the guitar, mother Hilda sang, and Lena herself sang from the age of two. Her grandfather immigrated from Italy.
She was discovered in the summer of 1973 by record producer Tommy Scott, who was on holiday in Rothesay and heard her singing with her father and uncle in a band. Scott contacted impresario Phil Solomon, which led to his partner Dorothy Solomon's becoming Zavaroni's manager.
Career in music
In 1974 Lena appeared on Opportunity Knocks hosted by Hughie Green and won the show for a record-breaking five weeks running. She followed this with the album Ma! (He's Making Eyes At Me), a collection of classic and then-recent pop standards which reached number eight in the UK album chart. At 10 years, 146 days old, Zavaroni is still the youngest person to have an album in the Top 10 and was also the youngest person to appear on the BBC's Top of the Pops.
Zavaroni also sang at a Hollywood charity show with Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball in 1974, at which Ball commented, "You’re special. Very special and very, very good," although some sources attribute the words to Sinatra. Following this, Zavaroni guest-starred on The Carol Burnett Show. She also appeared in The Morecambe and Wise Show, the 1976 Royal Variety Show and performed at the White House for US President Gerald Ford. Signed to the soul-oriented Stax Records label in the United States, Zavaroni was not widely popular despite the praise and television appearances; her Ma album was not listed in the popularity charts, and its title single only reached 91st position on the Billboard Hot 100 during a four-week chart run in the summer of 1974.
Stage and television career
While attending London's Italia Conti Academy stage school, Lena met and became long-term friends with child star Bonnie Langford. The two starred in the ITV special Lena and Bonnie.
On Sunday 18th June 1978 The BBC broadcast Lena Zavaroni On Broadway.
In 1979 Lena had her own TV series on the BBC called Lena Zavaroni and Music, and from 1980 to 1982 she had a TV series call Lena.
Later years
From the age of 13, Zavaroni suffered from anorexia nervosa. While at stage school, her weight dropped to 56 lb (4 stone or 25 kg). Zavaroni blamed this on the pressure placed upon her to fit into costumes while at the same time she was "developing as a woman."
She continued to suffer from anorexia throughout the 1980s, and in 1989 she married computer consultant Peter Wiltshire. The couple settled in north London but separated 18 months later. Also in 1989, Zavaroni's mother, Hilda, died of a tranquilliser overdose and a fire destroyed all of her showbiz mementos.
After the breakup of her marriage, Zavaroni moved to Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, to be nearer to her father and his second wife. By this time, she was living on state benefits and in 1999 was accused of stealing a 50p packet of jelly, although the charges were later dropped.
Zavaroni underwent a number of drug treatments and received electroconvulsive therapy in an attempt to beat her anorexia. Her inquest was told that none of these had been successful in the long term. In addition she was suffering from depression and begged doctors to operate on her to relieve her depression. Although the operation would not cure her anorexia, she was desperate for it to proceed and threatened suicide (she also took a drug overdose) if it did not.
In September 1999 Zavaroni was admitted to University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff for a psychosurgical operation that was described as "pioneering"and "keyhole surgery to partially interrupt the nerve pathways that control emotions".After the operation, she appeared to be in a satisfactory condition and after a week she was "making telephone calls, cheerful and engaging in conversation," even asking her doctor if he thought there was any chance that she would get back on stage. However, three weeks after the operation, she developed a chest infection and died from pneumonia on 1 October. She weighed less than five stone (70 lb, 32 kg).
Although some reports said that the surgery was a leucotomy (also known as a lobotomy), the hospital said that it was not, and the treatment was intended for depression rather than anorexia.

Padgates staff

  • Guest
Re: Lena Zavaroni
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 06:41:08 PM »
What is Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia Nervosa is defined as a psychological disorder. The patient has a distorted body image and an irrational fear of becoming overweight - so he/she deliberately attempts to lose weight. Even though the majority of patients are female, men can also suffer from Anorexia Nervosa.

* Anorexia = A general loss of appetite or no interest in food. Not to be confused with Anorexia Nervosa.

According to DSM-IV-TRฎ Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association, a person with Anorexia Nervosa:
•   weighs much less than he/she should - 15% or more below their ideal weight
•   normally has a BMI of 17.5 or less
•   has missed three consecutive menstrual periods
•   has a preoccupation with body shape and weight
•   has a severe fear of putting on weight
76% of reported Anorexia Nervosa onsets start between the ages 11-20. About 6% of patients diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa die - approximately half of deaths are the result of suicide. It has the highest mortality rate for any mental illness.

A person who suffers from Anorexia Nervosa is often a perfectionist who sets herself/himself targets beyond his/her reach. When they are not achieved the patient begins to control parts of his/her life that he feels he/she can, such as food intake and weight.

An exaggerated fear of losing control is mainly driven by low self-esteem and constant self-criticism. It is not uncommon for a patient to feel he/she has lost control after consuming a tiny amount of food.
Lobotomy (Greek: λοβός – lobos: "lobe (of brain)"; τομή – tomē: "cut/slice") is a neurosurgical procedure, a form of psychosurgery, also known as a leukotomy or leucotomy (from the Greek λευκός – leukos: "clear/white" and tome). It consists of cutting or scraping away most of the connections to and from the prefrontal cortex, the anterior part of the frontal lobes of the brain. While the procedure, initially termed a leucotomy, has been controversial since its inception in 1935, it was a mainstream procedure for more than two decades, prescribed for psychiatric (and occasionally other) conditions – this despite general recognition of frequent and serious side-effects.
The lobotomy procedure can have severe negative effects on a patient's personality and ability to function independently. Lobotomy patients often show a marked reduction in initiative and inhibition. They may also exhibit difficulty putting themselves in the position of others because of decreased cognition and detachment from society.
Concerns about lobotomy steadily grew. Soviet psychiatrist Vasily Gilyarovsky criticized lobotomy and the mechanistic brain localization assumption used to carry out lobotomy: "It is assumed that the transection of white substance of the frontal lobes impairs their connection with the thalamus and eliminates the possibility to receive from it stimuli which lead to irritation and on the whole derange mental functions. This explanation is mechanistic and goes back to the narrow localizationism characteristic of psychiatrists of America, from where leucotomy was imported to us." The USSR officially banned the procedure in 1950on the initiative of Gilyarovsky. Doctors in the Soviet Union concluded that the procedure was "contrary to the principles of humanity" and "'through lobotomy' an insane person is changed into an idiot." By the 1970s, numerous countries had banned the procedure as had several US states.
Peggy Claude-Pierre's counselling background includes work in family mediation and prison inmate programs. As part of her undergraduate work in Psychology she undertook a major study in recidivism among young offenders involving over 20 countries. From this experience, she intended to make a career of prison reform and the counselling of "troubled" youth and street children. Her findings that positive reinforcement was more effective than punishment helped her to refine the approach of "unconditional support" employed at Montreux today.
When Peggy's two daughters became (successively) ill with anorexia, formal studies were put on hold as she became the girls only hope for survival. The nightmare of nearly losing her own children evolved into a mission to enlighten society as to the true nature of this devastating disorder. Following the recovery of her daughters, referrals from fellow professionals induced her to open an out-patient practice specializing in eating disorders in 1988. Concurrently, she pursued graduate studies with the Adler Institute of Chicago. The demands of desperate parents, however, forced her to forego further education in order to concentrate on saving the lives of critically ill children. The Montreux Counselling Centre began its residential in-patient program in 1993. Following their demonstration of success with "hopeless" cases, Peggy and her team have been greatly encouraged by the emerging enthusiasm of the professional community to embrace a more humanistic treatment model. They have worked closely with treatment teams in acute care hospitals where patients must often be stabilized before they can be brought to the Montreux clinic.
The Montreux Counselling Centre's Eating Disorder Program has only one aim for all patients: total recovery without recidivism. While there are inevitable drop-outs before program completion, over 90% of those admitted do achieve this goal. The Program is licensed under the Community Care Act in British Columbia, Canada. Admission is strictly through medical referral and all patients are closely medically monitored through all stages of treatment. Patients' treatment costs have been covered by a number of major health insurers including: Prudential, MetLife, CHAMPUS, WPS, HealthNet, etc. Montreux has treated patients from over 10 countries on 4 continents.
Peggy Claude-Pierre's gentle yet positive approach to the treatment of anorexia and bulimia has been introduced to millions throughout the world thanks to a number of television productions sensitive to the issue. In North America, ABC-TV's Peabody Award winning 20/20 episode of December 2, 1994, gave many people their first glimpse of the deeper torture experienced by the victims of eating disorders, as well as the hope of complete recovery. There followed two further 20/20 airings, two Oprah episodes (seen world wide), as well as productions from Spiegel TV (Germany), Dutch Nation Television (Netherlands), Current Affair (Australia), Pointe de Mire (Canada), and several in the U.K.
Peggy Claude-Pierre has consulted with numerous professional colleagues 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 (she was relieved to have lost to Mother Theresa), and the Institute of Noetic Sciences Altruism Award. Her philosophical development has been influenced by Alfred Adler, Abraham Maslow, and Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, among many others.
Currently, Montreux staff are in the process of creating a teaching clinic in order to facilitate the thousands of requests they have received for a professional training program. Further plans also include a formal long-term outcome study.
The secret language of force-feeding
Peggy Claude-Pierre has treated the most severe anorexics in the world. Now she faces allegations of incompetence and brutality.
ALL IS quiet behind the wooden doors of the Montreux Counseling Center in Victoria, a small sleepy city on Canada's westernmost shore. Few people come and go. There is no sound from windows open to relieve the early summer heat. There is no hint of the controversy swirling around the centre: the site of either regular miracles, or of a potentially fatal scam, depending on who you believe.
Montreux is the clinic founded by Peggy Claude-Pierre in 1993 to treat eating disorders. For the past three weeks, a licensing hearing by the province of British Columbia has laid open the debate that has simmered about the clinic for years, as its success with anorexics and bulimics has spread. The hearing follows reports from former staff members, who
complained to health authorities about practices including force-feeding and forcible confinement. This is in sharp contrast to the therapy the charismatic Ms Claude-Pierre says she practises, such as "bathing my girls in unconditional love". An 11-month investigation led to 28 charges under the Community Care Facility Act.
Five former staffers and two medical experts on eating disorders have testified that the clinic has failed to meet minimum standards for health and safety, that no trained medical professionals are on the full-time staff, that six critically ill patients who should have been hospitalised were kept there. Every day, the hearing has been packed with dozens of Ms Claude-Pierre's supporters, who hiss "Lies!" at former staff members, and cheer or weep when patients tell their stories.
Ms Claude-Pierre began counselling those with eating disorders in 1988, after "saving" her two then-teenaged daughters from anorexia. She opened the clinic in 1993. She disputes the conventional wisdom that eating disorders have their root in obsessions with body image or suppressed sexual or physical abuse, and instead coined the term "confirmed negativity condition" (CNC). This, she wrote in her book The Secret Language of Eating Disorders, is present in some children from birth and means they do not feel they are worthy of anything good, including the food that keeps them alive. The solution, she says, is to love them, and remove from them all responsibility for eating.
The clinic charges up to $9,000 (pounds 3,860) a week and treatment can last 18 months. Ms Claude-Pierre has claimed a 100 per cent success rate, although she refuses to participate in follow-up studies. She has also said that Diana, Princess of Wales summoned her to London to discuss her problems with bulimia. After Ms Claude-Pierre was featured ontelevision programmes such as 20/20 and The Oprah Winfrey Show, dozens of American and European families made the trek to Montreux, bringing emaciated children who had failed to get better at conventional clinics and hospitals.
Anorexia has a devastating mortality rate. One and a half per cent of the population has full-blown eating disorders, and of 100 people suffering from anorexia today, one in five will die within 20 years. Dozens of patients have come from the UK, including Samantha Kendall, one of a pair of twins from Birmingham afflicted with anorexia. She died at home in 1998, after a stint at Montreux that was supposed to have healed her. Another young British woman to seek help is Diana Van Maasdijk, who took the stand to testify in rapturous praise of her earlier this week.
Ms Van Maasdijk, 23, said she arrived at Montreux last July, after battling anorexia and bulimia for eight years. She said she was suicidal and vastly bloated, had been through 11 English treatment centres, and her anguished parents had disowned her. Through unconditional love, she said, she is now completely healed, living happily in Victoria, thinking about emigrating there and starting a business, and fully reconnected with her family.
"Most doctors," she said, "had said `we can't help you'. Peggy said: `Your parents are not to blame, I love your parents, and I can understand the voices in your head, I can get you better and I WILL get you better.' I just fell into her arms." Ms Claude-Pierre was like a "mommy figure" to her.
Today, 11 months later, Ms Van Maasdijk is an avid skier and in-line skater, who says she does not even know how much she weighs because she can't be fussed to look at scales. She is effervescent and cheery, almost manically so. Indeed, talking to her highlights the Montreux dilemma. She says she is completely recovered: "It really is over for me." And yet her "best friends" are a former careworker and a counsellor from the clinic. Her boyfriendis a careworker, driver and "security man" at the clinic.
"Except for food and weight, it's all behind me," she chirps - a fairly significant exception. When that is pointed out, she backtracks hastily into Montreux-speak. "Every negative can be turned into a positive."
The strangest moment in the hearing to date was the testimony of Margaret Bruce, who brought her three-year-old son Bruce to the clinic from New York in 1996, after she saw Ms Claude-Pierre on television. She told how Ms Claude-Pierre diagnosed him with CNC and symptomatic anorexia, lovingly hand-fed him, and treated him for more than a year, after dozens of doctors had been unable to do anything; Bruce, she said, would eat only cold cereal from the age of one. Today he is a robust six-year-old.
Health officials charge that the child was separated from his parents for months at a time; force-fed (with a spoon shoved into his mouth until it bled or he vomited), sometimes in Ms Claude-Pierre's presence; verbally abused and treated "as an experiment"; and that the clinic lied about his treatment during the initial investigation in 1997, changing its story after its own records showed force-feeding. Outside the hearing, medical experts have said it is impossible to diagnose anorexia in a toddler.
Ms Claude-Pierre declined to be interviewed for this article. She has not been present at the hearing. Her husband and Montreux co-owner, who has attended all of it along with her two daughters, says this is out of a desire not to corrupt the integrity of the hearing process; her lawyers say she is just waiting until she testifies. However, former clinic workers have said she loses control whenever she is challenged in any way, and that her legal team saw the danger in having her present in court as her critics testified. Her defenders say Ms Claude-Pierre has done nothing more than challenge a medical system that is resentful of her success.
There are no criminal charges against the clinic. It is still treating two patients, but has been prohibited from taking any new ones until the hearing is over. It has been adjourned until 5 July and, when the hearing resumes, Ms Claude-Pierre will take the stand. So will 40 more of those who say they owe their life to her; there is no precedent for that kind of argument in Canada's courts.

Padgates staff

  • Guest
Re: Lena Zavaroni
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2013, 06:41:33 PM »
Controversy's rising again over Victoria's Montreux Counselling Clinic. Next Monday, Richard Stanwick, the Capital Region's Health Officer, will seek a court injunction to stop it's Director, Peggy Claude-Pierre, from providing residential treatment for eating disorders.

The issue is strongly polarised. On the one side are Claude-Pierre's fans. They include supporters from across Canada and around the world who've heard about her work as well as many former clients who idolize her, calling her their saviour, an angel and "the most maternal person" they've ever met.

To these people, she's a sincere, dedicated woman who is offering the last hope to desperate anorexics whom the medical community has failed.
But to her critics, most of them professionals with M.D.'s, she's a misguided amateur. They scoff at her claims of almost 100-per-cent success and point out that her alleged revolutionary approach contains nothing they haven't known about for years.

Pointing to claims of a disgruntled former client, reports of too much touching between staff and clients, possible force-feeding, and the lack of the psychiatric assessment and medical supervision they deem necessary for patient care, they're raising concerns that her method of treatment puts patients at serious risk.

Some go so far as to call her clinic "cult-like" and to imply that she's a charlatan taking advantage of the vulnerable.

While the immediate dispute before the B.C. Supreme Court centres around the technicality that she doesn't have a license to provide the residential care she's been offering, the real controversy in the court of public opinion centres on: Who knows the real Claude-Pierre?

Quite possibly, both sides do; I think it's a mistake to take sides with either her friends or her foes.
Self-destructive eating habits can be traced as far back as Medieval times, when they held religious significance as "miracle fasters" who stopped eating claimed divine inspiration.

Such behaviours came to be considered a curious disorder peculiar to young women and by the late 1800's they began to be given the misnomer of a disease. In 1980, anorexia was officially adopted into psychiatry's bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, as a bona fide psychiatric disorder.

So, what was once considered an inexplicable human issue is now in the domain of medicine even though there's no clear agreement about what it is or how to treat it.

It seems that Claude-Pierre could still be doing her counselling if she had restricted her work to "outpatients." Apparently even Stanwick, whom some accuse of being "out to get her," would still accept this arrangement but compromise seems unlikely.

As Claude-Pierre tells her story, she got into this work somewhat by accident. In their teens, her two daughters successively became anorexic and she stopped working as a waitress to focus on helping first one, then the other and their friends with eating problems.

Other parents heard of her success and wanted her to help their daughters too. From all accounts it seems that Claude-Pierre did a good job of persuading these young women to eat.

But, as she explains, the number quickly grew to 300, and she converted a Victorian house into a residence for her clients, somehow assuming that the provincial government would pay the bills.
That never happened and, out of necessity, she began charging the sort of fees which her critics suggest are exorbitant although they are in line with similar clinics in the U.S.

Busy, overextended, distracted by the attention of media icons like Ophra Winfrey and basking in international popularity, it would seem that she did what countless others heralded as "healers" have done. She created a new persona, one of an "innovative therapist" who has found "the cure," written a bestseller The Secret Language of Eating Disorders about it, packaged the method, and now teaches it in workshops and training seminars.

This "angel" had become a psychological entrepreneur.

Whatever it was that made her successful, I'm pretty sure it wasn't this psychologized formula. I suspect that Peggy just had the "knack" - some personal quality that made her good at her work, something that put her in the same category as my favourite aunt who could bake the best apple pies I've ever tasted or the man who has a way with fixing old cars or the woman down the street whose roses grow better than mine

A knack according Webster's Dictionary is "a special ready capacity that is hard to analyze or teach." It's not something you can bottle into a theory or a skill you can teach to others. When you try, it loses its power, dissolving into that mixture of sugar and water that's called Snake Oil.

For all her possible errors in judgment, the one that might ultimately bring her down isn't what the court decides about the fate of the Montreaux Clinic, but rather Claude-Pierre's own belief that what she was doing could be distilled into theory and sold as a method. Sadly, by turning it into just another therapy, Claude-Pierre may have lost the knack.