In Family-Based Treatment (FBT), the therapist plays a significant role as a guide and mentor, providing a solid framework for the family to navigate the challenges of eating disorders. They serve as a bridge between the family members, facilitating open dialogue and communication to ensure the treatment process is productive and beneficial.
The therapist takes an empathetic and non-blaming approach, empowering parents and family members with the necessary skills and techniques to help their loved one recover. They help create a supportive environment that promotes positivity, understanding, and acceptance. That is essential in cultivating a sense of safety and trust within the family, fostering a better response.
Therapists at Elevate Rockwall use play therapy, EMDR, and a variety of other treatment modalities to treat children with eating disorders. Moreover, we dedicate our full attention to each session, ensuring confidentiality and respect for the patient and family members involved.
Is family-based therapy effective? Yes. When the whole family is involved in the treatment, the child feels seen and secure and will have the confidence to defeat the eating disorder. Below, we will explore what you need to know about family-based therapy and how it can work for you and your child.
What to Expect During a Family-Based Treatment
Family-Based Treatment (FBT) has proven effective, especially in treating children and adolescents with eating disorders. The approach uses the family's strength and commitment to the child’s well-being and lets them participate in their recovery.
Research has shown that FBT can improve outcomes in eating disorder recovery. This form of therapy acknowledges how the family can influence to aid in their child's healing journey. However, the effectiveness of FBT is dependent on their collective effort, readiness to engage, and willingness to create change within the family dynamics. Family members must be proactive, supportive, and consistent for this treatment approach to succeed.
At Elevate Rockwall, our therapists are highly committed to providing quality services, thus enhancing the effectiveness of FBT. Here, patients and their families receive unconditional encouragement and undivided attention from the therapists, creating an environment conducive to healing and recovery.
How Does Family-Based Treatment Work?
Family-Based Treatment (FBT) is a well-structured, phased approach to therapy involving the entire family. It includes regular meetings with a professional experienced in adolescent eating disorders and family interventions. In addition, your family gets various assignments to work on between sessions. This therapeutic approach occurs in three stages: the Engagement Phase, the Weight Restoration Phase, and the Behavioral Family Therapy Phase:
The Engagement Phase
This initial phase aims to build a therapeutic relationship between the child and the caregivers. The primary focus is on re-establishing healthy eating patterns and behaviors. As parents or guardians, you have complete control over the child's food intake. A qualified nutritionist or eating disorder specialist creates a meal plan for the child, which you must follow meticulously. You are given various tools and insights to assist you during this phase, with any arising issues addressed in the subsequent therapy sessions.
The Weight Restoration Phase
The second phase centers around weight gain and maintaining a healthy weight. Although the child has more autonomy over their food choices, you remain the final authority on their diet. The entire family receives nutritional counseling, practical tips and tools to aid in meal planning with a significant emphasis on regular, healthy family meals. Moreover, you are taught how to sensitively monitor your child's weight and eating behaviors with a careful understanding of how intensely triggering it is for individuals struggling with eating disorders.
The Behavioral Family Therapy Phase
Upon achieving stabilization in eating behaviors, the family is ready to begin the final phase of therapy - the Behavioral Family Therapy Phase. This stage addresses the psychological and emotional issues that may have contributed to the onset of the eating disorder. It helps the family understand the complex interplay between the eating disorder and emotional well-being, which creates effective coping strategies and resilience.
What is So Different About FBT?
Family-Based Treatment addresses each aspect of the eating disorder, from reinstating healthy eating behaviors and ensuring physical recovery to tackling the root psychological issues while placing the family at the heart of this healing journey. Here are some other ways this approach differs from traditional eating disorder therapy:
So, Is Family-Based Therapy Effective?
Family-based therapy has proven effective for many families who have seen improvements in recovery rates. As a collaborative approach, it gets the family to work together towards a shared goal of healing and recovery.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, take the first step today and talk to someone in recovery or simply learn more about the holistic eating disorder recovery programs we offer. At Elevate Rockwall, therapists use FBT and other practices, to provide the highest quality counseling services. With our commitment to confidentiality, professionalism, and unconditional positive regard, we support patients and their families throughout their recovery journey. Call us today and one of our therapists will reach out to you.