What is family-based therapy for eating disorders? Family-based therapy (FBT), the Maudsley method, is increasingly recognized as a highly effective treatment for adolescent eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED).
Trained professionals conduct FBT, mainly offered in outpatient settings, but it has also found its way into residential and partial hospitalization programs.
FBT is often considered the first line of treatment for families dealing with children, adolescents, and even some young adults with eating disorders.
What Makes Family-Based Therapy Unique?
What is family-based therapy for eating disorders: The uniqueness. Family-based therapy is a unique approach that involves the entire family in treating an individual's eating disorder. Unlike traditional family therapy models that might place blame on family dynamics, FBT focuses on empowering parents to participate in their child's treatment actively.
The approach starts with weekly family sessions and gradually decreases in frequency as progress is made.
What sets FBT apart is its level of care, often mirroring the intensity found in residential or partial hospitalization programs. It usually begins with a family meal at the therapist's office, allowing for direct observation and immediate feedback.
This hands-on involvement of parents serves as a potent change agent in the treatment process. The parents are responsible for planning, preparing, serving, and supervising meals, making them active participants in their child’s recovery.
Central to the FBT approach is the philosophy that "Food is medicine." It recognizes the cruel irony that while children with eating disorders may fear eating, recovery is impossible without regular, nourishing meals.
Elevate Rockwall's dedicated therapists bring experience and professionalism into every therapeutic relationship. We pride ourselves on offering unconditional positive regard, full attention, and strict confidentiality as we guide families through the complexities of Family-Based Therapy.
Whether you're dealing with adolescent eating disorders or other behavioral health issues, our tailored services are designed to meet your individual needs.
Family-Based Therapy FAQs
You may have many questions when considering Family-Based Therapy (FBT) for treating eating disorders. It's a big commitment, and understanding how it works is crucial for successful outcomes. Below are some frequently asked questions that could clarify this therapy option.
Who is FBT For?
FBT is a research-backed method primarily aimed at children and adolescents diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
It can also be effectively tailored for young adults and other adults struggling with other eating disorders, including Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED). FBT has effectively treated ARFID (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder) among children and teens.
The therapy is adaptable to various family configurations, including separated or divorced families.
How Long Does FBT Take?
The duration of FBT is not set in stone. While some families may complete the treatment within a year, it can take longer for others.
Speedy diagnosis and early intervention often yield faster results. Still, it's essential to remember that eating disorders are complex and may require extended treatment, especially if weight gain is slower than expected.
How Do I Supervise All Meals?
Supervising all meals can be a challenge, particularly for families with tight schedules. Sometimes, one or both parents may take a leave of absence from work to oversee the treatment.
Grandparents and other extended family members can also pitch in. Additionally, coordinating with your child's school for supervised lunches or even keeping the child home for a period may be necessary.
Doesn't My Child Need to See an Individual Therapist?
FBT is primarily a behavioral treatment focusing on nourishing a malnourished brain and tackling symptomatic behaviors.
As such, there's only sometimes a need for an individual therapist, especially in the initial stages. However, certain medical providers and treatment centers may recommend additional individual therapy.
Elevate Rockwall offers comprehensive services underpinned by unconditional positive regard, professionalism, full attention, and confidentiality. Our team is skilled in FBT and other treatment modalities, ensuring your family receives the best care possible. Reach out to us today, we can help.