Family-Based Treatment (FBT) for child and adolescent eating disorders, also referred to as the Maudsley Method, is the treatment with the most evidence for successful recovery from anorexia nervosa and there is increasing evidence for its efficacy with bulimia nervosa.
In FBT, parents take on an active and practical role in helping their child return to good physical health (restoring weight and/or eliminating binge eating and purging) and helping their child resume normal psychological and social development. Unlike many individual therapies for adolescents that may exclude parents or blame parents for the development of the eating disorder, in FBT parents are seen as a positive and crucial resource in their child’s successful recovery. Siblings are also included in this treatment and their role is to help support their sister or brother as they recover from this difficult illness. Sessions are typically held weekly with the whole family.
To learn more about FBT from Dr. Angela Celio Doyle, watch this video.
Recent resources on Family-Based Treatment for eating disorders:
- Mayo Clinic: Family-based therapy highly effective for most anorexia patients
- F.E.A.S.T. (Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment for Eating Disorders): What is Family-Based Treatment?
- New York Times: Bringing in Family to Combat Anorexia
- US News and World Report “Eating Disorder Treatment: A Family Affair”
- The Washington Post, “Extreme Measures: When Kids’ Size is a Problem, Parents Seek New Solutions”