Friday, June 26, 2009

The family as an agent of change

I found a great article on family-based treatment in Forbes magazine called Teens With Eating Disorders Benefit From Parents' Help. That the title of the article isn't patently obvious to, you know, pretty much everyone is both surprising and sadly expected. However, the exposure of FBT in such places as Forbes online, where it can reach people who might not be specifically looking for information on eating disorders, is pretty fantastic.

A few of the most savory tidbits:

"We know now that eating disorders are real illnesses, not lifestyle choices," Olivio Bermudez said. And parents can play a crucial role in recovery, Bermudez and others now believe. In fact, researchers found that teens were more able to control their disordered eating when they had family support.

"The therapist works with the family to empower the family to get the [anorectic] child to eat the meals and recover the weight," Bermudez said. "The family becomes the agent of change."

The article ends with a series of "suggestions" for parents, although one of them left me cringing a little bit, as parents are instructed to "follow the directions" of the treatment team. I would have love to have seen this rephrased as "parents are part of the treatment team," and that they should certainly listen to the treatment professionals, but all clinicians are not created equal.

Still, it's a solid article about FBT.

In the next day or so, I have a few more research-oriented articles for you, so hold onto your seats.

1 comment:

Annette said...

thank you carrie!! i m a psychologist working with Maudsley in Prague.
we conduct a chat-project for parents whose child has an eating disorder.
here the link:

http://www.e-mental-health.eu/anorexia/website/eating.php