Family-Based Treatment at the redi clinic
We take a long view toward restoring a teenager’s normal weight when they suffer from anorexia nervosa and need to gain weight. The Maudsley approach for family-based treatment (FBT) is an evidence based therapy that is effective if help adolescents with anorexia restore to a healthy weight. The phases of treatment include:
Phase I: Weight Restoration
Anorexia nervosa carries with it the dangers of severe malnutrition. Sufferers may experience cardiac dysfunction, hypothermia, and growth hormone issues, as well as emotional and cognitive changes. To establish healthy eating patterns, the therapist observes the eating habits of the family.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to invite the therapist to a family meal. This gives the therapist a chance to see the family patterns about food and to encourage parents to help their child begin to eat a normal amount of food.
Phase II: Returning Control to the Adolescent
During this phase of treatment, the adolescent accepts the parent’s help in eating more and so is gaining weight in a steady and healthy manner. The family’s mood lifts as progress is seen in overcoming the eating disorder. At this time, it is key for the parents to help the child take control of his or her eating habits so physical health is restored.
Phase III: Establishing a Healthy Adolescent Identity
In this phase, the treatment shifts from physical to mental and emotional. By this time, there is no more self-starvation and the child is able to keep his or her weight at 95% of the ideal. Now is the time to focus on the concerns of adolescence. The therapist and the family help the child increase personal autonomy and the therapist works with the parents to establish appropriate boundaries.