Barbara’s Bulletin: Promising Alternative Therapy for Eating Disorder

October 23, 2010 at 8:02 pm Leave a comment

According to an article in the NY Times published this week, an alternative therapy for the treatment of anorexia is gaining widespread support with eating disorder specialists. A family therapy approach, which demands a lot of time and assistance from a patient’s parents, has proven to substantially increase the chance of recovery and prevent remission of anorexia. Traditionally, patients are treated one-on-one with a therapist and family is not included in the treatment.

In the family therapy approach, also known as the Maudsley method, parents are required to be present during every mealtime and snack time to provide encouragement and support to the patient to consume a required amount of food. Siblings must leave the table when they finish eating and not interact with the child struggling with the eating disorder. In a recent research study that followed 121 adolescent girls with anorexia, 49% of those treated with the Maudsley method achieved full remission in 12 months, which was more than twice as many who succeeded with individual therapy.  Even more significant, only 10% of patients treated with the Maudsley method relapsed, whereas 40% of the individual therapy patients did. Furthermore, many parents reported feeling grateful to be more involved in their child’s recovery.

If you, or someone you know struggles with an eating disorder, getting therapeutic support can help in recovery.  For more information check out the National Eating Disorders Assocation website at: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/

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