Eating disorders are complicated. Both the individual experiencing it and their surrounding family are left on an emotional roller coaster. Parents often times feel hopeless and unsure of what actions to take. At Clementine, we believe that Family Based Therapy (FBT) therapy is the gold standard for treating eating disorders in adolescents.
This type of therapy looks at the behaviors and actions of all family members and the way that these behaviors affect the family as a whole. It’s used to improve communication, resolve conflict and ultimately master skills to bring family members closer together.
Family Based Therapy views anorexia nerviosa directly responsible for impairing the adolescents decision-making capabilities with regard to sensible food consumption and shape/weight standards. In turn, FBT asks parents to compensate for this discrepancy between their child’s age and their decision making capability by taking charge of their child’s eating. This type of therapy’s philosophy praises family involvement, parental empowerment, and asks that no assumptions are made about the origin of the eating disorder with the hope that your child and your family can recover.
Emotional attunement, or being aware of and responsive to oneself and with others, is a key factor that plays a role in the development of an eating disorder. When a parent is attuned to their child’s needs, a secure attachment is formed which leads to a healthy relationship between the parent and child and family. However, when there is a discrepancy with this, there are other unhealthy attachments that can be formed.