Eating Disorders

When you are living with an eating disorder, it can be difficult to ask for help. As an experienced eating disorder therapist, I can help restore your self-worth and guide you back to a healthy and fulfilling life.

There are three main types of eating disorders:

  • Anorexia Nervosa – The need to control food intake and weight until it becomes an obsession and leads to an extremely limited diet. Can cause bone thinning, low blood pressure, brain damage, and infertility.
  • Bulimia Nervosa – Recurring episodes of eating large amounts of food and then compensating through laxatives, fasting, vomiting, or excessive exercise. Can cause worn tooth enamel, server dehydration, and heart attack.
  • Binge Eating Disorder – The loss of control over eating not followed with purging that leads to obesity. Can cause high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
woman eating from fork

Family Based Therapy for Eating Disorders: The Maudsley Approach

The Maudsley Family Based Therapy approach is an intensive outpatient treatment where parents play an active and positive role in order to:

  • Help restore the child’s weight to normal levels;
  • Hand control of eating back to the adolescent;
  • Encourage normal adolescent development through an in-depth discussion of these crucial developmental issues as they pertain to their child.

This approach opposes the notion that families are pathological or should be blamed for the development of anorexia nervosa. On the contrary, the Maudsley Approach considers the parents as a resource and essential in successful treatment.

The Maudsley Approach proceeds through three clearly defined phases, usually conducted within 15-20 treatment sessions over a period of about 12 months.

Phase I (the weight restoration phase)

Treatment focuses on the dangers of severe malnutrition associated with Anorexia Nervosa, assessing the family’s typical interaction pattern and eating habits, and assisting parents in re-feeding their child.

Phase II

Treatment focuses on encouraging parents to help their child take control over their eating once again.

Phase III

Treatment shifts to the impact Anorexia Nervosa has on the individual’s ability to establish a healthy adolescent identity.

Recently research of Maudsley Family Based Therapy treatment demonstrates its efficacy. Most young patients with anorexia nervosa require on average no more than 20 treatment sessions over the course of 6-12 months, and about 80% of patients are weight restored with a start or resumption of menses at the conclusion of treatment. 75 – 90% are fully weight recovered at five-year follow-up.