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Family Therapy and Eating Disorders

Keeping it All in the Family




Family therapy may lower relapse rates and enhance recovery for eating disorder patients

Individuals with an eating disorder and their family members may recover more quickly and sustain recovery by undergoing family therapy. Family therapy is a method of dealing with the issue head-on and preventing increased problems. Family therapy provides an opportunity to gain insight and make changes in an environment that might be hampering recovery for those with an eating disorder. By talking about the secrets of an illness, the fear and shame of having an eating disorder usually decrease.

Family members may not be the cause of an eating disorder, however, they can unintentionally block the road to recovery. Family therapy is all about discovering these roadblocks and developing ways to overcome them.

Family therapy is helpful to both the patient and the family. For the family, it can provide a window into the complex struggle their loved one experiences in an eating disorder. For the patient, family therapy helps them work through triggers to which the family may unknowingly contribute and helps solve these issues. Also, communication among the family members typically improves as a result of family therapy, helping everyone to better understand how to talk about the disease, how to spot signs of relapse and what to say when they think a family member is in trouble.

At the Eating Disorder Center of Denver (EDCD), families can join patients in the therapy process. To help increase family resilience and growth-fostering connections, families learn effective communication skills. Therapy sessions involve learning increased empathy, reflective listening, conflict-resolution, anger management, healthy boundaries, interpersonal risk-taking, authenticity and emotional regulation. By exploring these communication skills, families re-learn how to talk to one another. They learn how their families may have become emotionally distant and how to resolve these issues.

Through the communication process at EDCD, patients and family members are taught to value their imperfections, strengths and weaknesses and develop healthy tolerances for mistakes. Family therapists at EDCD are trained in multiple family therapy models and are able to adjust and adapt to the unique needs of each family.

Family therapy may lowers relapse rates and enhances recovery for eating disorder patients by helping families cope with an eating disorder together. By assisting in the recovery process, families discover the roadblocks preventing full rehabilitation, work on these issues together as a family and are able to fully support the person in recovery.

For more information about how family therapy at the Eating Disorder Center of Denver, please visit www.edcdenver.com, call 1-866-771-0861, follow us on Twitter @EDCDenver, friend us on Facebook or join our Facebook Group.


About Eating Disorder Center of Denver:

Established in 2001, Eating Disorder Center of Denver (EDC-D) is one of the nation's foremost centers for the diagnosis and treatment of the full range of eating disorders. EDC-D is committed to empowering individuals 18 years of age and older suffering with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and related disorders to help them achieve and sustain recovery. A multidisciplinary team of board-certified psychiatrists, physicians, clinicians, family therapists and registered dietitians work together to create a specialized, evidence-based treatment plan for each patient. For additional information about EDC-D, visit www.edcdenver.com or call 303-771-0861.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author and are presented without editing. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of EDReferral.com, and no official endorsement by EDReferral.com of the opinions expressed herein should be inferred.






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In Partnership with the American Eating Disorder Association- -SINCE 1999