Family-Based Treatment (FBT; also referred to as the “Maudsley Method”) is the leading treatment for child and adolescent eating disorders; including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED).
Developed at the Maudsley Hospital in London, the approach empowers parents to restore their child’s physical, psychological and emotional health using a very specific set of therapeutic strategies. The FBT model firmly asserts that families do not cause eating disorders, and instead, should be viewed as the best possible resource for a child’s recovery from an eating disorder.
FBT is designed to be short-term and occurs over three well-defined phases:
- Phase I: Parents are provided concrete tools for developing an individualized plan for restoring their child’s health by assuming responsibility of food, activity and weight management behaviors.
- Phase II: Developmentally appropriate control of food, activity and weight management behavior is returned to the adolescent in a personalized and well-planned fashion.
- Phase III: The family works together to restore a healthy adolescent identify and collaborate on a plan for relapse prevention.
There is a great deal of research supporting FBT, which is why it is considered the first-line treatment for youth with eating disorders. FBT is shown to be highly effective and faster-to-act than many other treatments, especially when being delivered by a highly-trained and skilled professional.