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Family based treatment

This resource is about family based treatment with the Sheffield eating disorder assessment and treatment team (SEDATT).

What is family based therapy?

Family based treatment is (also known as the Maudsley approach) well evidenced as a treatment for anorexia.

It is an intensive outpatient approach where parents and carers play an active and positive role  in therapy. Working together in order to help restore your child’s weight to normal levels, hand the control over eating back to your child, and encourage normal teenage development. Just getting back to a good weight is not enough for recovery.

What are the benefits?

Involves the whole family to help your child overcome their eating difficulties.

Assigns the work of behavioural change and gives parents and carers skills and coaching to meet these goals.

Reduces medical repercussions and increases the chances for a complete recovery.

What kind of things can I expect?

Phase 1

Parents and carers are usually in complete charge of meals as they help their child to re-establish regular patterns of eating and restore weight.

The therapist empowers parents and carers to take on these tasks, and the therapist can facilitate therapeutic meals at home.

Phase 2

Once your child’s weight has been mostly restored, meals are going well and their behaviours are more under control, you can gradually hand control back to your child.

Phase 3

Now the focus is on helping your child to develop a healthy identity and catch up on other developmental issues. Other co-morbid problems may be addressed.

Phase 4

Managing endings and transitions.

What happens now?

NICE guidelines show family based treatment as the first line of treatment for anorexia and as a team, we can work to help your child recover.

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us on 0114 305 3891.

Centenary House
55 Albert Terrace Road
S6 3BR

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: MH101

Resource Type: Article

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