Family-Based Therapy: A Comprehensive Approach to Healing Eating Disorders


Family-Based Therapy (FBT), also known as the Maudsley approach, stands out as a powerful intervention in the treatment of eating disorders, particularly for adolescents. This specialized form of therapy recognizes the critical role of family dynamics in the development and recovery from eating disorders. In this article, we will explore what Family-Based Therapy entails, its application in treating anorexia nervosa, the benefits it offers, and how therapist Megan Y. Bruce, LCSW, can support families on their journey towards healing.

Understanding Family Therapy for Eating Disorder Treatment:

Family therapy for eating disorder treatment involves a systemic approach that addresses the disorder within the context of family dynamics and relationships. It recognizes that eating disorders are not solely individual problems but are influenced by family interactions, communication patterns, and relationships. Family therapy aims to improve communication, resolve conflicts, and foster understanding and support within the family system.

Family-Based Therapy for Anorexia Nervosa:

Family-Based Therapy (FBT) is a specialized form of family therapy that has been particularly effective in treating anorexia nervosa in adolescents. FBT focuses on empowering families to take an active role in their loved one’s recovery. The therapy emphasizes the importance of parental involvement in meal planning, supervision, and support to help the individual overcome the eating disorder.

Benefits of Family-Based Therapy for Eating Disorders:

  1. Empowerment of Families: FBT empowers families to take an active role in their loved one’s recovery process, fostering a sense of control and agency.
  2. Higher Success Rates: Research has shown that FBT is highly effective, particularly in adolescents, leading to better outcomes and lower relapse rates compared to other forms of treatment.
  3. Improved Family Dynamics: FBT addresses family dynamics and communication patterns that may contribute to the maintenance of the eating disorder, leading to improved relationships and a supportive environment for recovery.

Help for Parents of Children and Teens Suffering from Anorexia and Other Eating Disorders:

Parents of children and teens suffering from anorexia and other eating disorders often face significant challenges and uncertainties. FBT provides parents with education, guidance, and support in understanding and managing their child’s eating disorder. It equips parents with practical strategies for providing meal support, managing mealtime challenges, and promoting regular eating habits.

Meet Therapist Megan Y. Bruce, LCSW:

Megan Y. Bruce, LCSW, is a dedicated therapist based in San Francisco, CA, specializing in Family-Based Therapy for eating disorders. With expertise in FBT and a compassionate approach, Megan provides personalized support and guidance to families on their journey towards healing. Whether you’re seeking help for a child or teen suffering from anorexia or another eating disorder, Megan can provide the support and resources you need. Reach out today at 408.805.4385 or visit her website at to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards healing.

In conclusion, Family-Based Therapy offers a comprehensive and effective approach to treating eating disorders, particularly in adolescents. By involving families in the recovery process and addressing underlying family dynamics, FBT empowers individuals and families to overcome the challenges of anorexia and other eating disorders and build a supportive environment for lasting recovery.