Monday, July 30, 2007

Family Therapy for Eating Disorders

■ How Eating Disorders Affect Families

o Eating disorders can consume the client in obsessive, negative thinking and behaviors, and consume the client’s relationships with family members.

o Clients demonstrate the following symptoms
● They become depressed, isolated, and tired.
● They avoid relationships because in order to avoid the pressure to eat.
● They are physically depleted.

o For Family members
● Seeing a family member starve or damage her or his body is stressful.
● Parents, spouses, or others become intrusive in their efforts to get the person to eat or to stop purging.
◆ The result may be that the see them as enemies trying to control them rather than help.

o The symptoms have become the individual’s way to avoid facing problems more directly or are an attempt to feel in control when the rest of life feels out of control.


■ Family Risk Factors for Disordered Eating

o Interactional patterns in families of eating disordered patients tend to constrain autonomy and the expression of intimacy

o Disruptions in attachment relations are characterized by destruction communication
● Behavioral family therapy, which Eating disorders may develop if a person has no other way to speak or represent feelings.
● Family dynamics, problematic communication patterns, losses, or stresses like abuse have contributed to negative feelings the person could not deal with directly


■ Family Based Behavioral Interventions for Eating Disorders

o Emphasizes parental control over eating and incorporates cognitive restructuring and problem-solving training, has also been tested in comparison to individual therapy for anorexic clients

o The model of behavioral family therapy was more effective than an individual approach because it focused on the building of ego strength and facilitated autonomy in terms of increasing body weight from pre to post treatment

o Treatments were equally effective in outcomes such as eating attitudes, body shape dissatisfaction, and depressive symptoms