F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

Join these conversations already in progress:
• Road To Recovery - Stories of Hope
• Events for Parents and Caregivers Around the World
• Free F.E.A.S.T Conference Videos

Visit the F.E.A.S.T website for information and support.

If you need help using the forum please reach out to one of the moderators (listed below), or email us at bronwen@feast-ed.org.

Can anyone address this:

I have recently come to understand about Maudsley and FBT over the past couple months through this forum, and both my daughter and I have become hopeful - Duh Food is medicine and eating is required.  Who would have thought that would be a novel idea for treating ED.

 My young adult daughter with a 7 year history of RAN and now anorexia with binge and purge has tried many forms of therapy without much of an impact.  I had become so frustrated over the past year because her whole treatment team seemed to be giving the message that nothing could be done until my daughter decided that she wanted to stop starving herself.  A therapist at last failed treatment center did tell me I should gain guardianship which I have done - so now FBT seems plausible

Here's my smoke.  Feeling like I need professional help and emotional support to know I am doing it "right" I tried to located a certified FBT therapist - the one and only within a days driving distance is three hours away.  It is far but worth it and doable.  However, when I connected with the therapist by phone, she shut me right down saying that FBT would not work for anyone who has had anorexia over three years.  I asked if she would be willing to educate us and work with us anyway.  I got an emphatic no because evidence shows it will not work.  Can anyone speak to that?  Is it true?  I don't know how any psychologist can be so black and white with matters of the brain.  In infuriates me  but that is my emotional brain speaking and I am too mad to think rationally.

Hi Patty -

No, it is not true.

The good thing is that this "professional" showed her incompetence before you and your d invested the time and money to engage her. Bad help is worse than no help - I speak from experience on that.

Have you considered the UCSD young adult 1-week program to help jump start the process? I feel sure others will have other suggestions, but meanwhile, trust your instincts. They are clearly sounder that that "professional's" advice.



"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
If you are in the US (and from prior posts you've made, this seems likely), I would totally call UCSD. They have a young adult program, which at least in part relies on FBT. I doubt they would be engaged in it if they thought it was futile.  They also use DBT.  My family attended the one week program for teens, and it was outstanding.  It is a one week commitment, and not horribly expensive (as ED treatment goes).  They also work with many insurance programs, so insurance may also pay part of it.


I will also note that one of the young ladies with us during our week was a 4+ year sufferer, and her family totally felt like they made enormous progress.  They are hopeful, and after being hopeless for years, this is new.  

D, age 18, first diagnosed March 20, 2013, RAN, at age 13 Hospitalized 3 weeks for medical stability. FBT at home since.  UCSD Multi-family Intensive June 2015. We've arrived on the other side.  :-)  D at college and doing great!
Dear pattyk,

OMG looks like you found a therapist that is not up to speed with what is the latest work with FBT. There are now many clinicians who are recognising its value & application for young adults & adults. In some cases it fits perfectly without tweaking in other cases it needs tweaking to suit the individual cases & yes there are some where it does not fit at all but to say it does not work at all is just plain head in the sand stuff.

Even those who designed FBT are working on how to apply it to the young adult & adult cohort.

I fully & whole heartily second this comment from Torie  The good thing is that this "professional" showed her incompetence before you and your d invested the time and money to engage her. Bad help is worse than no help

ED Dad
We had a T for my d who said "FBT will not work for your family"....and that was the last appt my d had with her.

After 3 years of inadequate and poor professional support, we bit the bullet (with the support of ATDT parents), went to the UCSD 5 Day Multi-Family program, found an FBT trained T 90 min from our home....and the rest is history.  Not without bumps along the way, but the good news is that my d was WR within 10 weeks, and with skills and tools in hand, good professional support, we made it through.

UCSD now does have an Adult program for those 18-35.  It would be worthwhile calling to speak to an intake person or therapist to find out whether this might be a good option for you & d.

Sending strength and support,

It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
Wow, I'm so sorry you had this experience with a so called professional. Does it seem odd that someone who treats ED's sent you away without any further information? What kind of therapist would do that? Oh, wait, I know that answer. One you wouldn't want to be with!!

AUSSIEedfamily referenced that the originator's of Maudsley are developing an FBT program for young adults. I just read a post on here (Less of parents taken charge, more of teamwork with young person) by Eva Musby who wrote an article explaining what this type of treatment looks like. Below is the link to her article and hopefully it will give you some good info until you find someone qualified to work with.


Stay strong and persevere!

Daughter diagnosed with anorexia at 12 in 2013 without having any image issues/concerns about calories or exercise. Hospitalized - 3 days. FBT at home along with outpatient therapy - 16 weeks. Recovered/weight restored - 4 years. Still gaining and growing but has no hunger signs yet.