"Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form."
Systemic Family Therapy
Family therapy is often short term. Family sessions may include all family members or just those willing to participate. Your specific treatment plan will depend on your family's situation and goals. These sessions will help you learn skills to resolve family conflicts, improve communication, rebuild trust and connection.
An increasing number of immigrant families with adolescent children can benefit from family therapy because of intergenerational conflicts specific to the adolescents’ problems/adjustments related to immigration and cultural transitions. Also, sometimes mental health stigma in certain cultures can make it difficult for families to support their adolescents with mental health concerns. Our therapists are culturally sensitive, flexible and acceptive of family values and beliefs when delivering family therapy.
Family-Based Treatment for Eating Disorders
Family-based treatment (FBT, also sometimes referred to as the Maudsley method) is a leading treatment for adolescent eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED).
Parents are asked to join with the healthy part of the child against the eating disorder, threatening to take their child away. Full nutrition is viewed as a critical first step in recovery; parents' role is to provide this nutrition by actively feeding their child.
Three Phases of FBT:
Full parental control: Parents are encouraged to be in complete charge of meals as they help their child re-build regular eating patterns and interrupt problematic eating disorder behaviours such as bingeing, purging, and overexercise. The therapist works to empower the parents to take on these tasks and help them learn to manage the child at mealtimes.
A gradual return of control to the adolescent: This phase typically begins once the weight is mostly restored, when meals are going more smoothly, and when behaviours are more under control. Control is gradually handed back to the adolescent, depending on the client’s age. For example, the child may start to have some meals or snacks without the parents’ supervision. There can be backsliding, and parents may have to start supervising from time to time until the adolescent is fully ready; this is part of the process.
Establishing healthy independence: When adolescents can eat with an age-appropriate level of independence and do not exhibit disordered eating behaviours, the focus of treatment shifts to helping them develop a healthy identity and focus on other developmental issues. Other comorbid problems may be addressed. The family is helped to reorganize now that the child is healthier.