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Family Training vs. "Family Week"

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:04pm

"family therapy" "family-based therapy" "Family Week" "family training" " Maudsley approach..."

They are not all the same thing.

An opinionated, and irreverent, primer:

"Family-based therapy" and " Maudsley approach" are almost the same thing. These terms refer to a approach that puts nutritional rehabilitation first, and parents in charge. The family is not the problem - the illness is the problem. FBT is the manualized, research term. Maudsley is the hospital where the concepts originated but is also a place where other approaches have originated. Many people associated with FBT don't like the term Maudsley , and some people at Maudsley don't like the term Maudsley approach, either!

(I use the term Maudsley because parents looking for this type of treatment need a term to use, and a name that googles .)

"Family therapy" for EDs is an older and looser term that can include the above. Originally the idea was that the illness was an expression of problems within the family that the therapy seeks to identify and fix. That idea was supposed to have been abandoned, but many clinicians did not get the memo.

"Family Week" is a standard feature of ED residential treatment where families are invited to come to the center and be spanked for all the things you did wrong and be schooled in what you must now do - but mostly: not do.

I'm a fan of approaches that train the caregivers instead of the patient until a later stage of recovery where the patient can take that on. Here are a few that lean that way:

University of California at San Diego boasts a state-of-the-science program directed by no less than Dr. Walter Kaye, the researcher who is going to crack the very DNA code of this illness for us.

Dr. Nancy Zucker at Duke U. gives you homework and hope when you attend her parent training .

A quick look at the web site for the Kartini Center in Oregon will convince you that if you step up - they'll back you up.

The Boswell Center in Florida combines hands-on with virtual reality by giving you intensive multi-disciplinary support and then follow you home via camera phone support.

Stephanie Millstein is empowering the parents of Michigan in a supportive group setting. (Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, 248-551-2385).

Multi-family group training is also offered at the Maudsley in London , at the Westmead in Sydney .

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