Family Based Treatment

What is FBT?

It is a type of eating disorder treatment in which families support their child, teen or
young adult at home. Parents temporarily take full responsibility for feeding their child so they can restore their health.

Why do FBT?

Many teens and families prefer to do treatment at home vs at a treatment center. As long as clients are medically stable, FBT can be an effective way to receive treatment without leaving home.

What is my role?

Although you will be letting go of tasks related to food, your role in your recovery is still very important. Show up for meals and snacks and do your best to eat. Things like using your coping skills, communicating with your family and talking with your treatment team will be helpful during this time. Recovery is difficult but the freedom it brings is worth it! 

How long does FBT take?

It can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.

There are 3 phases and you’ll progress through the phases as you recover.

Does FBT work?

FBT is evidence-based which means there is research that shows it actually works. In fact, it is twice as effective as individual therapy alone. Also clients have a much lower rate of relapsing later
(one quarter of the relapse rate as teens who don’t do FBT).

How will we know FBT is working?

Research suggests that by week 4 we will know if this is a good fit for your family. Evidence that it is working includes restoration of health and a significant decrease in unhealthy eating behaviors. FBT doesn’t work for every family and sometimes a higher level of care is needed.

Why can’t I do this by myself?

Even though many teens with eating disorders are very responsible and capable in other areas of their lives, they need help with eating. Eating disorders often cause illogical thinking and can feel like an unwelcome voice in your head. In addition many teens experience shame and anxiety which makes balanced eating difficult. Parental support helps to interrupt these dangerous eating cycles. Checkout this article to hear from teens who have recovered using FBT.