When we discover that a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, we might first believe that this is his or her issue to resolve. The first impulse might be to have our loved one attend therapy alone. However, when one member of the family has an illness, the entire family is affected. It can be a daunting task to work through these issues at home as a family with no outside support. Even if the person with the eating disorder hasn’t sought out his or her own treatment, here at the EDTC, we can work with the family to help them understand, cope and take positive steps towards understanding and healing.
Beginning family therapy is not about finding a source of blame for your loved one’s eating disorder. It is about healing relationships within the family and also helping create sustainable change. Families can be the most valuable source of support and information regarding a loved one’s treatment. Think of how much time we spend with our families, and then compare that to the few hours that are spent in therapy each week. There is no comparison!
A skilled family therapist can help determine which family dynamics further support an eating disorder, and those that will best help support recovery. Our staff here at the Eating Disorders Treatment Center can help you examine your family’s ability to solve problems and express thoughts and emotions. We will help you explore family roles, rules and behavior patterns in order to identify issues that might contribute to conflict — as well as ways to work through these issues. While family therapy can be helpful to anyone suffering from an eating disorder, it is especially valuable in treating children and teens, and we require it for our clients participating in our Intensive Outpatient Program for Adolescents.