At Wildflower Therapy, we offer Family Based Therapy for children and adolescents with eating disorders. Family Based Therapy is an evidenced-based form of therapy with a strong body of research behind it. Family Based Therapy is sometimes referred to as the “Maudsley method” or the “Maudsley approach,” and it has emerged as one of the most effective interventions for children and adolescents with anorexia or bulimia who are medically stable and appropriate for outpatient care.

So what does Family Based Therapy look like?

Family Based therapy is essentially a method of restoring kids and adolescents back to health with the help and support of their parents. It is therapist and parent-driven, and consists of three main phases.

Phase One: The focus here is the rapid restoration of physical health. This phase is orchestrated by the therapists, and carried out mainly by parents. The understanding is that children and adolescents need support in making decisions about food and eating that are safe, so parents are given the “steering wheel,” when it comes to their children’s eating and food choices.

Phase Two: The focus in phase two involves gradually giving responsibility over eating back to the your child or adolescent, to whatever extent is age-appropriate and normal for your family. This phase is gradual and highly individualized for your family and child.

Phase Three: The focus in this phase is planning for upcoming challenges, and relapse prevention. At Wildflower Therapy, we also view Phase Three as a time to shift towards more individually-focused therapy that focuses more on the underlying issues of the eating disorder-such as body image, self-esteem, and emotion regulation.

Key Things to Know:

Family Based Therapy takes a non-authoritarian stance. This means that we join with parents. We work along side of you to help your child heal. We know that you have all the tools to help your child- after all, you’ve been feeding them since they were born! You simply need the support to be able to implement and carry out your inner knowledge and wisdom.

At Wildflower, we like to call our FBT work, “Respectful FBT.” This means that while we follow the original FBT model of therapy, we also recognize that many kids and adolescents appreciate having their own space to process emotions. So we work to be respectful of this, and create individualized care that sometimes involves weekly individual therapy in addition to family therapy, or sessions that are split between individual therapy time with your child and family therapy all together. Please inquire if you would like to hear more about our respectful FBT stance.

Family Based Therapy can be effective virtually and in-person. We are able to offer it in both formats- virtually for anyone residing in the state of PA, and in-person for any families that are able to come to our center city office in Philadelphia.