The Gift of FBT

Joy Jacobs was reading my mind, clearly, when she wrote: The Gift of FBT.

Last night I had a long talk with a father whose daughter is in her early 20s. They've been through residential and outpatient care. They've had psychiatric hospitalizations and years of worry and work and pain.

But today was the first time they learned about the Minnesota Starvation Study, nutrition as a treatment in itself, and the Family-Based Maudsley approach. I struggle with my fury that this family has not until now been offered tools and choices they deserved despite years of asking.

They are considering FBT now. I shared the stories of several families with adult children who had success with a home-based, nutrition first, parent-coached approach. There is a real need for families with older patients to get the support they need in trying FBT. I'm weary of families not even given the choice. I'm frustrated with how many families I speak with who say now "if only I had known."

The wonderful dad asked me "is this a tough love kind of thing?" and I gave a longish answer - what I plan to tell him next time is this: "It is a LOVE kind of thing, period."


  1. Or perhaps, it's the kind of love that's tough.

  2. I am amazed that when ever Maudsley is mentioned people will often say, "it works for young kids" or "it works in the right kinds of families" but why wouldn't it work for older sufferers as well? Why can't families be told, "you can help your adult child."

    I can't wait for the day when in-patient programs aren't the first choice given families. The day when all families are told "you can help, you can do this, and we as professionals will support you."


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