How to find the real FBT Maudsley clinicians

In 2002, my husband and I stumbled on a little-known idea in eating disorder treatment: the "Maudsley Approach." Our daughter was gravely ill with anorexia at the time, and the only treatment we could find locally was the very opposite of the principles of Maudsley. We were excited, but could not find anyone who offered this family-based, home-centered treatment, and could only find one media report describing it. We contacted the two clinics in the US where it was offered (Stanford and the University of Chicago) but had to create our own team at home in Virginia from scratch to help us use the principles of the approach.

After our daughter recovered, I was frustrated that families did not have an opportunity to know about, not to mention access, Maudsley (also called Family-Based Treatment). There were no websites devoted to it, no professional organizations training in it, and the rest of the ED world remained skeptical about it.

So, I wrote a book about it: check. Went out and talked about it in speeches and the media: check. Gathered and nurtured a community of parents who are well-informed about it: check. Helped start a website with some other parents so there was a place on the Internet devoted to the topic: check.

And things have changed: Maudsley is now established as THE evidence-based treatment for adolescent anorexia nervosa and is rapidly being adopted in the treatment of bulimia and for adult patients. Although it is still not well-known, there is enough buzz about it for there to be blowback from skeptics.

But this is the most exciting news in FBT/ Maudsley history, in my opinion:

Drs. Lock and le Grange, who literally "wrote the book" on FBT Maudsley have moved forward on a project they've had in the works for some time: a training institute for evidence-based treatment. Finally, a place for progressive clinicians to be trained and mentored in providing effective treatment. An authoritative organization we advocates can tell parents to reference when they say: "are you trained in Maudsley?" A better way to distinguish those who say they "do Maudsley" and those who have had quantifiable training and experience with the approach from those who are just employing a buzzword for marketing purposes.

I am overjoyed, relieved, and optimistic. I look forward to a time in the near future when families are routinely offered family-based nutrition-first EFFECTIVE treatment early, and families are spared needless suffering as they do the difficult work of helping their precious children recover and thrive.


  1. Of course this is great news, but I can't help but wonder how much health that girl in the pictures is going to gain even if her parents DO manage to rip the tape off her mouth, if all they give her to eat is a pepper.

    Sorry - must go to bed and wake up less cynical tomorrow.

  2. LOL
    Thank you Marcella, I went back and looked at the plate. Let me put a positive spin on this if I may. Within that nutritious red pepper is a mix of rice and ground beef or tofu, whichever you prefer. There's also butter and it has been baked and is ready to eat. Yummmm

    Is that better?

    Laura, you made a difference in the world of ED treatment! I won't say I told you so. But you did,
    along with all the other parents who work along with you. As wonderful as it is to have a Dr. support us it's even more wonderful to know that other parents have paved the way...and that's your site of brave and intelligent parents. You too Marcella the cynic who never gave up.


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