Apples don't fall far from the tree

I am in Philadelphia today to do a seminar on the Principles of the Family-Based Maudsley Treatment. In preparation, I've been talking a lot to people about how to present these ideas without causing quite as much resistance. In many ways, we're talking about "One More Bite" of a medicine that isn't welcomed by people who often don't see a use for taking.

My toolbox for persuasion on this has mostly been "evidence." But that doesn't always work well. I've been trying to get past my frustration with that, and found Apples don't fall far from the tree  very helpful.

I haven't worked out how to be more effective, or if it is possible, but this trip to talk primarily with therapists is a good chance to try.


  1. The best of luck to you, Laura, in getting your message across and not provoking as much resistance. I wonder whether that resistance would hold up if any of them had a child with an ED. We parents would grasp eagerly at any type of treatment or therapy that had a better chance than another of bringing recovery to our tortured children.

    This quote from your link is worrisome:

    "Clinicians were more often willing to continue to use a new treatment when they were able to effectively and enjoyably conduct the therapy and when their clients liked the therapy and reported improvement."

    I don't think any ED sufferer has ever "liked" their therapy if it was effective. Facing fears and changing thinking patterns are not "likable" activities.

  2. Well, Laura, I am wondering if the lack of response to the evidence is due to a feeling that parents are responsible for eds and therefore can't be trusted to help OR if they just want to give a treatment that they know?

    Perhaps if they don't want to provide FBT, they do have a legal and moral obligation to have a frank discussion of treatment modalities with families, to review the statistics for recovery with the various treatments and to make a referral for FBT if they don't want to provide this treatment themselves.

    There's also a rich literature on the effects of childhood critical or chronic medical or developmental illness on the functioning of families-before and after studies are out there I think. There is also an emerging literature on acute stress responses and PTSD in parents. I wonder if the people who don't see a use for us might respond better if somehow they can see the toll that this illness takes on families and how the FBT allows the parents to have a good positive role in the treatment which just helps everyone. I wish some of the FBT studies would evaluate parents before and after the therapy-I know I sure felt a lot better when I was surrounded by support for feeding-we all felt more optimistic and empowered--including my d!


  3. All the very, very best with the talk. Your Good sense and clear thinking and speaking will probably say more to them than all the papers in the world. That and the thousands of families behind you.

  4. Laura Collins, you are one the most persuasive people I have every met! Be yourself, you will be perfect. You can't convince those who close there minds and eyes to change but there has to some who would welcome your experience and knowledge.


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