Family Involvement In Our Program
Family and significant others are an important part of the treatment. Each client’s therapist helps her to establish relationship and family goals on a weekly basis. Family work involves therapy sessions, having meals together, passes and even overnight excursions. All of this is important to help facilitate full recovery.
A family/significant other group is scheduled every week, although we realize many significant others may not be able to attend all of these. A family weekend is scheduled once a month and we highly encourage everyone to participate. Individual family sessions are set up on an as-needed basis. If family members or significant others cannot travel to the facility, we set up phone conference sessions. In very rare cases, sessions with family members or significant others are contraindicated, at least for a period of time. The therapist will explain this decision and work with the significant others, as appropriate, on this issue.
Please refer to the following information below, which will assist you if you have a loved one suffering from an eating disorder. Excerpts from Carolyn’s book, “The Eating Disorder Sourcebook”.
For Parents With Adolescent Daughters
Parents should know about Family-Based Treatment, FBT, based on and originally called The Maudsley Method, and the research on the effectiveness of this approach for adolescents with a three year or less history of anorexia. Parents are encouraged to read about this approach in, “How To Help Your Teen Beat An Eating Disorder” and try FBT if it is appropriate for their family circumstances.
FBT has had better results for adolescents with anorexia than other approaches studied in controlled trials. However, it must be noted that not many controlled trials of any kind for eating disorders exist. FBT may also be an option even if your daughter is older or has bulimia or EDNOS. On the other hand FBT does not fit, or work for, everyone.
We have worked with several families who just could not do FBT, or tried it and were unsuccessful. Some individuals are inappropriate for FBT, for example their daughter is already too severely underweight or has other serious problems requiring a different kind or level of treatment. Some parents simply cannot be the enforcers of eating, others cannot take the time off from their jobs to spend with their child in order to make FBT work.
If FBT is not appropriate for your family, or you have tried it already, you will need other resources. Your daughter may need a whole team, and possibly a residential program.
As specialist in the field for well over three decades, Carolyn Costin developed her own expertise and successful strategies and at Monte Nido and Affiliates we combine these with Family Based Treatment in order to be most effective. We can explain this further and answer any questions you might have.
"Our family has been working for several years recovering from an eating disorder. We have been working with the staff at Monte Nido and their extended family of like minded health professionals. I have found that a multifaceted approach has been effective. At the core of Monte Nido’s approach is the use of therapists who themselves have recovered from eating disorders. My experience validates this approach.
I have learned that those afflicted with eating disorders defy a common sense approach. Indeed, if anything, a counter intuitive approach is required because what you see is not what you get. Not only do the eating disordered patients suffer from delusions about how their bodies appear, but the whole family suffers from delusions about what is real and what is not. At the core of this collective delusion lies the fact that the identified patient (the eating disordered person) has been showing the world a totally false yet very well crafted persona. So well crafted, in fact, that all those around her believe that this persona is the real person. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Nobody knows who’s in there, not even the eating disordered person.
The value of the recovered therapist is that she knows the truth of this charade from the inside out. Who better to guide the patient and the family through the labyrinth that leads to the discovery of the true person? We give up our delusions and misconceptions about who the patient is and who we are begrudgingly. The recovered therapist knows this to the core as they have lived this nightmare themselves and cherish their true self more than anything, for it is life itself. I don’t know about you, but if I am going to descend into the labyrinth I would want someone helping me that has been there knows the way out.
No path is without risks and certainly there are risks associated with a recovered therapist. The Monte Nido approach mitigates this risk by building a multifaceted team that includes highly skilled therapists and other health professionals who have never been afflicted with an eating disorder. This puts the Monte Nido treatment process squarely in the middle, able to access the opposite sides, the inside and the outside, the mind and the body, to bring what is in my opinion a very effective approach to a most baffling, painful and destructive disorder."