Family Based Treatment for Adolescent Bulimia Nervosa

The family-based treatment model for adolescent bulimia nervosa (FBT-BN) is derived from the Maudsley Hospital's family-based treatment for adolescents with anorexia nervosa (Eisler et al. 1997; Lock et al. 2001a, 2005; Russell et al. 1987). FBT-BN assumes that the secrecy, shame, and dysfunctional bulimia nervosa eating patterns have negatively affected an adolescent's development and confused and disempowered parents and other family members. Further disabling the family is parental guilt related to having possibly caused the illness and anxiety about how best to proceed. Le Grange et al. (2007) completed an RCT wherein 80 adolescents with bulimia nervosa, ages 12-19 years (M = 16.1, SD= 1.6), were allocated either to manualized FBT-BN or to manualized individual supportive psychotherapy. The authors found a statistically significant difference favoring FBT-BN over supportive psychotherapy in terms of abstinence at the end of treatment and at 6-month follow-up.

Breaking Bulimia

Breaking Bulimia

We have all been there: turning to the refrigerator if feeling lonely or bored or indulging in seconds or thirds if strained. But if you suffer from bulimia, the from time to time urge to overeat is more like an obsession.

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