The comments our blog has generated recently illustrate what an exciting time it is for the field of eating disorders. Research is being conducted and research grants are getting federal funding. Researchers and clinicians are batting around ideas on how clinicians, particularly in outpatient programs, can adapt and modify their approaches to provide effective treatment based on evolving evidence-based guidelines. As is true in many medical fields, clinicians rely on researchers within research institutions to conduct the clinical studies. I have joked that I am a “research junkie” and that my hobby is following eating disorder research developments. I know that my familiarity with the research has improved my clinical practice and I encourage all clinicians to do the same.
In my part of the world (rural NH), I am among only a few clinicians in northern New England who have been trained to use techniques from manualized FBT (Family-Based Treatment, also known as the Maudsley Method). Information about training is available at http://www.train2treat4ed.com/. I am not able to do RCT (randomized controlled trials) on my adaptation of FBT because I am in a solo private practice. But I do keep data on all of my patients. Most of my adolescent and younger patients come to see me on referral from therapists and are already engaged in psychotherapy. My clinical experience has shown me that many (but not all) of these patients make impressive strides when I involve parents as part of the nutrition treatment in a way that is very similar to FBT . I have advised parents who live in areas where full FBT programs exist to take advantage of these important resources. Examples of established FBT programs are: University of Chicago Medical Center, Stanford University Medical Center, Mount Sinai Eating & Weight Disorder Program in NYC, and University of California-San Diego Medical Center.
I encourage parents in other parts of the world (without FBT programs) who need a therapist and/or nutritionist to treat their child for an eating disorder to ask whether the clinician has training in FBT or has studied FBT treatment manuals.
Nutritionist Marcia Herrin and Nancy Matsumoto, co-authors of The Parent’s Guide to Eating Disorders, Gūrze Books. Marcia is also author the soon to be published Nutrition Counseling in the Treatment of Eating Disorders (October, 2012).
Copyrighted by Marcia Herrin and Nancy Matsumoto