"There are no absolutely correct methods of dealing with these behaviors other than having ways that both parents agree and feel comfortable with, and can apply consistently, both between each other and over time. What this will look like in detail will differ between families." —Rachel Bryant-Waugh and Bryan Lask Eating Disorders: A Parents’ Guide
Parents implementing the Maudsley approach confront a difficult dilemma as they work out how to help their eating-disordered child. The approach empowers parents to help their children recover, but doesn’t spell out the specifics of how to proceed. There are only a few basic guidelines: parents are to normalize their child’s eating, make a distinction between their child and the eating disorder, and offer non-critical support. Parents will wonder just HOW to accomplish this on a day-to-day basis when their child is so frightened and resistant.
Many families have grappled with these same difficulties, worked out solutions, and helped their children. We asked a number of successful Maudsley families about their family’s experiences, and we hope their answers will inspire you and give you some practical ideas. You can do it!
Many thanks to the parents who shared their stories. We’re grateful for the hope you offer.
Family #1 After outpatient treatment followed by hospitalization a family finds Maudsley support at Stanford to help their 14-year-old daughter.
Family #2 The family of a 17-year-old boy with anorexia works with a therapist to help him recover and reestablish independence before leaving for college.
Family #3 The parents of a 12-year-old girl with anorexia work to overcome their differences on treatment, gradually finding a path to restored health.
Family #4 An Australian family uses the Maudsley approach to help their severely underweight daughter over the course of several difficult months.
Family #5 A family works together to help their 16-year-old anorexic daughter recover.
Family #7A family helps their 22-year-old college student with osteoporosis heal using the Maudsley approach, after losing hope in other treatment methods.