The Maudsley Model of Family-Based Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa

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The Maudsley model of family-based treatment for anorexia nervosa

The Maudsley model of family-based treatment for anorexia nervosa was first developed in London in the mid-1980s. In this model, parents are given the a primary role in treatment, working together as a team in the home setting to reefed their child and confront anorexic behavior. Parents are also encouraged to separate anorexia from the child while performing this task, blaming the anorexia rather than the child and therefore minimizing the escalation of expressed emotion (Rhodes, Gosbee, Madden, & Brown, 2005). Treatment also includes a family meal where family members are coached to take on their specific roles. Siblings are incorporated in treatment to ease the
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Proponents of multiple family therapy argue that multiple family therapy is a way forward because the solidarity that can develop between families and the sharing of ideas introduce additional resources that are not available in standard Maudsley treatment (Rhodes et al., 2005). Multiple family therapy has benefits over standard family therapy due to the opportunities it provides for families to learn from the experiences of others, which breaks their isolation. While there is evidence for the efficacy of multiple family therapy in psychiatric and medical settings, the application of this form of treatment to eating disorders is relatively new (Rhodes et al., 2005). However, multiple family therapy is suited for anorexia because of the strong sense of social isolation and stigmatization that families experience, and because of the failure of the standard Maudsley treatment for some families (Rhodes et al., 2005). Multiple family therapy is ideally suited to reinforce the message that parents are responsible for and capable of refeeding their child, thus preventing the relapses that can result from hospitalization. While similarities between families can help them to feel less isolated and stigmatized, multiple family therapy provides a crucial resource in treatment. They allow for multiple perspectives, with each family being able

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