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November 04, 2013

What makes FBT most effective?

by Mark Warren, M.D.

Re-posted from Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders (CCED) blog archives. CCED and The Emily Program partnered in 2014.

By Dr. Mark Warren

For several years it's been clear that Family Based Therapy (FBT) has the most evidence based support for its effectiveness with recovery rates in the 50-60% range for adolescents with anorexia who have been ill for less than three years. This number is two to three times better than other therapies for this patient population. Having said that, this still means there are a significant number of adolescents who are not recovering through traditional FBT. A recent study highlights behaviors during the family meal that appear to predict when FBT is most likely to be effective. As FBT is the core of how we treat adolescents at CCED, we are particularly interested in this research. This may be significant for adolescents and families for whom FBT may be quite effective but need greater support around parental empowerment, setting contingencies, managing meals and other mechanisms that may improve their rates of recovery. This article will hopefully be part of a new wave of interest in ways to make this evidence based therapy even more effective for more patients.

Contributions by Sarah Emerman

About the Author

Mark Warren, M.D.

Mark Warren, M.D.

Mark Warren is the chief medical officer of The Emily Program. He is also one of the original founders of the Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders, which recently merged to become The Emily Program – Cleveland. A Cleveland native, he is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Medical School and completed his residency at Harvard Medical School. He served as Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Mt. Sinai Hospital and Medical Director of University Hospital Health System's Laurelwood Hospital. A past vice-chair for clinical affairs at the Case School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, he continues on the Clinical Faculty of the Medical School, teaching in both the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics. He is currently a faculty member and former chair of the Board of Governors at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. Dr. Warren is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a two-time recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award of the national Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and a winner of the Woodruff Award. He leads the Males and Eating Disorders special interest group for the Academy of Eating Disorders.

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Recovery for life is possible 888-364-5977

Recovery for life is possible

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The Emily Program