Keynote Address, ANZAED 2015 Conference: Gold Coast
Recorded 21 August, 2015
Treatment models, brand names and evidence-based practice in eating disorders: should we be treating people by the book?
Clinicians are often criticised for ignoring research evidence either because of ignorance, through selective reading of the research literature or using evidence-based treatments in ways that that are widely divergent from the manualised treatment evaluated through research.
While such criticisms are to some extent justified, they tend to be made from an overly narrow perspective of what constitutes evidence-based practice, assumptions about the impact of treatment model adherence on outcome that are not supported by empirical evidence and a lack of acknowledgement of broader research on e.g. therapeutic alliance or service context.
This presentation will focus on the way in which such assumptions have shaped discussions about the treatments with strongest supporting evidence (family therapy with adolescent presentations and CBT with adults) and the need for a more nuanced and more measured approach to research evidence and recommendations for how evidence practice is best disseminated.
IVAN EISLER, PhD, AcSS
Ivan Eisler is a Professor of Family Psychology and Family Therapy and Head of Section of Family Therapy at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London. He is also the joint head of the Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder Service at the Maudsley Hospital in London. He studied Philosophy and Psychology in Oxford before completing his training in Clinical Psychology in Prague in the Czech Republic in 1975. Since 1982, when he moved permanently to London, has been part of a clinical research team investigating psychotherapies for anorexia and bulimia nervosa and has published extensively on this subject. He has also contributed to research on treatments in depression, substance misuse, self-harm and chronic illness.
He is a family therapy trainer and has chaired training courses in family therapy at the Institute of Psychiatry and the Institute of Family Therapy in London. He is a past chair of the Institute of Family Therapy and a past Editor of the Journal of Family Therapy. He was given the Outstanding Research Publication Award by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (1988), the Positive Practice Award by the National Institute for Mental Health in England (2004) and the Outstanding Clinician Award by the Academy for Eating Disorders (2009).
Ivan Eisler has had a long standing interest in the development and evaluation of psychological treatments. He has a special interest in family therapy and its integration with other psychotherapies. He has played a central role in the development of a family approach to the treatment of adolescent anorexia, which is widely adopted in the UK and abroad.
He and his colleagues have pioneered an innovative intensive multiple family therapy treatment for adolescent eating disorders which is being adopted by many specialist services in the UK, US, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Czech Republic and elsewhere. Together with colleagues in Leeds he has developed a treatment manual for family therapy for adolescent self-harm, which is being evaluated in a large treatment trial in Leeds, London and Manchester.