Family Based Therapy (FBT) is an evidence-based eating disorder specific outpatient treatment first developed at the Maudsley Hospital in London in the 1980’s with further development in the USA (Stanford and Chicago) in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. A treatment manual was published in 2002 enabling FBT to be disseminated outside of these development sites. FBT is the current recommended first line treatment for adolescents with AN and first became available in Australia in 2003 at The Children’s Hospital, Westmead.
FBT integrates concepts from a number of family therapy models in a developmentally sensitive framework and holds the basic premise that parents are the best resource to help their child recover from anorexia nervosa. The treatment is organised around three treatment phases across 12 months. FBT commences with a focus on parental leadership of the young person’s nutritional recovery and finishes with a focus on adolescent issues. The treatment is suitable for adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa with a short course of illness.