Gather Around the Table: Utilizing the Power of the Family in Treating Adolescent Binge Eating

Early onset binge eating disorder (11-13 years), characterized as loss of control of eating, is associated with higher rates of bulimia nervosa, mood disorders, chronic dieting and obesity. Given the potentially chronic and complicated course of this illness, it is necessary to develop comprehensive treatment options for a pediatric population. Implementation of family based interventions has been found to be efficacious in the treatment of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. However, little attention has been given to the role of the family in treatment for binge eating. The proposed treatment model will incorporate principles of family based treatment and the trust model of responding to internal hunger. Clinicians will learn ways to help parents can assist their children in managing symptoms including loss of control over eating, eating in the absence of hunger, and maladaptive coping. Interventions aimed at empowering parents in not just feeding their children but eating with them in a neutral and flexible manner are presented. Presenters will address ways clinicians can work collaboratively with families to better understand binge eating and the influence such eating patterns have on both the individual suffering as well as the family unit.