The family is either going to be positive or negative, there is no such thing as neutral when it comes to the impact of a family member on the eating disorder. Therapists err when they fail to recognize the powerful role that the family plays in the recovery process. Because many traditional therapists believe that it is a “boundary violation” to involve family members in treatment, they effectively create a situation which makes it less likely that the patient will recover. Excluding the family creates a sense of helplessness and futility for them and isolates the patient even further.
Parents must understand what to expect in terms of the recovery process or they may inadvertently derail it and therapists must facilitate that understanding by insisting on the family’s active involvement.
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