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Not familiar with Multifamily therapy?

Updated: Oct 17, 2018

Some people have asked about the Multifamily component of TBT-S and what benefits are derived by pursuing this format.

A recent article (Dawson et al, 2018) on Multifamily Therapy (MFT) in Australia (https://www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/anzf.1324) describes it beautifully even though they are talking about MFT with adolescents. Much of the benefits described apply equally to adults and their families - reducing isolation, building on each others' collective knowledge and feeling more confident to play a helpful role.

MFT in general mental health has been around for a while (>40 years), and there is a strong evidence base for it (over 100 studies). A main theoretical foundation of MFT is that by increasing social network size and support by enabling families to benefit from each other's experiences in solving problems, better illness course and improved outcome occur. "Explicitly disavowing the earlier assumptions that family pathology caused relapse and deterioration, family psychoeducation seeks to engage family members as more sophisticated partners, complementing interventions by clinicians with specialized interactions and coping skills that counter the neurologic deficits inherent to the disorder. It has proved to be one of the most consistently effective treatments available" (Mcfarlane, 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27411376).

MFT in eating disorders typically involves 5-7 families attending 4-5 full days where they receive psychoeducation together, work experientially on skills and understanding, practice meal support, do some relationship repair work and problem solve current issues with the shared knowledge of the group.

MFT has been rolled out in NSW and Victoria for adolescents and it is almost unanimously rated as highly valuable by all attendees (even the reluctant adolescent) - it is now time for adults to get some of the action and the benefits!




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