As a university-based program, we are committed to providing state-of-the-art treatments based on research and new understandings of eating disorders. Our treatment approach is designed to both aid in recovery, as well as prevent future relapses. At the Children’s, we take pride in our ability to provide both inpatient and outpatient services, depending on medical and/or psychological need. Our multidisciplinary treatment team includes physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, dieticians, and nurses who are all eating disorder specialists.
Our program’s foundation is Family Based Treatment (FBT); also known as the Maudsley approach. FBT focuses on supporting parents to take the lead in helping restore their child’s weight to a healthy level. The FBT approach stresses that eating disorder behaviors are outside of the adolescent’s control.
FBT requires parents to temporarily take over the youth’s nutrition in order to defeat the eating disorder. Currently, FBT is the most effective treatment for restrictive eating disorders in youth. The Montreal Children’s Hospital was the first eating disorder program in Quebec to offer FBT by accredited therapists.
To learn more about FBT, please see our clinic’s information pamphlet.
For certain families enrolled in FBT, our program utilizes complimentary, evidence based treatments to help our patients cope with their emotions, particularly anxiety, that often accompany eating and social situations. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is utilized as an adjunct to FBT for all of our patients receiving a diagnosis of avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).
In addition, we offer a step up intensive outpatient program (IOP) several times a year for those struggling despite weekly FBT sessions. This 6-week program runs 2 afternoons a week and incorporates elements of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), mindfulness, nutritional support, creative arts therapy and CBT to help families further build on the FBT principles.