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 Linked Intensive Family Treatment (LIFT) for those struggling despite weekly FBT sessions. This 12-week program runs one afternoon a week and utilizes an integration of evidence-based treatments to help patients and their families understand and work with emotions that often come up around eating and other social situations. Dialectal behavioral therapy (DBT), mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are used in a unified approach to teach families the skills to manage their emotions, challenge eating disordered thoughts and facilitate sustained recovery.