Study Considers Multi-Family Therapy for Adults With Eating Disorders

Study Considers Multi-Family Therapy for Adults With Eating Disorders

CREDIT FREEIMAGES.COM/PETER_W

Local researchers are conducting a study to determine whether a type of therapy that has proven beneficial to adolescents with eating disorders can also help adults with that illness.

The University of Rochester School of Nursing is recruiting adults between the ages of 18 and 40 who have been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa for a study on multifamily therapy.

Mary Tantillo, professor of clinical nursing, says having multiple patients in a therapy session can open the lines of communication.

"For example, what's going on at a mealtime that makes them scared? They can build on each other's voices in multi-family group in a way that you can't do when you're sitting in an individual family setting,” Tantillo said. “You don't have another family or another patient to turn to."

Tantillo says patients who have trouble receiving feedback from their own family members may find it easier to listen to those same messages from other families in the sessions.

"The illness wants to isolate you from people. It makes it hard for you to listen to feedback from others because the illness wants you all to itself. So even if it's hard to listen to your own family, guess what? You have another parent or another friend in the room from another patient who can probably tell you exactly what your family has been trying to say to you."

Anyone interested in learning more about the study can contact the University of Rochester School of Nursing at (585) 275-6629.

Beth Adams/WXXI News

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