When you are a parent searching for answers about your child or adolescent's eating disorder, you may read anything (or everything) written on the subject. Unfortunately, many of my clients have told me that this search for knowledge can be frustrating at best and scary at worst. Navigating which books are well-written and contain good information can be difficult when you aren't sure where to start. Some of the books that are on the market, have been there for 30 years and while they are interesting from a historical standpoint, they are sorely lacking in recent research. Other books are personal accounts fraught with stories that can be frightening to anyone new to the topic. Thankfully, there are also well-researched books that are also full of hope for recovery.
If you are a parent of an adolescent with anorexia, you may be considering or currently using Family-Based Treatment (also known as Maudsley) in the treatment of your child. Although they certainly don't replace the advice of a well-trained therapist, these books are a wonderful place to start or read along your journey. If you have read, or do read, any of these books, please consider adding your review to their page.
If you are going to read one book about FBT, read this one. This is the book on Family-Based Treatment for parents. It is written by two of the foremost researchers in the field of adolescent eating disorders. James Locke and Daniel Le Grange are at the Stamford University and the University of Chicago, respectively. It is a clear roadmap of well-researched information regarding how to find treatment and how to understand eating disorders.
This personal account is written by Laura Collins, a mother whose daughter suffered and recovered from anorexia. Although they did not have a therapist trained in FBT, they do loosely use the approach. It is a great book for other parents who want and need to hear about how other families have survived and thrived through the turmoil of an eating disorder.
Like Eating With Your Anorexic, this book is also a first-hand account from a mother about her family's battle with her daughter's anorexia and is written by Harriet Brown. Calling anorexia out as a demon and describing conversations and difficult family situations in detail, it is brutally honest about the disease and it's affect on her daughter (and family). It is also full of recent research on the best treatment approaches for adolescent eating disorders and how their family used Family-Based Treatment to help their daughter recover.
Brown, H. (2010). Brave girl eating: A family's struggle with anorexia. New York, NY: William Morrow.
Collins, L. (2005). Eating with your anorexic: How my child recovered through family-based treatment and yours can too. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Lock, J. & Le Grange, D. (2005). Help your teenager beat an eating disorder. New York, NY: Guilford.