The Crucial Role of Parental Involvement in Eating Disorder Treatment

The Crucial Role of Parental Involvement in Eating Disorder Treatment
18 Aug by HPA/LiveWell Eating Disorder Treatment

Parental involvement in eating disorder treatment can be a critical factor in a child’s timely recovery. Eating disorders are sensitive, complicated mental health conditions that require a multidimensional approach to treatment. Studies show that family-based therapy has proven to be far more effective in the treatment of eating disorders in adolescents when compared to the results of individual therapy1. At HPA/Livewell, in Albany, NY, our therapists have also seen the impact parental involvement in a child’s treatment can have. In this blog post, we explore the efficacy of parental involvement in eating disorder treatment and family-based treatment (FBT), and how they can contribute to effective and lasting recovery.

The Importance of Parental Involvement in Eating Disorder Treatment

Parents hold a critical role in their child’s eating disorder recovery. Research has shown that family-based treatment is the most effective method of treating bulimia in adolescents2. Their support, understanding, and active involvement drastically impacts treatment outcomes. Through HPA/Livewell’s collaborative treatment approach, our team heavily involves parents in the eating disorder treatment process as we understand that you know best when it comes to feeding your child. Our team of professional therapists in the Capital Region work closely with both the child and their parents to provide comprehensive care.

Fostering Effective Communication and Trust

As a parent, it’s critical that you foster an environment of open and honest communication within your family. By creating a supportive home environment, you can encourage your child to express their thoughts, emotions, and concerns about their condition. Building a foundation on trust and vulnerability helps our team at HPA/Livewell gain valuable insights into the underlying causes of eating disorders, which then guides the development of more effective ED treatment plans.

Parental Participation in Treatment Decisions

Active participation in treatment decisions and working in collaboration with your therapist is critical for effective parental involvement in eating disorder treatment. Through our parent-group sessions, HPA/Livewell is able to work with parents to understand their role in their child’s treatment, and glean another perspective that will help during their child’s journey. By being engaged and informed, parents can help tailor treatment plans that best meet their child’s unique needs, ensuring a comprehensive and individualized approach to recovery.

Providing a Supportive Environment at Home

Creating a supportive home environment is vital for a child’s successful recovery. As a parent, you play an essential role by promoting positive body image, creating a healthy family food culture, and modeling balanced behaviors around eating and exercise. This method of holistic eating disorder treatment encourages the development of sustainable habits and empowers children to overcome their struggles. At HPA/Livewell, we adopt a holistic approach to recovery, as patients and families work with our expert team of dietitians to make healthy lifestyle changes.

Collaborating with the Treatment Team

HPA/Livewell adopts a collaborative approach to treatment, where our professionals work with families as a cohesive team. Parents are integral members of this team, working in collaboration with our therapists and dietitians. By actively participating in therapy sessions and attending family-based therapy sessions, parents can enhance their understanding of their child’s condition and learn effective strategies to support their recovery.

Parental involvement in eating disorder treatment is essential for your child’s recovery journey. While HPA/Livewell is able to help during therapy sessions, extending support and helping your child at home will go a long way and result in a more effective treatment process. By actively participating in therapy sessions, fostering effective communication, and creating a supportive environment, parents can contribute significantly to their child’s journey towards healing. At HPA/Livewell, our Albany-based team of therapists and dietitians offer a holistic and individualized approach to eating disorder therapy, empowering families to overcome eating disorders and achieve long-term wellness. If you’re seeking effective eating disorder treatments and supportive counseling for eating disorders in Albany, NY, call 518-218-1188 to reach out to HPA/Livewell or learn more about our Intensive Outpatient Program to start your child’s path to recovery.

With our new online therapy capabilities, HPA/LiveWell can now offer mental health services to anyone within not only the Capital Region, the Hudson Valley region – Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck, Newburgh, White Plains, Kingston, and surrounding New York cities, but we can offer mental health services and eating disorder treatment to anyone throughout New York state.


Rienecke, Renee D. “Family-Based Treatment of Eating Disorders in Adolescents: Current Insights.” Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics, 1 June 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5459462/.

Daniel Le Grange PhD a, et al. “Randomized Clinical Trial of Family-Based Treatment and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adolescent Bulimia Nervosa.” Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2 Sept. 2015, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0890856715005389.