Effects of Family-Based Therapy on Siblings of Individuals with Eating Disorders


by : 
Anika J.


Nearly 11 million females and 1 million males have a form of an Eating Disorder in the United States, and those are only the diagnosed cases. Eating disorders are detrimental to a person’s mental and physical health leading to commonly witnessed effects such as severely lowered self-esteem, dehydration, malnutrition, and increased levels of depression and anxiety. Siblings of eating disorder patients, though rarely mentioned or researched, can also develop feelings of resentment and anger due to the heavy impact of ​​their sibling’s mental illness. The recently implemented concept, Family-Based Therapy (FBT), is therapy devised for patients to talk with their family and a licensed therapist to resolve potential issues and devise a plan to facilitate healing. Although siblings are encouraged to attend these FBT sessions, some choose not to for many reasons. Additionally, FBT is designed for and catered towards the parents who spearhead the treatment, resulting in additional oversight of the healthy sibling’s role in the ill sibling’s recovery. This project will include an interview with a professional who specializes in researching the impact of EDs on siblings, along with analyzing data from a nationwide survey.