How do I use the Maudsley method with my daughter who refuses to go to a therapist, talk to us, or admit a problem (she restricts and has been caught purging), adamantly refusing to any interaction with us until we “lay off”?
Joy Jacobs, JD, PhD responds:
This is a challenging situation and all too common when attempting to treat an eating disorder. The magic of the Maudsley approach is that its effectiveness does not depend on getting your daughter to “buy in” to treatment. You can start to take steps to help her recover even if the eating disorder is still in control. How do you do this? This might require that you as a parent take a strong stand—for example, setting a contingency system of privileges and consequences that is determined by her compliance with the eating and post-meal supervision plan that your devise for her. This will take a great deal of consistency and determination on your part, but if you can hang in there you will maximize your chances of seeing positive results.