The family therapist has a critical and important role in providing a clearer picture of predisposing and initiating factors in eating disorders, and in proposing interventions to address family-related perpetuating factors, "Family Approaches in Treatment of Eating Disorders" describes a multidimensional approach to family therapy in the management of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. While some of the chapters deal with highly specialized treatment units, or the impatient unit, many of the interventions described are applicable to outpatient treatment settings. Chapters 1 compares a controlled treatment trial of family therapy with a form of supportive individual psychotherapy conducted at the Maudsley Hospital in London. This study illustrates the feasibility of controlled clinical trials of family therapy as well as some of the major problems in their conduct and the interpretation of the results. In Chapter 4 , interpersonal patterns in spouses and families of bulimic patients that have been identified at a centre for eating disorders after eight years of work with bulimic adolescents and adults and their spouses and families are discussed.
Also considered are typical impasses that arise with family therapy in the treatment of bulimia nervosa. Both impasses arising between the therapist and couple or family, and impasses arising within the couple or family are examined. Chapter 6 describes a family relations group included with the day-hospital treatment program. Mutual support groups for families are a valuable adjunct to services for eating disorders. Chapter 8 includes information about how to organize or link up with such groups, discusses their value to the participants, and describes the roles that professionals and paraprofessionals can play. The multiple functions that such groups serve and the kinds of activities that can develop are also reviewed.