Individual therapy is a service offered for the child or adolescent who has been diagnosed with an eating disorder. The therapist may be a psychologist, occupational therapist, nurse therapist, social worker or psychiatrist depending on the nature of the service required.
The type of individual therapy is based on factors such as age and developmental stage of the young person, motivational stage, and type of presenting problem. It may involve the therapist and the young person talking, drawing, playing or sitting together.
The goals of therapy are decided by the young person and their therapist and are reviewed regularly. The therapist will also discuss issues of confidentiality, any alternative therapy options and how often therapy should be scheduled. The types of therapy the therapists draw from in this treatment team are supportive, interpersonal, psychodynamic and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioural therapies, creative, expressive and recreational therapies, motivational interviewing and narrative therapy.
Family based interventions are important in the treatment of adolescents with AN. Family therapy is offered with consideration of the family’s initiative for exploring their relationships and the impact of the eating disorder on these. Typically, a team of two family therapists is allocated.