The five tenets of family-based treatment for adolescent eating disorders

Renee D. Rienecke*, Daniel Le Grange

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Family-based treatment (FBT) is the leading treatment for adolescent eating disorders and is based on five tenets, or fundamental assumptions: (1) the therapist holds an agnostic view of the cause of the illness; (2) the therapist takes a non-authoritarian stance in treatment; (3) parents are empowered to bring about the recovery of their child; (4) the eating disorder is separated from the patient and externalized; and (5) FBT utilizes a pragmatic approach to treatment. Learning these tenets is crucial to the correct practice and implementation of manualized FBT. The purpose of the current paper is to provide an in-depth overview of these five tenets and to illustrate how they are used in clinical practice. This overview will aid clinicians who are learning FBT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number60
JournalJournal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Adolescents
  • Eating disorders
  • FBT
  • Family-based treatment
  • Key tenets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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