For those who work with me, you've noticed more inclusion of Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) strategies in our recent sessions. Family Based Treatment (FBT) is such a powerful intervention, but I've often struggled with trying to figure out how to better support the emotional and behavioral experience for both the suffer and the caregiver. So when I began learning about Emotion Focused Family Therapy and its application to FBT, I was instantly intrigued. The role of FBT doesn't change, but the increased focus on the application of validation, emotion and behavioral coaching makes SO MUCH SENSE!
Providing validation when your loved one is deep into their eating disorder can be so incredibly hard. In the heat of the moment, trying to validate your loved ones experience with their eating disorder can feel crazy. It can feel like you are agreeing with the eating disorder. Dr. Adele Lafrance, the creator of Emotional Focused Family Therapy, says it best... "agreement is really different than validation". You don't have to agree with someone's experience to offer validation. Validation is acknowledging what their experience is like for them in the moment, even if it seems completely irrational to you. Dr. Lafrance explains how this validation is key to opening the gate so that the sufferer feels heard and understood. This in return makes them more flexible to change.
I highly recommend that caregivers take a peak at Dr. Lafrance's video on EFFT for Eating Disorders - Emotion Coaching: