Group Parent Training: Rethinking Eating Disorder Recovery
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Most current eating disorder research centers on providing relevant and effective treatment to patients. Due to health care reform treatment length is being shortened for many patients, and caregivers are often relied on to take the place of nurse and therapist. Which puts more stress on the caregivers. For caregivers of eating disorders this stress level often rivals the stress level of caregivers of patients with psychotic illnesses (Treasure et al., 2001). Group Parent Training (GPT) is a therapy model that teaches parents skills for coping with and managing their child’s disorder as well as providing support to the parents. Educated parents can be strong role models and active supporters of their children through trying times (Pasold et al., 2010). Another study found that parenting styles and effective parenting could intensify or help reduce disordered eating behaviors (Lobera et al., 2011). A new GPT curriculum was developed for SMEDA for the purpose of empowering parents and caregivers to better support their loved one and reduce the serve psychological stress that can accompany the disorder. The topics were based on empirically supported research. The effect of the group was meant to be two-fold. The group was supposed to relieve stress on the caregiver as well as help caregivers manage targeted behaviors.