Adolescent Focused Therapy (AFT)

Although Family Based treatment (FBT) has been found to be the most effective treatment to achieve full and sustained recovery in young people with anorexia nervosa, it is not effective for all families. Some families may not be in a position to adhere to the strong commitment required for FBT to succeed or who simply want to choose another option.

Adolescent Focussed Therapy (AFT) has so far been the only individual treatment studied in a clinical trial shown to be effective for treatment of anorexia in adolescents.  The treatment understands the eating disorder behaviour as a maladaptive attempt to manage developmental challenges of adolescence and focuses on strengthening the patient’s sense of self. It is important to note that this treatment is only appropriate for those individuals whose cognitive development allows for some degree of abstract reasoning and self reflection. This treatment can be used with individuals up to 24 years of age.

Treatment consists of three phases with individual sessions over a duration of approximately 12-18 months. Parents and other significant family members will be seen separately in collateral sessions to support the individual’s recovery process.