Parenting skills after participation in skills‐based training inspired by the New Maudsley Method: a qualitative study in an outpatient eating disorder setting

Annemarie Ginnerup Toubøl*, Helle Koch-Christensen, Poul Bruun, Dorthe Susanne Nielsen

*Kontaktforfatter for dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Background: Eating disorders affect the whole family and it is recommended that parents play an important role in their adolescents’ recovery. Being a parent to an adolescent with an eating disorder is often linked to feelings of guilt and hopelessness and at the same time parents often feel left alone with unmet needs when it comes to handling symptoms in family life. Little is known about parents’ perspectives to skills-based training in adolescent eating disorder treatment. This knowledge is urgently required, since previous research has focused mainly on adult patients showing positive effects of skills-based training as a promising adjunct in eating disorder treatment. Objective: To examine parents’ perception of their new skills after having participated in skills-based training inspired by the New Maudsley Method. Methodology: A qualitative study using deductive dominant content analysis. Methods: In total, 21 parents participated in focus groups. Findings: Three categories were identified (i) Standing outside oneself and realise that one has become entangled in the illness, (ii) Understanding the daughter's inner life with the illness offers new opportunities in the relationship, (iii) Courage to find new ways of parenting. The parents experienced themselves more calm and confident in their ability to recognise and confront the eating disorder symptoms. They expressed increased communication skills, which improved their relationship with their child and gave access to her inner life. Conclusion: Skills-based training serves as an important intervention and it may improve parental skills, reduce high expressed emotions and reduce anxiety, guilt and stress. Skills-based training may contribute to reinforcing parents to regain parenting authority and enable parents and adolescents to ‘be on the same side’ in the beating the eating disorder.

TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)959-968
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2019