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October 29, 2015

Involving Family Members with Binge Eating Disorder Treatment

Family Group Sitting On Boat With Fishing Rod On Winter Beach

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Treatment for binge eating disorder can vary based on severity of symptoms and present medical conditions and may include residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment and outpatient treatment.  The process of recovering from binge eating disorder involves many different aspects of professional treatment and intervening behavioral therapies.

The Role of Family in Recovery

Many people who are recovering from binge eating disorder may feel unsure about how to involve family members and those closest to them.  For the countless individuals who struggle with binge eating disorder, this is often something that is kept in secrecy due to the shame and stigma that is often associated with this mental illness.  If you have struggled with binge eating disorder, you may have found that it is difficult to confide in loved ones about what you are dealing, let alone invite them to participate in treatment with you.

paper familyWhile the choice to involve family members in treatment is highly individual, it is important to consider the role your family member may play in your recovery and your treatment.  Work with your therapist or counselor to determine if it is an appropriate time to begin involving family members with treatment and ways that you may be able to incorporate your family in your treatment process.  For example, it may be helpful to have group therapy with certain family members or involve your family in meal support.

The process of recovering from binge eating disorder is a complex one that involves many different aspects.  Choosing to involve your family members in your treatment may also depend on each individual’s willingness to be open to your journey and learn about the many challenges you may be dealing with.  This process can be overwhelming for family members too, but where there is unconditional love and support, there is dedication and commitment to seeing a loved one through their recovery journey.  If you are unsure about how to begin involving your family members in your treatment, consider working with an eating disorder specialist, marriage and family therapist, or counselor who can help guide you and your family.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

If you are in recovery from Binge Eating Disorder, what aspects of treatment were you able to involve your family with?  As a family member of someone who has struggled with binge eating disorder, how did participation in your loved one’s treatment benefit all of you?


The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders.  These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.  We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors.  If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on October 9, 2015. Published on EatingDisorderHope.com

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