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(p. 185) Involving Friends, Family, and Other Loved Ones 

(p. 185) Involving Friends, Family, and Other Loved Ones
(p. 185) Involving Friends, Family, and Other Loved Ones

Carolyn Black Becker

, Nicholas R. Farrell

, and Glenn Waller

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date: 29 September 2020

Although exposure-based treatments are most commonly implemented in an individual therapy format, involving families in exposure can boost the likelihood of a successful treatment outcome. Many families will need instruction and careful guidance from clinicians in sidestepping the common pitfalls of accommodating their loved one’s eating disorder symptoms and/or engaging in patterns of highly emotionally charged and critical responding toward their loved one (i.e., expressed emotion). There are several useful options that clinicians have for involving family members directly in patients’ exposure activities. Examples of those options include training family members to be supportive “exposure coaches,” as well as utilizing family as exposure stimuli when appropriate. Employing these options effectively will help to instill a collective “exposure mindset,” in which the family are all on the same page in confronting anxiety-evoking stimuli and eliminating use of safety behaviors.

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