Three-day multi-family work
Family work has been shown to be a most effective treatment for young people with anorexia nervosa. The staff on S3 view this intensive treatment as an essential part of the care package you receive whilst on the ward. The programme requires all family members to attend for three days, usually a Monday, Tuesday and a Thursday in one week. The days typically start at 9.30am and end at 4.30pm. The days are structured and involve participation in a number of exercises designed to help improve family understanding, cooperation and communication.
The sessions involve at least two families sharing their experiences together as this has been found to be the most effective way of delivering the treatment.
We appreciate that families often find it hard to commit themselves to the treatment programme both because of the time commitment, which is considerable, but also because the idea of this programme makes many people feel anxious and uncomfortable. Whilst these are understandable concerns, we try our best to help reduce them. There are often a choice of slots and we try to give as much warning as possible so that time pressures can be managed.
The workshops are run by three members of the eating disorder team whose role it is to facilitate the days and provide support and help.
Families who have experienced the days have fed back that, although the days are tiring, they are thought provoking and helpful and that the atmosphere is non-judgemental and positive.
Once you have settled into the ward, you and your family will be approached to find a convenient time for you to attend. This will be arranged through your key worker or ward co-ordinator.