A process model was tested whereby parental fear and self-blame were targeted in order to enhance parental self-efficacy and supportive efforts in the context of emotion-focused family therapy (EFFT) for eating disorders (ED). A 2-day EFFT group intervention was delivered to parents of adolescent and adult children with ED. Data were collected from eight treatment sites (N = 124). Data were analyzed using t-tests, regression analyses and structural equation modeling. The findings supported the proposed process model. Through the processing of parents’ maladaptive fear and self-blame, parents felt more empowered to support their child’s recovery. This increase in self-efficacy led to an increase in parents’ intentions to engage in recovery-focused behaviors. This study is the first to test a method for clinicians to increase supportive efforts by targeting and enhancing caregiver self-efficacy via the processing of emotion.

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Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies
Department of Psychology

Strahan, E.J. (Erin J.), Stillar, A. (Amanda), Files, N. (Natasha), Nash, P. (Patricia), Scarborough, J. (Jennifer), Connors, L. (Laura), … Lafrance, A. (Adèle). (2017). Increasing parental self-efficacy with emotion-focused family therapy for eating disorders: a process model. Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies, 16(3), 256–269. doi:10.1080/14779757.2017.1330703