An eating disorder can come to tyrannize the family of its sufferer, using divide-and-conquer techniques to defend itself from the efforts of family members to help. Mealtime can be especially brutal if there is any hint of parental disagreement about eating requirements. In Maudsley/family-based treatment, one of the goals is to unite the family to combat the eating disorder jointly, avoiding blame but instead focusing on moving forward in recovery. Maudsley protocol counsels both parents to always be "on the same page" in order to present a unified approach and head off any attempts by the eating disorder to turn parents against each other. Therapists advise parents to resolve their differences in private and, together with siblings, to avoid adding stress to the dinner table environment.
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