For those of you who don't have access to decent eating-disorders treatment locally, here is a list of certified FBT therapists (Family-Based Treatment) who are open to treating families using video conference (telemedicine, Skype, Zoom, video call, whatever).
What is a certified FBT therapist?
To me, they are the creme de la creme. They have been through plenty of training and loads of supervision, all from the James Lock – Daniel Le Grange team. So there's not the problem of chinese whispers, where messages get diluted or important bits are missed out. The long period of supervision means they have plenty of experience. The process of certification is expensive, so you know these therapists are committed to specialising in treating eating disorders.
Many therapists who treat eating disorders mention 'family treatment' or 'Maudsley' but if they're not certified, you can't be sure what you'll get. Some are excellent, like those who learned at the master's chair before certification existed, or those who are shadowing a colleague who is going through certification. Also, there will be excellent FBT therapists who just couldn't afford the certification. This site, and my book, will make it easier for you to spot good and bad signs when when you first consult a therapist.
If you don't yet know what FBT is, check out this page. My book and videos follow principles of FBT. I have heard from many FBT therapists who are enthusiastic about my resources and recommend them to their clients.
FBT started out as a treatment for children and teens, but it can be adapted for young adults and adults too.
How does a therapist work by video call?
You should ask the therapist directly yourself. Here's what might happen though. A therapist will most probably want you to have a medical/psychiatric team locally, whom they can communicate with. That way the physical side of things is taken care of. Next, the most common form of FBT is done with the whole family in the consulting room ("conjoint"). With internet video, the therapist may choose a variant of the approach (which has evidence to back it up), where some of the therapist's time is spent with just the parents ("separated").
If your local clinician is open to supporting you with an FBT approach, even though they haven't trained in it, it's worth asking an FBT therapist from my list below if they will have a video call with both you and the clinician.
Do you want eating disorder treatment for your child, or do you want parent support?
Be clear about what you're looking for. FBT therapists deliver treatment. That includes supporting you, the parent, to do your part. If you 'just' want support for yourself, check with any of the therapists on this page if they'd do that for you. Some therapists may be able to coach you even when state regulations prevent them from treating your child outside their area.
What about an eating disorder coach for your child?
While you're here I'll mention coaches who support the person with an eating disorder at mealtimes, while shopping, trying out a restaurant — pretty much like parents do in family-based treatment. Here is an article and links to coaches.
Now back to certified FBT therapists…
How much do the FBT therapists charge?
Another question to ask yourself. Note that the standard FBT approach takes 20 one-hour sessions.
FBT by telemedicine is rather new, and I'm excited that it will allow so many more families to get quality treatment. At the same time, all over the world there are parents who cannot afford private care. Be aware that many families make the best use they can of their (non-FBT) local treatment team, as Harriet Brown explains here.
How can I find out more about a particular FBT therapist?
Check out the webpage that lists all the certified FBT therapists (train2treat4ed.com/certified-therapists-list) , as it shows people's contact details and websites.
Since the Covid pandemic, telemedicine has become much more common, and I suspect there are many certified FBT therapist who treat by video call and are not on my list below.
Certified FBT therapists who can work by telemedicine anywhere in the world
These clinicians can work anywhere in their own country and internationally too. In no particular order:
Kellie Lavender email@example.com (based in New Zealand)
CaraLynne McLean firstname.lastname@example.org (based in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
Joy Jacobs email@example.com (based in US) She also offers an online course for parents.
Speaks Spanish too – Habla español también
Vicki O'Dwyer firstname.lastname@example.org (based in Victoria, Australia)
Maria Ganci email@example.com (based in Australia)
Roslyn Hopf firstname.lastname@example.org (based in Germany)
Sonia Bues willowtreepsychology.com (based around Oxford, UK; is bilingual English-German)
Karen McMahon email@example.com (based in Scotland), whom I rate very highly as I've heard her often at conferences, we've had great chats, and she was briefly involved with my daughter's treatment.
Therapists who can work in most of the US states
I have made myself a rule to only list certified FBT therapists, as I can't take on the responsibility of assessing the quality of any provider. I'm going to break that rule now because parents in the US can be very desperate to find good treatment at present, and they're willing for it to be done by video call.
If so, take a look at Equip, who do everything by telecare and are set up for insurance in many US states (they do not treat outside the US). They work along FBT principles and I know several of the professionals there. From the few parents I know who have used Equip, I've heard good things. I was on Equip's advisory board for a while and then I left because they knew their stuff (so I had nothing to advise) and because I wanted to get zero payments from them so that I can be impartial when I direct parents that way. (More on any conflicts of interest here.)
Certified FBT therapists who can treat internationally but only in some US states
Here are therapists in the US who may treat people in other countries, but in the US they are only allowed to treat in particular states. If you're not in their state they may be able to support you even if they may not treat your child. (And with the Coronavirus some of the rules may now not be enforced anyway, so it's worth asking)
Kristen Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org (Chicago, Illinois, US) Can treat internationally. In the US she can only do Illinois and Indiana.
Lauren Muhlheim email@example.com (Can treat internationally. In the US she is licenced to do California, New York state, Indiana and Florida.)
Melissa Gerson firstname.lastname@example.org (Can treat internationally. In the US she can only treat patients in New York. Based in New York City, US)
Maria-Christina Stewart email@example.com (California and Washington DC, US. Also, as she is now based in Switzerland, she can also serve European countries. Native English speaker, conversational skills in German, semi-fluent in Greek.) Her website here.
Although this is not about FBT, I want to also mention Dr Jennifer Gaudiani, internist, author of the wonderful book 'Sick enough', who can advise on the medical aspects.
Certified FBT therapists who can only treat by video call in their own state
Some therapists in the US are only licenced to practice in their own state. If you are in the US and your state isn't covered, remember you could use a therapist from another country! Also, they may be allowed to give parents support, or to connect with your local clinicians, even when they cannot deliver treatment to your child.
Kelly Bhatnagar firstname.lastname@example.org (Colorado and Ohio)
Leslie Bloch email@example.com (New York state, US)
Angela Celio Doyle firstname.lastname@example.org (Washington State, US)
Alexia Spanos email@example.com (Washington State, US)
Vandana Aspen firstname.lastname@example.org (California, US)
Roxanne Rockwell email@example.com (California, US)
Therapists undergoing certification
These therapists can be really good too and are listed on train2treat4ed.com/certified-therapists-list. If you get one of them, you're getting two for the price of one, because while they're treating you they're getting supervision from the top people.
Therapists who have had some FBT training
Check these lists out, and be aware that some people will have had only 2 days' training and it could have been a long time ago. Do any of them use Zoom? I don't know.
FBT for the next age group
I am excited about FBT adapted for 17 to 25 year olds ("Transition Age Youth" FBT-TAY) and hope to see more of it. Two certified FBT therapists involved in trials are Gina Dimitropoulos and Kristen Anderson. You'll see above that Kristen can consult with families by video call. Gina probably can not, but one thing she can do is provide supervision to clinicians who want training in FBT with adolescents and young adults.