Programme for parents

Newbridge House has launched a unique parenting programme which provides comprehensive support, information and practical coaching.

The idea behind the programme is to offer parents help at an early stage and empower them with the knowledge and skills to assist the recovery process.

Feedback from parents of children treated at Newbridge House played an important part in shaping the content and structure of the programme.

Parents of children with eating disorders have described how they feel unable to talk about their own concerns and feelings. When their child is admitted to inpatient care, parents can lose confidence in their own ability to care for their child and manage meal times.

“We see parents as part of the solution to the eating disorder, not part of the problem,” says Rachel Matthews, clinical manager of Newbridge House, who created and is leading the programme.

“The parenting programme has been designed to help parents play an important and active part in the recovery process.

“To do so, the programme enables parents to develop and strengthen their understanding of the eating disorder, share their experiences, take back control and importantly, look after themselves and other siblings as the whole family is affected by the eating disorder.”

All parents of young people with an eating disorder can take part, even if their child is being treated elsewhere or is yet to start treatment.

The programme takes place once a week, comprising five sessions, combined with two follow-up sessions.

It incorporates the established and highly regarded Triple P Parenting principles, which provide practical coaching and tips for parents of children with complex mental health issues and behavioural issues.

The Newbridge House parenting programme places these principles in the context of helping young people with eating disorders. Parents are guided on how to separate challenging adolescent behaviour and the eating disorder and how to deal with the questions and challenges arising from anorexia.