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The Integration of Family-Based Treatment and Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Adolescent Bulimia Nervosa: Philosophical and Practical Considerations.


Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and family-based treatment (FBT) are two evidence-based interventions that have been applied in the treatment of bulimia nervosa (BN) in adolescents. While DBT focuses on providing skills for coping with emotion dysregulation that often co-occurs with BN, FBT targets the normalization of eating patterns. The purpose of the current article is to introduce an integration of both treatments to provide a more comprehensive approach that targets the full scope of the disorder. We provide a review of the conceptual similarities and differences between FBT-BN and DBT along with strategies to guide a blended treatment approach. Given the strengths and limitations of either independent treatment, DBT and FBT-BN complement one another and together can address the range of symptoms and behaviors typically seen in adolescent BN.

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