What about the children? A course for mothers with eating disorders

Parenting and children's situation as relatives of patients have become important foci in recent years. A psychoeducative program has been developed for mothers who suffer from eating disorders at the Unit for Eating Disorders, Modum Bad. The program has been developed in close cooperation with the mothers themselves. The program focuses on raising awareness of how illness can affect family life, and on strengthening parental competence and focus on prevention in relation to children. The psychoeducative program consists of five to six sessions with specific topics planned for each group meeting. The topics are relationships, help and support, eating disorders in everyday life and parental functioning. The course program has been systematically evaluated by approximately 20 mothers with very good feedback. The paper describes the implementation, content and experiences with the course. We propose that similar courses should be developed and tested among other groups of patients in mental health care and among patients with chronic somatic disorders.