Dear, wise Colleen has -- as she often does -- described it well:
"it was a tough position for my husband--to have our well-credentialled professionals saying one thing and his wife saying something very different based on her research and other parents' experience. The poor guy's head was going back and forth like watching Wimbledon at our therapy sessions when I challenged our daughter's therapist. Who should he believe? The professionals? His wife? He wants to be a responsible parent but where is the safe path?"
This is the central dilemma. Parents are rarely told all the options -- in some health systems and most financial situations there are no options. We are told what the clinician in front of us believes and has on offer. THEY usually don't know there is any other way.
If, by chance or out of frustration, we go searching for more information and discover that there are plenty of other ideas out there we can't just take our marbles and leave. We have spouses and other professionals and often OUR OWN DOUBT in the face of a terrifying diagnosis we never planned to face.
There is no central authority to consult, no Whatthewhatipedia, no "See honey, I was right." It's just my intellect and instinct against yours.
Because even in the "field," there is no agreement. Not one single fact about eating disorders or their treatment. Not even the definition.
When I ask leading thinkers on this, their answer is often "Well, the family should get a new provider because WE don't do that." Except how is a family to know which WE to choose?
Until the clinics and clinicians and health systems and insurance companies start holding one another accountable it will be left to us, the consumers -- and that means parents, folks -- to MAKE them do so. We may need to do a little re-feeding protocol: "I'm sorry this is difficult for you but we love you too much to let you continue to starve families of the support they need. We're going to sit here until you come up with some standards and some consequences for those who don't follow them. We're not going anywhere, and neither are you. One more bite now, you can do it!"