Nowadays many of the same doctors that were pioneers of this approach have become more cautious. It has been shown that eating disorders are pathologies with multiple causes and that in many patients’ families some specific elements can be found:
- various levels of communication difficulties among the members
- incapacity, more or less serious, to recognize emotions
- serious concerns about weight and body image by some members of the family (besides the patients)
We have noticed that in close relatives of patients there is a high incidence of affective personality disorders, alcoholism and eating disorders.
In general we can say that a family predisposes a person to suffer from emotional disorders and eating disorders if it cannot pass on a self-esteem that includes:
- a realistic body image
- an awareness of mental functioning
- clearness of limits between self and the world
- effective adjustment strategies to control impulses, feelings and desires
- a reasonable self-esteem
- a good sense of personal identity
- an interior coherence and feeling of individuality.