Adolescent Eating Disorders

In 2004 Dr. Ingrid Wagner, undertook training in Family Based Treatment for adolescent Anorexia Nervosa, (FBT), which is often called the Maudsley Model. In 2007, she established the first treatment clinic dedicated to providing this evidence based treatment for the Child and Youth Mental Health Services in Brisbane. Family Based Treatment is currently recognised as the first line of treatment for adolescent anorexia nervosa. In 2013, she worked with Prof. Daniel Le Grange to provide training in Queensland, and establish a pathway for clinicians to undertake supervision to certification in the treatment method. Prof. Daniel Le Grange is an internationally recognised expert in the treatment of this disorder, and author of the treatment manual. Dr. Wagner, received supervision from Prof. Daniel Le Grange, and is certified by the Institute of Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders as a FBT therapist.

In 2013, she established the Eating Disorders Clinic at the Queensland University of Technology Health Clinics. This interdisciplinary program provided general medical, nutrition/dietetics, psychology, social work and exercise physiology services for the treatment of eating disorders. In partnership with the Eating Disorders Outreach Services, the clinic provided training to students and clinicians in evidence based treatments such Self-Guided Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorders, and Skills-Based Learning for parents and other family members caring for a loved one with an Eating Disorder.

Adolescent Depression

In 2009, Dr. Ingrid Wagner was awarded a Creswick Foundation Grant to disseminate Attachment Based Family Therapy for Adolescent Depression (ABFT). This empirically supported treatment model was developed by Prof. Guy Diamond, Prof. Gary Diamond and Dr. Suzanne Levy. ABFT is the only manualised, empirically informed family therapy model specifically designed to target family and individual processes associated with adolescent depression. It is a trust-based emotionally focused psychotherapy model that aims to repair interpersonal ruptures and rebuild an emotionally protective, secure-based parent-child relationship. She has continued to work with the ABFT model developers to disseminate the treatment in Australia, and has undertaken advanced training and supervision in the treatment model. In 2014 and 2015, Dr. Ingrid Wagner co-ordinated the dissemination of Introductory and Advanced Training ABFT Workshops in Brisbane, and currently co-ordinates the supervision with the USA for a group of Australian clinicians.

Clinical Services

Dr. Ingrid Wagner has worked in private practice since 2007, and in 2016 has moved into full time private practice. In her private practice she provides Family Based Treatment for Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa (Maudsley Model), Skills-Based Learning for Parents and/or other family members caring for a loved with an eating disorder, Parent Focused Treatment and Attachment Based Family Therapy for Adolescent Depression and as an adjunct to FBT.

FBT is the first line of treatment for a young person aged up to 18 years of age, who has anorexia nervosa. However, for some families, for a range of reasons, FBT is not the treatment of choice. For example, the young person may be out of the optimal age range for the treatment, it may not be possible for parents to bring the young person to treatment, the young person may have a disorder other than anorexia nervosa or the young person has weight recovered through FBT but has not been able to move into a normal adolescent life. In these circumstances another type of treatment maybe of more benefit to supporting recovery. The best course of treatment for your circumstances will be determined at an initial assessment interview.


Assessment will involve a standard interview with the young person and their parents. Psychometric tests will be used in the assessment to better understand behaviour and emotions, and to track progress. The initial assessment will be a 90 minute session, therapy sessions are 60 minutes in duration.

Family Based Treatment for Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa

This treatment involves all family members living in the household. In the initial phase of treatment the family attends weekly appointments, when the young person is sufficiently nutritionally restored the treatment appointments occur fortnightly, and the final phase of treatment is three to four sessions at four to six week intervals.

Skills Based Learning for Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder

This program is for parents, partners or extended family who want to gain a better understanding of their loved one’s eating disorder and learn skills to cope with and manage the impacts of the disorder. This skills based learning program is suitable for carers’ whose loved one has a long-standing disorder such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or atypical eating disorder and is aged over 18 years. The program has six modules which are delivered in weekly sessions. The program is usually delivered in a group format, however it is not always possible to run groups at the time when support is most needed, and the program is offered to carers in a format tailored to individuals and couples.

Parent Focused Therapy

This treatment maintains the principles of FBT, but the young person is not involved in the therapy session. The young person is seen separately by another practitioner to have their weight monitored and assess their medical stability. The focus and content of the parent sessions are the same as FBT but without the direct engagement and interaction with the young person.

Attachment Based Family Therapy

This treatment differs from those above in that it is emotionally focused rather than cognitively and behaviourally focused. ABFT is informed by attachment theory (Bowlby, 1969), which provides the over-arching framework for understanding and intervention. Family conflict, detachment and the rupture of relationships can cause, maintain or exacerbate depression in young people. ABFT aims to repair ruptures in the attachment relationship, and establish or resuscitate the secure base that is so important for adolescent development. This therapy involves the parent/s and the young person, initially in separate sessions for the young person to explore and gain an understanding of the ruptures, and for the parents to receive emotion focused skills coaching to support the relational repair. The sessions are weekly in the initial phase of treatment – with half of the session with the young person and the other half with the parent/s, before moving to joint sessions in the following phase of treatment.

Supervision and Training

Dr. Ingrid Wagner provides clinical supervision and training for clinicians within the public and private sector.