Last year my husband and I spent most of a year refeeding our older daughter, who was diagnosed with anorexia. I wrote an essay about our experiences, which will be published in the New York Times Magazine tomorrow, 11/26/06.
The approach we used is called the Maudsley approach. It was developed at the Maudsley Hospital in London in the 1980s, and is very successful at helping teens with anorexia (though I know of families who have used it to help young adults in their 20s too) recover. It's not easy, but then nothing about this disease is easy, especially for the person who suffers from it.
If you're interested in finding out more about the Maudsley approach, visit www.maudsleyparents.org, a website run by parent volunteers. There's a lot of great information on the site, including a basic introduction to Maudsley and a couple of personal stories from families who have used it. There's also a link to an online parents forum, which has been invaluable to me and my family as we have gone through this experience.
Another great site is www.eatingwithyouranorexic.com, which is run by Laura Collins. Collins wrote a book about how her family helped their daughter recover through Maudsley; I recommend it highly. Her book of the same name is available on Amazon.
I've begun to do some coaching and guidance for families who are going through this re-feeding process. If you're interested in finding out more about coaching, or just want to get in touch for whatever reason, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.