Anorexia nervosa (AN) tends to be a chronic and deadly disorder with no proven treatments that reverse core symptoms in adults. New insight into neurobiological mechanisms that contribute to symptoms may support development of more effective interventions. We describe the development of a temperament-based treatment for AN on the basis of empirically supported models. It uses a systemized approach and takes into consideration an understanding of how neurobiological mechanisms are expressed through behaviour and personality and contribute to specific AN symptomatology. This model integrates the development of AN-focused constructive coping strategies with carer-focused strategies to manage temperament traits that contribute to AN symptomatology. This intervention is consistent with the recent Novel Interventions for Mental Disorders initiative mandating that treatment trials follow an experimental medicine approach by identifying underlying mechanisms that are directly targeted by the intervention to influence symptoms. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.