Anorexia Nervosa


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Treatment Summary: Assist client to take steps to regain normal body weight, restore physical health avoid the behaviors that caused, the disorder. Treatment could require hospitalization and family therapy might be needed. As clinicians, it is important to be stern and direct with the clients to insure the seriousness of the disorder is understood.

  • Reference: Sheafor B.& Horejsi C.2006.Social Work Practice.Boston, Ma.Pearson
  • Submitter: Rose Singletary

Psychotherapy, nutritional counseling, exercise management and others

Treatment Summary: With Anorexia or similar eating disorders, identify the severity of the patient to determine the treatment location first. If patient has a severe case, identified by very low BMI and/or psychologically unstable, inpatient care is the determinant (hospitalization or day treatment). Exercise may have to be restricted or stopped. Counseling introduced. If patient is not severe, still can have outpatient hospital care, Counseling and Exercise management.

  • Reference: Dilip R. Patel, Helen D. Pratt and Donald E. Greydanus, (2003). Treatment of Adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa: Journal of Adolescent Research, 18 (244), 244-258.
  • Submitter: James Sweeney

Art Therapy

Treatment Summary: Art Therapy is used in conjunction with in/out-patient treatments that can be psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, humanist/existential, or Family systems based. The whole goal of art therapy whether conducted in the form of drawing, painting, sand play, dramatic acting is to give the therapist a peek inside of the clients thoughts and feelings. The goal is to evoke motor and emotional responses from the client as they project their inner world into the art spontaneous. Holmqvist & Lundqvist-Persson (2012) state that there are three categories: art therapy, art psychotherapy and analytical art psychotherapy. It is thought that by using art as the expressive method, the healing process can be assisted or even started.

  • Reference: Holmqvist, G., & Holmqvist-Persson, C. (2012). Is there evidence for the use of art therapy in treatment of psychosomatic disorders, eating disorders and crisis? A comparative study of two difference systems of evaluation. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 53, 47-53. Doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2011923.x
  • Submitter: N/A

Adolescent-focused psychotherapy and Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Treatment Summary: Cognitive-behavioral therapy has proven effective as a relapse prevention method. It dually focuses on changing the patient's negative thoughts about their weight and body image, and their eating behaviors, including binge eating, purging, excessive dieting, or complete refusal to consume food. Phase one focuses on specific strategies to address the patient's unique behaviors that put them at risk for relapse. Phase two addresses techniques to help the patient change their harmful ways of thinking. Phase three uses a schema-based approach to address important issues connected to the underlying causes of the eating disorder, such as self-esteem, developmental changes, and family and peer concerns. In addition to the individual sessions, the patients' family members should also be incorporated to further support the patient (Carter et al., 2009).

  • Reference: Carter, J., McFarlane, T., Bewell, C., Olmsted, M., Woodside, D., Kaplan, A., & Crosby, R. (2009). Maintenance treatment for anorexia nervosa: A comparison of cognitive behavior therapy and treatment as usual. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 42, 202-207. Fitzpatrick, K., Moye, A., Hoste, R., Lock, J., & Le Grange, D. (2010). Adolescent focused psychotherapy for adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 40, 31-39.
  • Submitter: Sarah Duke
Virtual Advisor