What do Women in Therapy for an Eating Disorder find Helpful? A Qualitative Study
Kelley, Jennifer Paige
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The purpose of this research was to explore what women who are, or have been, in therapy for an eating disorder find helpful about that therapy. Since the perspectives and voices of women in therapy are largely absent from the treatment literature, participants were asked to talk about their experiences in therapy, particularly those aspects they identified as helping them change in desirable ways. In-depth interviews were conducted with nine women and one therapist who treated each of them individually. Qualitative methods of analysis were employed that privileged the voices of participants and used the therapist's comments to add depth to the understanding of the results. The results of this research are organized to help clinicians arrange their thinking about how to work with clients who have eating problems. Five categories, or aspects, of helpfulness were created: relationship aspects, self of therapist aspects, within therapy aspects, outside therapy but related to treatment aspects, and having nothing to do with therapy aspects. Participants' voices are used to add depth and details to each of these aspects. Suggestions for therapists are included.
- Doctoral Dissertations