AP Lit A2
April 18, 2012
Bulimia Nervosa: Argument
Although bulimia nervosa can be treated in multiple fashions, there is a specific treatment that is proven to be the most effective in not only bulimia nervosa, but also other anxiety related disorders. This effective treatment is an specific form of short term psychotherapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is productive in both reducing the amount of times one may purge in a day and diminishing the entire disorder altogether; it is a diverse set of problem specific interventions. According to Brian Sheldon, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a psychological approach for the treatment of family, personal, and mental problems. This technique is intended to help clients analyze existing patterns of thinking and emotional reactions (Agras et. al). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is preferred over other forms of treatment for Bulimia Nervosa because it promotes rational analysis of thoughts in the more positive direction. Overall CBT is related through a web of thoughts, feelings, and behavior. As Sheldon pointed out in his book, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, this treatment also promotes an examination of emotions and the consequences they have have for their behavior. CBT was designed to promote clients to test their fears and avoidance reactions in order to see what will happen if they react differently as opposed to purging. This treatment is based upon the characteristics and attitudes toward the weight of patients with bulimia nervosa, and is designed to change the patient's neurotic views toward shape and weight (Fairburn). Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy contains three connected phases. The first phase attains a main goal in which the patient must be educated about bulimia nervosa (or any disorder that he/she may acquire). The patient must also learn about the process in which he/she can maintain the disorder. This can be done through increasing the regularity of their eating along with outlining detailed records of the patient's food intake and purging incidences. The records will then produce the basis of each therapy session which leads into the second phase. After nine sessions of CBT (give or take), the psychologist will then initiate procedures to reduce dietary restraint by broadening food choices to the patient. Additionally, behavioral experiments will be used to identify and correct any dysfunctional avoidance behaviors related to weight, image, and eating. Finally, the third phase (the last three therapy sessions) is primarily concerned with the maintenance of change after the end of the treatment. The psychologist, along with the patient, construe many strategies to prevent relapse in order to prepare for any possible setbacks (Agras et. al). The origin of CBT began with cognitive behavioral couples interventions for depression, smoking, and anxiety disorders. This program was said assist the healthy partner in guiding his or her significant other on how best to seek recovery (Novotney). Clinical psychologist Donald H. Baucom stated "The partners are so grateful for the intervention because..they want to help but they don't know what to do when their partner just stops eating" as a response to the program that he initiated in North Carolina. Due to the successfulness of the treatment, many psychologists plan to develop similar programs for binge-eating disorder and bulimia (Novotney). Psychology professor Carolyn Black Becker PhD, initiated a two hour peer-led eating disorder prevention program entailed to improve body image perceptions The participants who attended this cognitive therapy showed less desire to be thin and were also more satisfied with their body types. In continuation, a workshop was held to help adolescent girls develop skills to adapt to their emotions toward a positive body image in order to reduce the rise of developing an eating disorder of any sort. This technical workshop was designed to go against boosting...
Cited: Agras, Stewart W, MD; Fairburn, Christopher G, MD; Kraemer, Helena C, PhD; Walsh, Timothy B, MD; Wilson, Terrence G, PhD. A Multicenter Comparison of Cognitive-Bahavioral Therapy and Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Bulimia Nervosa. American Medical Association. 2000.
Fairburn, Christopher G. Bulimia Nervosa: Antidepressant Or Cognitive Therapy Is Effective. British Medical Journal. Vol. 300, No. 6723, pp. 485-487. Feb. 24, 1990.
Killian, Kyle D. Fearing Fat: A Literature REview of FAmily Systems Understandings and Treatments of Anorexia and Bulimia. National Council on Family Relations. Vol. 43, No. 3, pp. 311-318. Jul. 1994.
Novotney, Amy. New Solutions: Psychologists are developing promising new treatments and conducting novel research to combat eating disorders. American Psychological Association. Vol. 40, No. 4, pp 46. April 2009.
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