ERIC Number: ED236467
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Bulimia: A Model for Group Therapy.
Bauer, Barbara G.
Bulimia, an eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by purging and intense feelings of guilt and failure, is increasing among young women. The eating behavior is only a symptom of more complex underlying problems such as feelings of inadequacy, social isolation, depression, rigid thinking, self-defeating thoughts, and perfectionism. In order to investigate the effects of group therapy on bulimic women, 14 bulimic college students participated in one of two weekly counseling groups. The first group met for two semesters, while the second group met for the second semester only. The counseling sessions were led by a group facilitator who guided discussion toward dealing with the intensity that drives the eating behavior rather than dwelling on eating habits. Individual counseling was also available to all participants, and especially for those struggling with serious depression. Two recurrent themes in the group sessions were that of becoming the "responsible child" in the family at an early age and the feeling of having been let down by parents at a critical time. Successful therapeutic interventions included recognizing rigid thinking patterns, giving up control to get control, alternative coping skills to reduce tension, and recognizing and avoiding stress patterns that develop with premature "recovery". Based on data collected on the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT) and self-reports, most members of the longer running group reduced their binge eating behavior and changed their eating attitudes. In the shorter running group the number of binges per week decreased but the EAT scores remained constant. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Personnel and Guidance Association (Washington, DC, March 20-23, 1983).