Trauma-Informed Approaches to Eating Disorders is clearly a much needed and long overdue book about treatment, written by a diverse group of clinicians and carefully edited to focus on the needs and strengths of clinicians. The complexities and challenges that undergird, surround, and even haunt the nature, diagnosis, treatment, management, and understanding of eating disorders (EDs)-in-relation-to-trauma are so great, even for veteran clinicians, that they can leave practitioners at any level of experience feeling helpless and exhausted. This book, in a way that would be appreciated by practitioners of acceptance and commitment therapy, accepts the reality of those feelings and is committed to improving treatment, understanding, and compassion. The book is designed to foster respect for complexity and link it to humility in the presence of tragedy, tribulations, and suffering, framed all too often by our own shortcomings as healers. EDs are dangerous, ubiquitous, usually chronic in nature, and difficult to treat. Anorexia nervosa (AN) has the highest fatality rate (4%) of any mental illness. Bulimia nervosa reveals a fatality rate of 3.9%. EDs offer an enormous challenge to therapists because of their complexity, which includes severe medical risk, co-occurring anxiety, depression and personality disorders, an addiction component, and body image distortion—all of this within a mediadriven culture of thinness in which starving and purging can for some become lifestyle choices. This complexity is further exacerbated by the presence of painful life experiences or trauma. The book elucidates the connection between trauma and EDs by offering a trauma-informed phase model, as well as chapters describing the ways in which various therapeutic models address each of those phases. It offers an in-depth exposition of a fourphase model of trauma treatment.
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- Go to chapter: Trauma-Informed Approaches to Body Image Disturbance: A Historical Review for a Holistic Future
The chapter analyzes the gestaltists view, psychoanalytic view, feminist and sociocultural views, and tries to come to some understanding of where one might be going in promoting change from body image disturbance (BID) to positive experience. The gestaltists sought to recognize the incredible power of the mind to organize information, so that one can effortlessly make sense of all we take in via one’s senses. The psychoanalytic view greatly helped our understanding of BID in various forms of psychopathology. However, the denial of the traumatizing effect of sexual abuse, it also greatly limited the potential for care. For many disorders, treatment models followed the historical sequence from psychoanalysis to behavioral to cognitive behavioral. The treatment of BID in eating disorder drew in one more viewpoint in1970s, that of the feminist view. Finally, the cognitivists sought to explore the internal processing that links cultural influence and learning history to psychopathology.