Specific Psychological Distress: Eating Disorders, General

The general section covers a broad selection of research on eating disorders.

Specific Psychological Distress

Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders (General)

Fairburn, C.G.; M.D. Marcus; G.T. Wilson (1993) 'Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Binge Eating and Bulimia Nervosa: A Comprehensive Treatment Manual', in Fairburn and Wilson (1993), pp. 361-404.

One of the standard treatment manuals for bulimia, and one which is employed in many empirical studies of the problem, this approach follows three stages 1) presentation of a cognitive view of the maintenance of bulimia, together with behavioural techniques for establishing stable patterns of regular eating; 2) the modification of beliefs and attitudes about stressors, negative automatic thoughts and body shape and weight; and 3) maintenance and prevention of relapse.

Fairburn, C.G. and G.T. Wilson, eds. (1993) Binge Eating: Nature, Assessment and Treatment. New York: Guilford Press.

The sixteen chapters of this book provide some of the most authoritative information available for clinicians working in the field of eating disorders, including the Eating Disorders Examination, the standard clinical interview for assessing eating disorders.

Gilbert, S. (2000) Counselling for Eating Disorders. London: Sage.

This book about cognitive behavioural approaches to eating disorders puzzles me... It contains a great deal of useful information (I found the chapter on nutritional aspects particularly interesting), but it's unclear to me exactly who the target audience might be: quite a bit of time is spent describing the basics of CBT and recounting empirical evidence in favour of its effectiveness, suggesting the book is aimed at those unfamiliar with the approach or with just a limited understanding; yet at the same time, the more detailed explanations of specific treatment approaches are not by any means sufficiently detailed to allow a therapist inexperienced in CBT to utilize the suggestions effectively. Readers without a firm grasp of CBT will not, in my view, learn how to approach eating disorders with this book -- although they may be motivated by it to learn more elsewhere. Readers who already have a firm grasp of the approach, on the other hand, will crave more detail than what is provided and will probably skip over much of the more basic information. Overall, the book is still very much worth reading for anyone with an interest in cognitive approaches to eating disorders, but it does not stand easily on its own.


This page was last reviewed by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Thursday, 3 November 2022.