Effects Of Multifaceted Group Therapy With A Feminist Orientation On Self Esteem, Depression And Binge-Purging Of Bulimic Women (anorexia Nervosa, Eating Disorders)

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology


The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of multifaceted group therapy from a feminist orientation on levels of self esteem, depression and binge-purging of bulimic women. Thirty-five women who met the diagnostic criteria of DSM III for bulimia formed four groups which met once a week for thirty weeks. Nine subjects dropped out of treatment, reducing the number of experimental subjects to twenty-six.The theoretical foundations of object relations theory, social learning theory and group psychotherapy underlie the development of the treatment. The treatment created for this research was designed to reach the following goals: to provide insight into the psychological conflicts underlying the bulimic symptoms; to provide practice in alternative methods to handle difficult situations; to reestablish more normal eating habits; and to correct distortions of body image and develop more positive body cathexis. Treatment consisted of experiential, behavioral and didactic components.The repeated measures design was utilized in this study. The Tennessee Self Concept Scale, Beck Depression Inventory and Bulimia Self Monitoring Chart was administered pretreatment, 10th week, 20th week and the final week of treatment. The data were analyzed by f values to test for significant changes in self esteem, depression and binge-purging behavior. Results indicated (a) significant effect for treatment length on level of self esteem (F (3,48) = 8.36 p < .001) (b) significant effect for treatment length on level of depression (F (3,48) = 11.86 p < .001) (c) significant effect for treatment length on level of bulimic behavior (F (3,48) = 11.70 p < .001).In conclusion, all of the indices of change followed in this analysis reveal shifts towards more positive self esteem, lower levels of depression and a decrease in bulimic episodes. These results provide some preliminary information on the effectiveness of guided imagery, movement and behavioral techniques in the treatment of bulimia.


Psychology, Clinical

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