Psychotherapy and Family Treatment Approaches for Bulimia Nervosa

To date, systematic research in the treatment of bulimia nervosa has focused on adults. Significant progress has been made in understanding a range of efficacious treatments for adults with bulimia nervosa, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy, and antidepressant medications. In the largest clinical trial of psychological treatments for bulimia nervosa to date (N= 220), the mean age of participants was 28.1 (SD=7.2) years (Agras et al. 2000). In research studies of these treatment approaches, the average age of participants was 28.4 years, the duration of the disorder was approximately 10 years (Agras et al. 1992, 2000; Fairburn et al. 1986b; Wilson et al. 1991), and the cutoff age for entry was 18 years. Hence, the existing studies do not provide evidence about the effectiveness of CBT for adolescents with bulimia nervosa. Despite the fact that binge eating, purging, and many cases of bulimia nervosa begin during adolescence (Herzog et al. 1991; Lock et al. 2001b; Mussell et al. 1995; Stice and Agras 1998), the treatment of bulimia nervosa in adolescents has not been studied other than for CBT case series (Lock 2005; Schapman-Williams et al. 2006) and two recent RCTs (Le Grange et al. 2007; Schmidt et al. 2007).

Breaking Bulimia

Breaking Bulimia

We have all been there: turning to the refrigerator if feeling lonely or bored or indulging in seconds or thirds if strained. But if you suffer from bulimia, the from time to time urge to overeat is more like an obsession.

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