Two Case Studies of Anorexia Nervosa

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Anorexia nervosa is (AN) eating disorder that makes those afflicted attempt and succeed at losing weight until they reach a state of malnourishment for their body size, age and height. Patients with anorexia nervosa have an acute fear of gaining even the slightest weight despite being exceptionally underweight. People who suffer from this disorder use various methods such as over-exercising or over-dieting to avoid gaining any more weight (A.D.A.M., 2013). This disorder has implications regarding one’s security, psychological, emotional, and most importantly, physical health. It can lead to death if too extreme because the patient lacks the intake of necessary nutrients to function. Two case studies describe individuals who try overcoming their emotional and psychological battles as they suffer from AN. Both case studies reveal strengths in their findings that have important future implications, but also limitations in the research design that may undermine the strength of the results.
A case study conducted by Dolhanty and Greenberg (2009) demonstrates an emotion-focused treatment approach and steps to a case formulation that serves as a guide for those suffering with anorexia nervosa (AN). The emotion-focused therapy (EFT) is introduced, its basic theory is described and the therapeutic procedure or course of the treatment is outlined in steps. In detail, the application of this treatment process is delineated through the case of a hospitalized 24-year-old woman suffering from AN. These steps along with the gestalt chair therapy transforms the individual as she discovers her inner experiences, deep underlying emotional struggles, insecure attachment, and feelings of worthlessness, especially in regards to her mother. As her the...

... middle of paper ... and yield highly similar, if not identical results. Therefore, further research such as empirically tested experiments with a large sample of anorexia nervosa patients, or perhaps cross-sectional or longitudinal methods would yield more confident and accurate findings.


A.D.A.M., Inc. (2013, February 26). Anorexia nervosa. Retrieved from:

Comer, R. J. (2014). Abnormal psychology. (8th ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

Dolhanty, J., & Greenberg, L.S. (2009). Emotion-focused therapy in a case study of anorexia nervosa. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 16, 366-382. doi: 10.1002/cpp.624

Scott, N., Hanstock, T. L., & Patterson-Kane, L. (2013). Using narrative therapy to treat eating disorder not otherwise specified. Clinical Case Studies, 12, 307-321. doi: 10.1177/1534650113486184
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