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Title: Emotional processes and relationships in eating disorders
Author: Dawson, Laura
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 3708
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2012
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Anorexia and bulimia are serious mental health problems. Guidelines (2004) from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) highlight how disabling these eating disorders can be as they have an impact on mood, self-esteem, social relationships and physical health. Both disorders are associated with a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease (Lissner et al., 1991) and the mortality rate for anorexia is estimated to be three times higher than other psychiatric problems (Nieslen, 2001). This may partly explain why eating disorders are subject to extensive research. This thesis focuses on areas that have attracted less attention. Chapter one examines literature on the impact of fathers on daughters’ disordered eating patterns. Studies suggested that paternal personality traits and daughters’ perception of this relationship affect eating behaviours. It remains unclear whether paternal variables act as specific risk factors or are risk factors for the development of psychopathology more generally. Longitudinal research is needed to establish this. Chapter two explores how changes in emotional processes and emotions affect the trajectory of anorexia and bulimia. This study involved interviewing eight therapists about their experiences and creating a grounded theory that illustrated the trajectory of both disorders from an emotion-focused perspective. According to therapists, the eating disorder appeared to function as an emotional regulation strategy that helped clients suppress or avoid emotions. Clinicians reported that emotional processes and clients’ relationship to their emotions changed during therapy. Individuals appeared to find alternative ways of managing emotions and these changes seemed to support the journey of recovering. Chapter three offers a reflective account on pertinent issues which arose while conducting the research study. This paper includes reflections on methodological considerations, ethical issues and the impact of this study on my practice as a trainee clinical psychologist.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; RC Internal medicine