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Title: Memories of life before Anorexia Nervosa : a qualitative retrospective study
Author: Pitt, Sarah Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 1183
Awarding Body: University of the West of England
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2017
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The purpose of this research is to gain insight into the early experiences of those who have (or have had) Anorexia Nervosa, prior to the onset of symptoms. The study uses thematic analysis to analyse and identify themes in the data, taking a critical realist stance throughout. The researcher has personal experience of Anorexia Nervosa and is training as a counselling psychologist. Semi-structured interviews looking at memories from childhood were carried out. Interview questions covered topics concerning family relationships, peer group experiences and how participants perceived themselves as children. 14 adults (13 female, 1 male) took part, who self-reported as having experience of Anorexia Nervosa. Participants ranged from 20 to 48 years of age and were at varying stages of recovery. No participants were receiving in-patient care at the time of interview. Analysis of participants’ retrospective accounts of their childhoods led to three main themes; issues relating to relationships within the family, in particular parental relationships, issues concerning challenge and adversity in childhood, and finally participant’s views of themselves. The study aimed to give voice to those who have experience of Anorexia Nervosa. By identifying themes in participants’ accounts of childhood and drawing on existing literature, it has been possible to gain a deeper insight into the perceived effects of childhood experiences with regard to Anorexia Nervosa. The discussion highlights identity development as being a significant underlying issue for those who go on to develop Anorexia Nervosa. It then goes on to explore implications for practice within Counselling Psychology and the treatment of the disorder generally, including the need to provide clients presenting with Anorexia Nervosa with a facilitating environment for identity exploration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Couns.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Anorexia Nervosa ; retrospective ; identity