Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia: How to Help

Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia: How to Help

Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia: How to Help

Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia: How to Help


Praise for the first edition:

"...this thoroughly researched and very detailed book provides the serious student of eating disorders with a great deal of useful and constructive provides a complete picture of the individual sufferer's dilemma and notes the wide-ranging behavioural patterns that can occur in these conditions... The authors have made extensive use of their own experiences {{of helping people recover}} which help to illustrate their findings in a most straightforward and enlightening manner." - British Review of Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa

"This brilliant book helped me and my family to see that the illness is so much more than an effort to control weight. Sharing the book could also provide you with an excellent channel of communication." - The Guardian

"...many therapists would benefit from reading this book. If more helpers treated their patients with the authors' degree of empathy and integrity, treatment of anorexia nervosa would take a huge step forward." - Society for the Advancement of Research into Anorexia

"...a detailed and comprehensive guide to theories of causation, intervention and therapy. It discusses methods of treatment, help, and self-motivation in this demanding field of psychology, medicine and counselling." - Nursing Textbook Review

This new edition continues the outstanding tradition of excellence for which Duker and Slade's Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia: How to Help is internationally recognised. Updated to meet contemporary concerns, this book is a 'must' for anyone who wants to do something practical about anorexia nervosa/bulimia.

Its unique contribution is the now widely acknowledged whirlpool theory which unifies the physiological and psychological aspects of the illness. This provides much needed alternatives for the helpers who are all too often drawn into coercing the sufferer to eat, which is psychologically destructive, or ignoring the physical aspects of the problem which can be dangerous. It also offers a basis for resolving continuing medical and legal dilemmas. To illustrate their approach, the authors draw extensively on their own research and many years of experience providing effective therapy. There is no other book that attends in such detail to the minute steps involved in leaving an anorexic/bulimic lifestyle behind.

As incidence of all forms of the illness continues to increase, this new edition is more relevant than ever.


This book is for anyone who wants to help a person who is anorexic or bulimic, and sufferers will also find it valuable. It is based on the 'starvation whirlpool' theory which we presented first in The Anorexia Nervosa Reference Book and outline here in Chapter 2. We show in detail how this theory applies in the practical task of providing help.

We consider anorexia nervosa and bulimia, and excessive exercising not as separate problems but as different physical and behavioural manifestations of the same 'anorexic', or food/body controlling, style of thinking. While it is essential to understand the nature of the condition, this on its own is not enough. A helper needs to know how to talk to a sufferer in a way that is likely to be constructive rather than exacerbate his or her problem, and we illustrate ways in which this may be achieved.

The book as a whole reflects the change there has been in the division of responsibility in caring for sufferers, and the tensions that continue in this respect. The change has occurred partly as a result of conceptual developments such as the starvation whirlpool theory, and partly as a result of growing medical consensus about physical aspects of the condition. For it is now generally appreciated that anorexia nervosa/bulimia and preoccupation with exercising belong to the same order of problems as drug addiction and alcoholism, and that like these it is a condition in which the individual's actions produce physical and psychological changes that are entrapping.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.