Eating Disorders: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with Children and Young People

Eating Disorders: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with Children and Young People

Eating Disorders: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with Children and Young People

Eating Disorders: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with Children and Young People


Eating disorders comprise a range of physical, psychological and behavioural features that often have an impact on social functioning and can invade most areas of the sufferer's life. Although eating and weight disorders are common in children and adolescents, there is a scarcity of practical guidance on treatment methods for eating disorders in young people.

In this book, Simon Gowers and Lynne Green bring together up-to-date research, clinical examples and useful tips to guide practitioners in working with young people, as well as helping families of children and adolescents to deal with their difficulties. Eating Disordersprovides the clinician with an introduction about how CBT can be used to challenge beliefs about control, restraint, weight and shape, allowing young people to manage their eating disorder. Chapters cover:

  • preparing for therapy
  • a CBT treatment programme
  • applications and challenges.

This practical text will be essential reading for mental health professionals, paediatric teams and those in primary care working with children and adolescents with eating disorders. It will benefit those working with both sufferers themselves and families who have difficulty understanding the disorder.


Eating disorders are fascinating mental health problems in a number of respects. in the current climate of increasing concern about the growth in rates of obesity, they highlight the ambivalent attitudes to eating and weight which are shared by many people and the problems which can arise from them. However, although weight and shape concerns are extremely common, particularly in young females, full-syndrome eating disorders are quite unusual in children and adolescents, and rates of referral to secondary care services are rarer still. Despite this, anorexia nervosa (AN) has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, and in the uk, it is currently the most prevalent disorder within inpatient child and adolescent mental health services (O’Herlihy et al., 2003). in many respects, it is the paradoxical nature of eating disorders which makes them so interesting; this includes the typical love–hate relationship with food, young persons’ investment in their disorder in the face of the physical and social disability it brings, and, consequently and crucially with respect to this book, young peoples’ characteristically ambivalent attitudes to treatment.

Eating disorders are by no means new phenomena; medical reports of an date back to the seventeenth century, and the Victorian physicians Gull and Lasegue both assembled enough patients to constitute sizeable case series. However, despite this lengthy history, the aetiology of eating disorders is complex and ill-understood, and, with the exception of adult bulimia nervosa (BN) (which was not described until the 1970s), there has been limited research into the development of effective treatments.

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