Comprehensive Guide to Interpersonal Psychotherapy

By Myrna M. Weissman; John C. Markowitz et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 21
Eating Disorders:
Bulimia and
Anorexia Nervosa

BULIMIA NERVOSA

Bulimia nervosa is defined in DSM-IV ( American Psychiatric Association, 1994) by recurrent episodes of binge eating, accompanied by a perceived loss of control over eating during the episode, and followed by recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior such as self-induced vomiting or misuse of laxatives, fasting, or excessive exercise.

IPT has been used in two acute clinical trials for bulimia. In the first, Fairburn at Oxford University used IPT as an individual treatment for bulimia without significant adaptation to the particularities of the disorder. Beyond some initial psychoeducation, eating problems were not addressed in the psychotherapy ( Fairburn et al., 1991, 1993; Fairburn, 1998). The other study was the first attempt to use IPT as a group therapy for any psychiatric diagnosis ( Wilfley et al., 1993).


RATIONALE

Bulimia is a prevalent and morbid condition, particularly among young women. Pharmacotherapy provides some but often limited benefit. Among psychotherapies, only cognitive behavioral therapy had received much out-

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