Integrative Dynamic Therapy for Bulimia Nervosa: An Evidence-Based Case Study

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Abstract

Both cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic psychotherapy are commonly used to treat eating disorders. To further investigate the effectiveness of integrative dynamic therapy (IDT) for bulimia nervosa (BN), our research group undertook a randomized, controlled pilot study comparing IDT with CBT for BN. The case described here was selected from a sample of N = 38 female patients with the symptoms of BN who enrolled in the study. IDT incorporated aspects of the first 4-week stage of CBT, including psychoeducation, self-monitoring, and regular eating. Subsequently, the treatment focused on emotional expression, emotion regulation (defenses), intrapsychic conflict, and interpersonal relationships. The objectives of the report are to demonstrate the effectiveness of an integrative approach to the treatment of eating disorders to address the symptoms of BN and personality issues using pre-, mid-, and posttreatment data, and to illustrate the patient and clinician reactions to each approach to treatment using excerpts from session transcripts and alliance data.

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