Improving Psychotherapy for Anorexia Nervosa: Introduction to the Special Section on Innovative Treatment Approaches

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Abstract

The available forms of psychotherapy for anorexia nervosa (AN) are helpful to many patients; however, a substantial proportion of adults with AN continues to show persistent symptoms and medical risks following treatment. Clinical investigators are therefore developing innovative adjunctive treatments for adults, to augment treatment effects. The 3 cases in this special section each demonstrate a creative, potent adjunctive treatment approach: Exposure and Response Prevention, Cognitive Remediation Therapy, and Unified Couples Therapy. In addition to demonstrating the treatment and response, the authors also discuss the important opportunities and struggles associated with the experience of providing each treatment for AN. Because adults with AN are often very attached to symptoms, and afraid of change, it is crucial to develop a basis for the therapeutic alliance and motivation to change. In these detailed, vivid, evidence-based case examples, the authors demonstrate highly distinct, innovative approaches to these issues.

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