Group-analytic therapy for eating disorders: preliminary results in a single-group study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: There is a lack of empirical data on the effectivenessand process of group-analytic therapy in eating disorders. Thissingle-group study aimed to explore the effectiveness of suchtreatment for anorexic and bulimic individuals.Method: Eight patients (three anorexic and five bulimic women)entered group-analytic treatment, meeting weekly for 2 years.Eating behaviours, overall psychological distress and group processvariables were regularly assessed using quantitative andqualitative measures, with comparisons made at the beginningand end of the therapy.Results: Treatment was discontinued in two cases. When outcomewas classified on the basis of reliable change and clinical significancefor the remaining patients at the end of treatment, four wererecovered in terms of overall psychological distress, while one wasunchanged and one had deteriorated. In terms of eating disordersymptoms, three patients were recovered, two were unchanged andone had deteriorated. Patients experienced an overall positivegroup climate and a positive group alliance. Perception of beingunderstood by the therapist appeared to play an important role inthe therapeutic process.Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that groupanalytictherapy may be effective in helping patients with eatingdisorders. However, more work is needed before firm conclusionscan be drawn. Implications for clinical practice and future researchare discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-310
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Publication statusPublished - 2008


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this