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Anorexia Nervosa

Focal Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

by Hans-Christoph Friederich, Beate Wild, Stephan Zipfel, Henning Schauenburg, Wolfgang Herzog

Print edition

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US $39.80
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Learn to apply focal psychodynamic psychotherapy, an evidence-based method shown to produce lasting changes for patients with anorexia nervosa.

  • A three-phase treatment supported by extensive empirical studies
  • Full of hands-on tips, real-life case studies, and clinical pearls
  • Precise assessment of psychodynamic structures and themes
  • Identify ego structural deficits
  • Printable tools for clinical use

More about the book

This manual presents an evidence-based focal psychodynamic approach for the outpatient treatment of adults with anorexia nervosa, which has been shown to produce lasting changes for patients.

The reader first gains a thorough understanding of the general models and theories of anorexia nervosa. The book then describes in detail a three-phase treatment using focal psychodynamic psychotherapy. It provides extensive hands-on tips, including precise assessment of psychodynamic themes and structures using the Operationalized Psychodynamic Diagnosis (OPD) system, real-life case studies, and clinical pearls. Clinicians also learn how to identify and treat typical ego structural deficits in the areas of affect experience and differentiation, impulse control, self-worth regulation, and body perception. Detailed case vignettes provide deepened insight into the therapeutic process. A final chapter explores the extensive empirical studies on which this manual is based, in particular the renowned multicenter ANTOP study. Printable tools in the appendices can be used in daily practice.

This book is of interest to clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, counselors, and students.

From the reviews

"Anorexia nervosa is the most lethal of all mental illnesses, with a mortality rate in excess of 16%. The authors describe the design and the results of the landmark ANTOP study – the first large-scale, randomized controlled trial assessing different psychotherapeutic approaches to the treatment of anorexia – [that] provided evidence for the efficacy of brief psychodynamic psychotherapy in anorexia treatment.
"Psychodynamic psychotherapy for eating disorders is not commonly used in North America [and so] practitioners will find this book an informative description of another evidence-based therapeutic modality. Throughout the book, the authors provide many clinical vignettes to illustrate their points. Each phase of the treatment is clearly described.
"I have used insights from this book to provide a fresh approach when treating a patient with anorexia who has not responded to other forms of treatment. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Eating Disorders (CBT-E) is the standard. However, many patients with anorexia have already been through CBT treatment, and are reluctant to continue with this approach. The psychodynamic approach has a particular focus on building the therapeutic alliance in the early stages of treatment.
"The authors have both research and clinical expertise in the treatment of anorexia and are leading experts in brief psychodynamic psychotherapy. This book represents a fascinating introduction to a therapeutic modality that many North American clinicians have never studied [and] would be a valuable resource for any clinician who treats this complex disorder."

Karen Trollope-Kumar, MD, PhD, CCFP, in Medical Psychotherapy Review, 27/1, 2020

"This volume describes an approach to anorexia nervosa that has been validated by controlled investigations. It is rich of practical details that make it useful to the clinician dealing with these patients."
Giovanni A. Fava, MD, in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, September 2019

"The book is well designed (graphics, layout, size) and easy to comprehend. To assist readers there are pull-out boxes with clinical vignettes highlighting the most common life-threatening conflicts and the most frequent structural foci. There are patient-therapist dialogues to potentially help readers experience the client’s experience of the conversation and their situation and the therapist’s response. Bulleted graphics, aka charts and pictures, highlight critical points made in the text. Illustrative case studies and examples of intervention strategies add to the readers’ understanding as well. [The book provides] an insider’s look at one treatment plan based on focal psychodynamic psychotherapy that is “shown to produce lasting changes for patients with anorexia nervosa”. It’s no miracle cure. But that wasn’t their intent. What they offer is a sound, peer reviewed study, and how it formed the basis for a manualized process to address this truly insidious disease that can be beyond challenging to address."
Nancy Eichhorn, in Somatic Psychotherapy Today, April 2019

Praise for the book

“This rich compendium of clinical practice and research, illustrated with case descriptions and treatment tips, is essential reading for all clinicians working with people with anorexia nervosa.”
Janet Treasure, OBE, PhD, FRCPsych, FRCP, Consultant at South London and Maudsley Hospital and Professor at King’s College London, UK

“This book provides scientific evidence for an approach that has a long-term impact on one of the most vexing psychiatric problems – anorexia nervosa. Anybody working or wanting to learn to work with these patients should read this.”
Jacques P. Barber, PhD, ABPP, Professor and Dean of Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology at Adelphi University, NY, USA

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