Eating disorders (EDs) are complex and treatment-resistant problems. Despite evidence-based methods like enhanced cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-E), the number of clients who do not respond positively to treatment is also remarkable. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy has been adapted for EDs. As far as it is known, no case study has been reported in which EMDR was integrated with CBT-E in the treatment of EDs. This study provides a detailed description of the treatment of a participant with bulimia nervosa (BN) who received 20 sessions of CBT-E followed by five sessions of EMDR with a focus on body image. Presenting symptoms were measured on the Eating Attitudes Test-26, Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire, Eating Disorder Belief Questionnaire, Bulimia Nervosa Stages of Change Questionnaire, and Body Satisfaction Scale. Results showed that the client had important improvements in terms of symptoms (binge-eating, restricting, and preoccupation with weight, shape, and eating) as well as motivation, body satisfaction, and social relations. This single case study provides preliminary evidence for the possible effectiveness of CBT-E plus EMDR in the treatment of BN. It also indicates that EMDR can make unique positive contributions to treatment. In this context, the use of EMDR as an integrative method appeared to increase the effectiveness of treatment results.
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Ergüney-Okumuş, F. E. (2021). Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 15(4), 231–243. https://doi.org/10.1891/EMDR-D-21-00012
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research