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Exploring the Role of Counselling in Young Women’s Healing from Disordered Eating

Date

2016-06-23

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

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Type

Thesis

Degree Level

Masters

Abstract

A key element influencing the healing process for women experiencing disordered eating is the incorporation of counselling. However, there is limited qualitative research on the impact of counselling on women’s healing from disordered eating. The purpose of this study was to investigate what six young women, aged 26 to 30 years, with a history of disordered eating found helpful in their counselling experience. Narrative inquiry, specifically descriptive narrative thematic analysis was used for this study. Young women who were no longer attending counselling and who identified as healed or healing from disordered eating were recruited for participation in individual semi-structured research interviews. Participants shared their personal story of healing from disordered eating and the role that counselling played in their efforts to heal. Each interview was audio taped, transcribed, and analyzed based on Lieblich, Tuval-Mashiach, and Zilber’s (1998) Holistic Content Analysis. Results suggest the importance of certain counsellor qualities and the therapeutic relationship to women’s healing from disordered eating. The therapeutic relationship fostered expanded understanding of the experience (attitudes and behaviors) and consequences of participants’ disordered eating and provided them with a safe space to explore new ways of being with themselves and others. Women’s stories also revealed ‘defining moments’ that occurred during the counselling process that impacted their ability to heal. Suggestions for future research and implications for counselling practice are identified.

Description

Keywords

disordered eating, eating disorders, healing, counselling, psychotherapy

Citation

Degree

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Department

Educational Psychology and Special Education

Program

School and Counselling Psychology

Advisor

Citation

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