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Anorexia and Bulimia


Therapist competency is fundamental to the success in treating most psychological disorders. However, the skills required to effectively treat eating disorders may be more demanding than for many other psychological disorders because achieving competency requires familiarity with a body of scientific knowledge covering areas that are not generally a part of clinical training. Information on nutrition, dieting, biology of weight regulation, physical complications, and culture must be added to an understanding of more general psychological themes pertinent to eating disorders. Various theoretical approaches have been developed against which therapist competency can be evaluated in the treatment of eating disorders; however, this chapter describes the cognitive behavioral framework because it is the most popular and best researched. Prominent themes from the cognitive perspective include: 1) idiosyncratic beliefs related to food and weight; 2) specific reasoning