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A nontoxic therapy helps eating disorder patients

Harold Mandel's picture
Obsessed with thinness

Research has revealed dissonance based therapy helps eating disorder patients.


Eating disorders can be life threatening. A dissonance based eating disorder program seems to offer a good nontoxic treatment for eating disorders.

Many women die from eating disorders

Cornell College reports researchers have found help for patients with eating disorders. This is very significant in view of the large number of women who die from eating disorders.

A dissonance based eating disorder program was used by the researchers

Along with her team Professor of Psychology Melinda Green examined 47 women in Eastern Iowa who were suffering from eating disorder symptoms. The women were recruited via social media, fliers which were posted in practitioners’ offices, local schools, and announcements placed in local media. What is called a dissonance based eating disorder program was used by the researchers.

Professor Green says this intervention encouraged women to be critical of messages which teach girls and women that to be considered beautiful you have to be thin. It is also taught how girls and women can fight off social messages which teach us that our appearance defines our worth.

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There were less eating disorder symptoms seen in the women who took part in this program

According to Professor Green there were less eating disorder symptoms seen in the women who took part in this program. There were also lower levels of anxiety and less negative emotions seen in these women. These women overall displayed better self-esteem and more satisfaction with their bodies.

The women who took part in the dissonance based eating disorder program were also not as likely to idealize a thin body-type and they were less likely to see their self-worth as depending on their appearance. These women also had less of a likelihood of displaying several cardiac risk factors which are associated with eating disorders.

It is the position of Professor Green that her program has a positive impact on women who are struggling with eating disorders. She feels the results assist in sharing information about the most effective practices in treatment and prevention of eating disorders.

This study has been published in Health Psychology. A dissonance based eating disorder program has been found to be effective in lowering eating disorder symptoms and cardiac risk. This offers hope for a nontoxic drug free approach to dealing with the very difficult problem of eating disorders.