Advantages and Disadvantages of Self Help Programs for Eating Disorders

Self-help interventions may be particularly beneficial for individuals who work nonstandard hours (e.g., high-risk groups such as athletes and dancers) or who are physically unable or psychologically reluctant to seek help (e.g., shame or fear of stigmatization). In particular, adolescents and young adults with academic commitments and limited access to transportation may find the accessibility of self-help interventions appealing.

Self-help approaches are not a panacea, however. Text-based interventions may require high levels of literacy. Credibility of content and credentials is difficult to determine on many commercial Web sites. Most structured programs for eating disorders require extensive self-monitoring and the ability to generalize self-monitoring data to multiple contexts in daily life can be difficult for people with limited psychological sophistication or motivation.

Self-help approaches, as the initial treatment approach in stepped care models for eating disorders, are recommended by several experts who practice in the specialty area of eating disorders (Fairburn & Peveler, 1990; Garner & Needleman, 1996; National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, 2004; Williams, 2003; Wilson, Vitousek, & Loeb, 2000).

Breaking Bulimia

Breaking Bulimia

We have all been there: turning to the refrigerator if feeling lonely or bored or indulging in seconds or thirds if strained. But if you suffer from bulimia, the from time to time urge to overeat is more like an obsession.

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