Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Eating disorders-Treatment, Graphotherapy, Anorexia nervosa patients' writing-Psychological aspects, Bulimia patients' writings-Psychological aspects, Dialogue writing


This study emerged from the creation of dialogue writing, a new intervention for the treatment of eating disorders. A nascent intervention, the study investigated its feasibility as a form of treatment for eating disorders; specifically the study gathered data regarding the participant's experience with dialogue writing. The dialogue writing process involves writing a dialogue between the self and the eating disorder as personified in a character created by the participant. Nine women receiving treatment for eating disorders at a clinic participated in a group setting in the dialogue writing exercise, which was administered by the groups' regular facilitator. Although the exercise was presented in a group setting, the process was completed individually. After the exercise, the women completed a questionnaire with open ended questions regarding the ease or difficulty of following the instructions, their experience during the exercise and the effect, if any, it had on their relationship to their eating disorder. The findings of the research indicate the need for some alterations to the verbal instructions. Additionally, the intervention's ability to aid the participant in externalizing their eating disorder became evident. Issues of power and control in participants' relationships to their eating disorders emerged, as well as contradictions inherent in thought processes. Emotional responses were primarily mixed and varied for each client. The study also showed the effectiveness of the intervention in engaging participants in their own process regardless of their stage in treatment.




ii, 65 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 53-55)