Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Compulsive eating, Compulsive eating-Treatment, Self psychology, Cognitive therapy, Binge eating disorder, Eating disorders in DSM-5, Theories on binge eating disorder, Self psychology and binge eating disorder, Cognitive theory/CBT and binge eating disorder, Psychodynamic approaches to binge eating disorder


Binge Eating Disorder (BED), generally defined as a disorder with the central component of recurrent binge eating accompanied by marked distress, and without any accompanying compensatory behaviors to control for weight gain, has recently been formally recognized for the first time in the DSM-5, released in May 2013. This thesis traces the evolution of how BED has been understood and discussed as a DSM diagnosis over the course of about fifty years, after it was first identified not as an eating disorder, but as a phenomenon occurring only among overweight or obese populations seeking weight loss treatment. To contribute to the overall efforts of the mental health community seeking to further develop more specific and effective psychotherapeutic treatment approaches for BED, this thesis analyzes BED from the psychodynamic theoretical lens of self psychology and the more behaviorally-oriented lens of cognitive theory and its successor Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. These analyses are followed by an exploration of whether and how these two different theoretical perspectives could be blended.




iii, 162 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 147-162)