Women are constantly bombarded with images that advertise unrealistic beauty standards. These negative portrayals of women often lead to negative self-esteem, body dissatisfaction, unhealthy dieting, extreme exercising and—in more extreme cases—the development of eating disorders (ED). When treating EDs, practitioners often turn to Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT) as the first choice of intervention, but this treatment option lacks the key element of social support. This paper looks to create a model for planning a support group that balances CBT techniques with social support elements. Elements such as self-monitoring, progressive relaxation, homework, goal setting, and psychoeducation will be pulled from CBT models and implemented in a less-structured, more holistic, support group setting. Practitioners will utilize different assessment tools to monitor measures of self-esteem, depression, eating attitudes, and social support. The goal of this support group would be to see a decrease in depression and an increase in social support, self-esteem, and positive eating attitudes.
Dr. Jamie Stuart
First Advisor Department
Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Dr. Peggy Adams
Second Advisor Department
Sims, Jennifer, "Peers Helping Peers: A Model for Planning a Support Group for Women Struggling with Eating Disorders" (2015). Honors Projects. 179.