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Applying Erikson’s Developmental Theory to the Recovery of Eating Disorders Dr. Catherine Gillespie and Ashley Fee ABSTRACT This study investigates women’s.

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Presentation on theme: "Applying Erikson’s Developmental Theory to the Recovery of Eating Disorders Dr. Catherine Gillespie and Ashley Fee ABSTRACT This study investigates women’s."— Presentation transcript:

1 Applying Erikson’s Developmental Theory to the Recovery of Eating Disorders Dr. Catherine Gillespie and Ashley Fee ABSTRACT This study investigates women’s experiences of recovery from a qualitative standpoint. It examines women’s reports of their recovery from eating disorders in light of Vogel- Scibilia’s (2009) adaptation of Erikson’s stage theory to recovery from mental illness. Participants in this study are asked to complete two diagnostic measures. A Brief Mood Introspection Scale (BMIS) survey is completed, independently, before the interview process begins as well as the Eat-26 survey. One-on-one semi-structured interviews takes place between the experimenter and the participant after the BMIS and Eat-26 survey is completed. Each interview lasts approximately 90 minutes. There are 13 questions that are asked by the experimenter that pertain to the initial diagnosis of their disorder, their past and/or current treatment, and their views on recovery. This is a qualitative study that is analyzed using the model for recovery that mirrors Erikson’s theory of development. INTRODUCTION & HYPOTHESIS There has been a reoccurring problem of not having a consistent definition of recovery throughout studies, causing studies and their results to be incomparable (Noordenbos, 2011; Courturier, 2006; Barton-Cone, 2010; Stice, 2009). Patients define recovery as more than weight restoration but also psychological, emotional, and social well-being (Malson, 2011). Other studies have agreed that a broader understanding of recovery-definitions including psychological functioning-have contributed to a more successful recovery of patients (Bardon-Cone, 2010; Malson, 2011; Fitzsimmons, 2010). Studies have shown that women define a full recovery by whether or not they have regained control of their lives, reconnecting with life, and achieving self- acceptance (Patching, 2009). This research study takes a new template paralleling Erikson’s theory of development to the process of recovery. This model for recovery has not yet been applied to eating disorders, so our goal for this study is to try and verify whether or not the recovery of an eating disorder can mirror this model. By further understanding the process of recovery in an eating disorder, therapists and specialists can be more aware of how to track the recovery of an eating disorder. MATERIALS AND METHODS Participants in this study are asked to complete two diagnostic measures. A Brief Mood Introspection Scale (BMIS) survey is completed, independently, before the interview process begins. The survey puts the participant into one of eight classes: happy, loving, calm, energetic, fearful/anxious, angry, tired, or sad. Participants are also asked to complete the EAT-26 survey independently. One- on-one semi-structured interviews take place between the experimenter and the participant. Each interview lasts approximately 90 minutes. There are 13 questions that are asked by the experimenter that pertain to the initial diagnosis of their disorder, their past and/or current treatment, and their views on recovery. Along with the questions, participants are asked to complete a small activity. They are given slips of paper containing the descriptive words from the recovery stages that parallel Erikson’s stages of development (trust, doubt, hope, shame, empowerment, guilt, action, inaction, new self, sick self, intimacy, isolation, purpose, passivity, integrity, and despair). The participant then are asked to place the most applicable words under the columns they believe they best belong according to their experience with an eating disorder. The columns include “where I was”, “where I am”, “where I hope to be”, and “not applicable”. One experimenter is asking the questions, while the other experimenter records the interview via video camera and types out the responses of the interviewees. The interviews are analyzed using the recovery stages which parallel Erik Erikson’s stages of development. Depending on the responses from the interview and the chosen words under each column, participants are sorted into one of the eight stages of recovery: trust vs. doubt, hope vs. shame, empowerment vs. guilt, action vs. inaction, new self-vs. sick self, intimacy vs. isolation, purpose vs. passivity, or integrity vs. despair. It is important to note that this process is not a linear process like Erikson’s stages of development and the transition between stages is not always clear. This being said there can be participants that have at one point been in a higher stage of recovery and have dropped to a lower stage, or there can be participants that fall somewhere between two stages. By analyzing the words placed under the specified columns and the explanations given by the participants, the are able to analyze which phase of recovery the participant is in. AN ERICKSONIAN STAGE THEORY OF RECOVERY Trust vs. Doubt Hope vs. Shame Empowerment vs. Guilt Action vs. Inaction New Self vs. Sick Self Intimacy vs. Isolation Purpose vs. Passivity Integrity vs. Despair ERICKSON’S STAGES OF PSYCHOSOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Trust vs. Mistrust Autonomy vs. Shame/Doubt Initiative vs. Guilt Industry vs. Inferiority Identity vs. Role Confusion Intimacy vs. Isolation Generativity vs. Stagnation Ego Integrity vs. Despair


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