The Anorexia Workbook
About the Book
Statistics suggests that as many as 2.5 percent of American women suffer from anorexia; of these, further research indicates that one in ten of these will die from the disorder. This is the only book available that addresses the particular needs of anorexics with the techniques of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), a revolutionary new psychotherapy. The authors of this book are pioneering researchers in the field of ACT, with numerous research articles to their credit
Despite ever-widening media attention and public awareness of the problem, American women continue to suffer from anorexia nervosa in greater numbers than ever before. This severe psychophysiological condition-characterized by an abnormal fear of becoming obese, a persistent unwillingness to eat, and severe compulsion to lose weight-is particularly difficult to treat, often because the victims are unwilling to seek help. The Anorexia Workbook demonstrates that efforts to control and stop anorexia may do more harm than good. Instead of focusing efforts on judging impulses associated with the disorder as 'bad' or 'negative,' this approach encourages sufferers to mindfully observe these feelings without reacting to them in a self-destructive way. Guided by this more compassionate, more receptive frame of mind, the book coaches you to employ various acceptance-based coping strategies.
Structured in a logical, step-by-step progression of exercises, the workbook first focuses on providing you with a new understanding of anorexia and the ways you might have already tried to control the problem. Then the book progresses through techniques that teach how to use mindfulness to deal with out-of-control thoughts and feelings, how to identify choices that lead to better heath and quality of life, and how to redirect the energy formerly spent on weight loss into actions that will heal the body and mind. Although this book is written specifically as self-help for anorexia sufferers, it includes a clear and informative chapter on when you need to seek professional treatment as well as advice on what to look for in a therapist.
Books by Michelle Heffner
Books by Georg H. Eifert
Books by Steven C. Hayes
"Drawing on Hayes’s principles of acceptance and action, Michelle Heffner and Georg Eifert have produced a remarkably useful book, full of easily understood but not simplistic principles for self-change. Individuals experiencing anorexia, as well as their therapists, families, and friends can find useful wisdom in this book, reassured that it draws on new but sound principles in clinical psychology."
—Ian M. Evans, PhD, fellow of the American Psychological Association and Royal Society of New Zealand, and author of Non-Aversive Intervention for Behavior Problems
"This is an engaging and highly readable book for those hoping for a different perspective on a problem that is difficult to treat. The Anorexia Workbook is a life-affirming and soothing guide that teaches the art of accepting and letting go as a way to a healthy lifestyle. Rather than focusing on what is wrong, it helps the reader find the path to what is right through wonderful metaphorical images, written exercises, and active participation.I enjoyed reading this book from start to finish and learned as much about treating anorexia using ACT as about ACT itself. I actually used some of what I learned in a session with a student immediately after reading the book. This is great stuff and a gem for patients and clinicians alike!"
—Jeanne M. Walker, PhD, director of Psychological Counseling Services at Chapman University in Orange, CA
"This beautifully written book challenges the change agenda so often emphasized in the treatment of eating disorders. Instead, it focuses on acceptance, choice, and making commitments to living consistent with one’s values and goals. The person-focused perspective, coupled with numerous examples and exercises, provide a wonderful guide for those wishing to consider an alternative to the trap of struggle and control over body image, food, and weight. The reader will find a fresh and empowering perspective on what it means to live a full, rich, and valued life and how to go about doing just that."
—John P. Forsyth, PhD, director of the Anxiety Disorders Research Program at SUNY, Albany
"This workbook will be a great resource for people whose lives are affected by anorexia. It is easy to read, well structured, and compassionate. It takes people on a journey, helping them to travel beyond anorexia towards a more valued life path. Importantly, the workbook techniques have been supported by substantial scientific research. This book is an excellent investment and will be of benefit for years to come."
—Joseph Ciarrochi, PhD, senior lecturer of psychology at the University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, and associate editor of Cognition and Emotion
"ACT is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received during my education and training as a doctor and general psychiatrist in private practice. ACT has the credentials of a sound scientific foundation and, as a functional approach, it allows practitioners to design highly flexible interventions with different patient populations even under the severe time constraints of a busy practice. Instead of focusing on symptoms and pathology, this treatment brings real life, values, and humanity into the doctor’s office.With this marvelous book, Ms. Heffner and Dr. Eifert present ACT to the lay public for the first time. They do so in an excellent and very convincing way with a disorder that is notoriously difficult to deal with for patients and professionals alike. Highly recommended."
—Rainer F. Sonntag, MD, psychiatrist and psychotherapist in private practice in Olpe, Germany
“Michelle Heffner and Georg Eifert have done a wonderful job in applying ACT to anorexia. I believe that the practical exercises and advice in this book can certainly help people who want their lives no longer be ruled by anorexia. In particular, this book offers an avenue of hope and encouragement that is not only ultimately humane but completely different from other scientifically-driven approaches to the problem of anorexia. I have no doubt that it will transform the lives of many people.”
—Frank W. Bond, Ph.D., senior lecturer of psychology at Goldsmiths College, University of London