Article Review in Clinical Psychology Journal Essay


This paper discusses the Anorexia Nervosa as an eating disorder which is increasingly proliferating in the United States up to the present. A discussion of the disorder’s symptoms, prevalence rate, course and several other factors influenced by Anorexia among individuals are also emphasized as the foci of this paper. Further, this article suggests that an alternative approach called the “Maudsley” or the Family Based Treatment approach is an effective treatment method since it is more promising in results of treating the unhealthy eating habit of the adolescent rather than the conventional inpatient admission for hospitalization.

Moreover, the Maudsley approach is outpatient procedure—this would then lead to encourage the participation of all the family members to motivate and guide the Adolescent (anorexic patient) and therefore, builds up the comfort and esteem of the patient to trust one’s family and cooperate with them through the active discourse with the therapist and family for quicker desired results in patients.

Article Review in Clinical Psychology Journal


            Eating could be a challenge for a mentally and physically disturbed Anorexic. An anorexic is a person who suffers from a mental and psychiatric disorder called Anorexia Nervosa (FHE, 2009). In 1980, Anorexia Nervosa became a serious concern for the citizens in America. In fact, a survey conducted in 1970 showed that the cases of Anorexic patients increased twice summing up to 90% among women inflicted with the disorder. However, it was estimated at present that one percent of the Anorexics are comprised of White-American women. Further, it is to put into account that Anorexia is not exclusive among women; survey also shows that men are also suffering from Anorexia and they are continuously being inflicted with the disorder even today (FHE, 2009).

Description of Anorexia Nervosa

            Anorexia Nervosa or the eating disorder which is mostly among females, is described by a patient’s attitude of fearing an increase of body weight, starving and depriving oneself of food, and misrepresenting one’s vision of his/her own physique. Anorexia nervosa is a compulsive reaction towards one’s own body caused by intense emotional problem which leads the anorexic person to dislike one’s physical build up. Furthermore, Anorexia is characterized into two types: (1) first type is the excessive diet and extreme exercise; (2) second is the binging—which is too much food intake in a matter of short time; and purging—which is the forced ejection of the food swallowed by means of vomit or excretion clear one’s stomach (FHE, 2009). Moreover, due to the increased prevalence of Anorexic patients, a new alternative outpatient treatment or the Maudsley approach was proposed for more promising results aside from the conventional. relapsing and inconvenient inpatient treatment where the patient sacrifices one’s social, familial, and academic engagements for recovery in the hospital (Eisler, et. al., 2000).


Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa

            The disorder, Anorexia Nervosa diverges in its symptoms. For others, the visible symptoms may be intense while for some, the symptoms are intricate. For most Anorexic patients, their body seems to be extremely thin; they are most likely to have dry skin which is yellowish in color, and most of all, the Anorexics have blood pressure which are far below than the normal rate of blood pressure. Another symptom of Anorexia is the instance for females in their adolescents who have Amenorrhea (delayed menstruation or inability to menstruate)—they are more likely to be diagnosed with Anorexia as well. In addition, Anorexics usually complain their frequent stomach ache, inability or difficulty in bowel movement (constipation), frequent depleted energy, shivers, the appearance of lanugo in the body (downy body hair), the damaging of the white substance covering the teeth’s enamel which is brought about by frequent vomiting (FHE, 2009).

Prevalence of Anorexia Nervosa

            The counts or prevalence of those anorexic patients were estimated to one (1) percent among the adults, ranging from .5 – 3.7 percentage among women, and one (1) percent among young females. Overall, the prevalence rate of the disorder was estimated to approximate 10 percent in two-hundred seventy two thousand 272, 000 occupants in the United States (HGI, 2009). Further, among the 25 percentage of Anorexic patients, almost all (100%) suffers from other diseases/difficulties including the following: loss of weight, inability to menstruate (Amenorrhea among young females, hyperactive attitude, fixation (overly obsessed but regretful of eating food) on food, difficulty in bowel movement (constipation), having a bloated stomach, frequent stomach ache, and frequent nausea/ vomiting, vertigo (or unexplainable sever headache and dizziness, loss of hair, easily gets injuries/ bruises, chills, stress, weakness of the muscles, and etc (HGI, 2009).

Course of the Disorder Anorexia Nervosa

            In the disorder Anorexia Nervosa, it was evident that such course of the disorder varies among individuals. In some studies, it was estimated that 80 percent among the Anorexic patients suffer for as long as 15 years; Moreover, a range of 6 to 20 percent among the inflicted Anorexic patients are more prone to death due to such disorder. Consequentially, Anorexic patients (may it be a male or female Anorexic patient), are also likely to endure the emotional/mental and physical disorder perpetually should they not choose to consult a therapist and avail themselves of treatment. Meanwhile, there is still a probability of regaining weight and recovering one’s attitude towards eating through the help of a therapist, family, and friends, in an outpatient treatment session. However, an individual diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa should be treated on the onset of the diagnosis, as long as it is still early for it is more incline to total and complete recovery and without a relapse in comparison to individuals who are diagnosed with the disorder during their adulthood years (HGI, 2009).

Gender, Age/ Cultural features [As discussed in the DSM – IV]

Gender, age, and cultural features are important factors to consider in dealing with the prevalence of Anorexia Nervosa. As discussed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-IV edition), specified the diagnoses of such eating disorder: young boy/ girl having severe loss of weight and food deprivation, hyperactive attitude, difficulty in bowel movement, refusing to gain normal weight which leads to stunted growth and anemia, females getting pregnant at a very early age, having diseases like: hormonal (thyroid) imbalance, inflammation of one’s respiratory passageway (tuberculosis), diseases in the heart valves, Addison’s disease, development of brain tumors, melancholia or severe depression, and amenorrhea among females. In the DSM-IV Anorexia was classified into two types namely the restricting to binge and purging type and the binging/purging type (HGI, 2009).

In the United States, it is widely known that this eating disorder is prevalent and common among young and adult females. Further, it is mainly caused by self-induction of extreme deprivation of food or abrupt binging but purging all the food out of the body. Anorexia Nervosa’s prognosis could be as early as the age of 13 to 14 years in adolescence; yet, it can also be diagnosed until the latter years of an adult (25 years). Moreover, the eating disorder could last up to 15 years with or without the treatment. In addition, culture also plays a pivotal role upon influencing (especially the adolescents) in defining beauty through the perception of ideal “skinny beautiful.” This information is shared through media that’s why parents must guide their children and explain them the significance of loving oneself as an individual with unique personality, qualities, and beauty. It is also essential especially for the Anorexic patients’ parents to take an active stance and participate during treatment sessions with the help of a therapist (HGI, 2009).

Literature Review

            It could be drawn from the authors of this journal the Maudsley or the Outpatient Family-Based Treatment (FBT) approach is a promising approach with its effective desired results in curing Anorexia Nervosa in patients. Further, it was mentioned in this study that accounts of cured patients suffering from Anorexia Nervosa were found to fully recovered and regained their normal weight and attitude towards eating in a short span of more or less than three years. Thus, FBT in this study as described by the authors, promotes the essence of family and social support in the entire treatment wherein the patient would engage in an active discourse (individually) with the presence of a therapist and with the presence of one’s parents, siblings, or friends (by group) for desired result of eliminating the wrong habit of eating in the patient. Researchers have emphasized that for a patient to recover, a max of 20 sessions should be attended by the patient and family (Eisler et. al, 2000).


            The purpose of this article Family therapy for adolescent anorexia nervosa: The results of a controlled comparison of two family interventions, is to present an alternative approach in treating Anorexia Nervosa among adolescents. The authors/researchers explained in this study the purpose of promoting the parents’ participation in the discussion of the Anorexic patient’s eating habits—to work on treating the disorder and return the adolescent to its previous, normal eating habit and body weight. The method emphasized in this study was the Family Based therapy (FBT) consisting of three phases, where the family members follow a set of procedures which were exemplified and described in detail on the therapist’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual, 4th edition (DSM –IV). The 1st phase consists of 10 session or more and its objective is to begin a healthy eating habit for the Anorexic adolescent and restrain one’s likelihood to binge and purge; the 2nd phase goal is to develop autonomy in the adolescent patient and manage her own healthy eating habit and maintenance of normal weight (11 to 16 sessions); and the 3rd phase is the continuous intervention program and discourse of the therapist, family, and adolescent to facilitate the patient’s quick recovery. Moreover, findings of this study shows that the Family Based Treatment or Maudsley approach could decrease and avoid the instance of hospitalization among adolescents diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa; most likely, FBT also increases the tendency for quick cure especially when the adolescent patient feels the patience and support of diligent family members (Eisler et. al., 2000).

Data Analysis

            This section analyzes the overall importance of this article by examining its strength and weaknesses. Starting with the strengths of this study, it includes the following: 1) outpatient treatment is cheaper than inpatient hospitalization; 2) it allows adolescent patients to stay in their normal environment and hangout with family and friends; and 3) it prevents parents to feel that they are helpless or that they are “to blame” in the situation (Eisler et. al., 2000). Consequentially, this approach also have some weaknesses which have to be addressed in order to seek for rooms of improvement:  1) it demands time from parents, siblings and other family members, 2) requires focus and undivided attention from therapist and 3) therapist may be misled by other members of the treatment programs (Eisler et. al., 2000).

Results and Discussion

            This article shows the overall efficacy of the Maudsley or Family Based Treatment approach. Results also show that an estimation of two thirds of Anorexic patients have recovered after the Family-based treatment sessions and a percentage of 75 to 90 percent have also regained their healthy eating habit after being followed up for 5 years in census. Similarly, it is also to take note that these adolescent patients have improved their emotional and psychological beliefs. In fact, the FBT is widely used especially in institutions like the University of Chicago and Stanford University as well (Eisler et. al., 2000).


            Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder developed by any individual who severely deprives oneself of food intake due to fear of getting too much stout. It may happen to any individual may it be a male or female (especially among female young girls), or adult as well; but most likely, Anorexia Nervosa is prevalent among the adolescents who are in the present stage of “self-consciousness” wherein the focus of the adolescents is on impressing the outside world by making oneself a likable through attractive physical appearance and adjusting to the current notion of the culture towards beauty. The cases of anorexia Nervosa are rampant especially for the white American women; this poses a need to examine alternative ways for quick results in treatment of the disorder. Findings show that Maudsley of Family Based Approach is an effective approach to achieve recovery from the patients.


Eisler, I., Dare, C., Hodes, M., Russell, G., Dodge, E., ; Le Grange, D. (2000). Family

therapy for Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa: The results of a controlled comparison of

two family interventions. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41, 727-736.

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