Eating Disorders: Group Analysis

2375 Words 10 Pages
The National Eating Disorders Association, a nonprofit organization advocating and supporting those suffering from eating disorders, defines an eating disorder as a serious emotional and physical problem that can have life-threatening consequences and often experience extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food. Due to these factors, many who suffer from an eating disorder often find themselves in the care and treatment at clinics and hospitals. Thus, many hospitals have support groups for those who suffer from these disorders. The article “Group Analysis: Looking systematically at group development, structure, and function in an eating disorder program”, was written by Erin Benner, a social worker who ran this particular …show more content…
Little is known whether the efficacy of these types of treatment groups for eating disorders, and it is argued that the group may perpetuate the illness rather than offer a cure for it; however, it could also be argued that assistance in any form is more beneficial than no assistance at all. Either way, when starting a treatment group, just like this one, the patients must first be diagnosed with the disorder, and that in itself presents numerous problems.
Diagnosis for someone suffering from an eating disorder can be just as essential as the intervention process and often time leads to an intervention. In an article entitled, “Support mechanisms are vital for eating disorders”, Barrett explains that early intervention is key to
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Benner states “…the group has been successful in achieving its purpose, which is to allow members to express their feelings regarding the challenges and successes in their recovery process…” (Benner, 2011, p. 69). For Benner and its members, this treatment group is seen as a success. It brings their disorders to the surface and allows the members to work through them; however, it could be argued that the group serves as a great intervention tool, but not a very successful form of treatment. Koski argues that group itself may in fact, perpetuate the disorder, rather then cure or treat it. Although she admits that she has insufficient data to make a full assessment, she states, “…to be ‘recovered’ is to enjoy a life free of the eating disorder, a life in which the eating disorder does not act as one’s primary interpretive frame. Yet eating disorder support groups emphasize the need for constant and ongoing vigilance. Participants recognize this tension, which itself becomes a source of stress and demands constant monitoring” (Koski, 2013, p.85). In other words, the group is self perpetuating. The group perpetuates a belief that you can never escape an eating disorder because it will always need attention and vigilance. This is made clear even to Benner when she states that when they

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