RESEARCH ARTICLE


Video Therapy for Atypical Eating Disorder and Obesity: A Case Study



Susan G Simpson *, 1, 2, Lindsey Slowey 3
1 School of Psychology, Social Work & Social Policy, Division of Education, Arts & Social Sciences, University of South Australia, Magill Campus, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, SA, 5001, Australia
2 Eating Disorder Service, Fulton Clinic, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZH, Scotland, UK
3 School of Health in Social Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG, UK


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© Simpson and Slowey; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Psychology, Social Work & Social Policy, Division of Education, Arts & Social Sciences, University of South Australia, Magill Campus, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, SA, 5001, Australia; Tel: ++ 61 8 70012726; Fax: ++ 61 8 8302 4894; E-mail: susan.simpson@unisa.edu.au


Abstract

Both eating and weight disorders are prevalent in our society but many sufferers do not have access to specialist treatments, especially those living in remote and rural areas. Video therapy is proposed as a potential solution, allowing therapists to deliver psychological treatments without the costs associated with travel. Furthermore, there is a gap in the evidence base for those with co-morbid obesity and atypical eating disorders, but it is likely that treatments which focus on linking past and present patterns of behaviour and emphasise cognitive, behavioural and emotional change will be most effective. A naturalistic single case design was used to pilot the feasibility of providing video therapy using the schema therapy mode model, which involves a range of ‘active’ techniques including chair work and imagery. Results suggest that videoconferencing may be well suited to the delivery of experiential psychotherapy, leading to change across several domains. Scores on the EDE-Q showed a 77% improvement and the client was abstinent from vomiting during the last 28 days of treatment. The findings from this study indicate that video therapy may be effective for this co-morbid diagnostic group and highlight the need for further larger scale research.

Keywords: Obesity, eating disorder, video therapy, schema therapy, single-case design.