City Research Online

The Therapist's Emotional Experience: A Compass to Navigate Therapy with Eating Disordered Clients

Holbrook, Vanessa (2013). The Therapist's Emotional Experience: A Compass to Navigate Therapy with Eating Disordered Clients. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


There has been a movement towards research on the therapist and their capacity in providing treatment for eating disorders (Garner, 1985; Thompson & Sherman, 1989). This Doctoral Thesis Portfolio attempts to provide insight into therapy with the eating disordered population from therapists’ subjective experiences. It attempts to approach
eating disorders from both a scientific and practitioner perspective using counselling psychology philosophy to understand and enlighten the therapeutic process when working with these clients. Rizq (2005) said that counselling psychology concentrates on two aspects in therapy, as it promotes the use of the therapist’s self as a tool for
therapeutic change alongside adopting psychological theory for the enquiry of this experience. This portfolio will focus on the integration of these two aspects. Therapy with eating disorders was analysed from a theoretical, personal, and professional perspective. This will be explored in this portfolio via three individual components. Firstly, research is presented that investigated therapists’ emotional experience after sessions with a client being treated for anorexia. Secondly, the literature on alexithymia in anorexia is critically reviewed with particular reference to inform counselling psychology and to develop understanding of the therapeutic process with this client group. In the final section a case study will be presented in relation to the concept projective identification in order to illustrate the inter-subjective nature oftherapy with a bulimic client.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > School of Health & Psychological Sciences Doctoral Theses
[thumbnail of Holbrook,_Vanessa.pdf]
Download (10MB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login