10. Trauma and Eating Disorder

  1. John R. E. Fox2 and
  2. Ken P. Goss3
  1. Christopher Holman

Published Online: 3 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118328910.ch10

Eating and its Disorders

Eating and its Disorders

How to Cite

Holman, C. (2012) Trauma and Eating Disorder, in Eating and its Disorders (eds J. R. E. Fox and K. P. Goss), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118328910.ch10

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Division of Clinical Psychology, University of Manchester, UK

  2. 3

    Coventry Eating Disorders Service, United Kingdom

Author Information

  1. The Retreat at York, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 9 OCT 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470683545

Online ISBN: 9781118328910



  • eating disorders (EDs);
  • personality development;
  • trauma;
  • treatment process


For many, probably most, people with eating disorders (EDs), trauma has a part to play in the development of their disorder. For these people, their experience of trauma requires attention in their treatment and in their recovery. Central to the disorder is the experience of dissociation, during which the individual removes herself (psychologically) from the present situation and the feelings which are associated with it – or removes herself from intense recollection of it in later life. This chapter discusses literature that explores the possible links between trauma and EDs. EDs overlap with borderline personality disorder (BPD), and treatment must reflect this. The object of treatment is to construct with the sufferer a narrative of the impact of the trauma upon her developing sense of self, and to equip her with skills which she knows she can use to handle her emotional and other difficulties.