Treatment of childhood sexual abuse in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa: A feminist psychodynamic approach



In this article a parallel is drawn between the psychological problems experienced by victims of childhood sexual abuse and by clients with eating disorders. In particular, we describe how sexual abuse has a significant and lasting effect on body image, identity, self-regulation, and interpersonal functioning. Treatment issues are outlined including the nature of the healing relationship, assessment of abuse, development of capacity for self-soothing, techniques for assisting in memory recall, sculpting of images, description and reenactment of abuse, dealing with shame, and ending the cycle of repeated victimization.