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Counseling Theory Evaluation with Eating Disorders, Article Critique Example

Pages: 1

Words: 411

Article Critique

Trepal, H.C., Boie, I., Kress, V.E. (2011).  A Relational Cultural Approach to Working with Clients with Eating Disorders.  Journal of Counseling & Development.  90(346-356).

Abstract

The authors examine eating disorders through the conceptual framework of relational cultural theory (RCT). Taking into account the importance of relationships and connection, it is suggested that RCT may be a useful lens for conceptualizing and working with people who are experiencing eating disorders. Ways that RCT can be applied to enhance prevention efforts and recommendations for combining relationally focused counseling with evidence-based individual eating disorder treatment are presented.

The article investigates eating disorders through the relational cultural theory (RCT).  The article provides a description of eating disorders and the concepts behind RCT.  In addition, the authors recommend how to use RCT counseling with eating disorder treatment. The authors report that 0.9% of women and 0.3% of men report anorexia nervosa at some point during their life time.  In addition, 1.5% of women and 0.5% of men report bulimia nervosa.  It is also indicated that these statistics are important because individuals diagnosed with these types of eating disorders usually have additional mental health issues to include: depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and sexual abuse.  Therefore, the type of counseling and treatment is crucial. The authors then stress that the RCT approach helps build a connection with the patient and that people with these disorders crave a connection. Preliminary research findings indicate RCT as an effective counseling method for treating individuals with eating disorders. The authors recommend combining RCT with the recommended treatment for eating disorders, with RCT emphasizing on the connection.  In addition, the authors recommend implementing RCT as a preventative measure for eating disorders by focusing on patients that are already experiencing issues related to appearance and weight, but who have not been diagnosed with an eating disorder. The authors recommend cultural psychoeduction through society challenges, such as gender, race, and culture. Another preventative measure was to use RCT through focusing on connections with individuals experiencing issues, and to help individuals understand their ability to think independently from peer pressure or society pressures. Overall, it is RCT is recommended as an approach to counseling in combination with recommended treatments already established for eating disorders.

The article presents a new approach to facilitating the treatment of individuals with eating disorders and indicates some preliminary research as being supportive to the RCT approach; however, more research and statistical analysis should be completed in order to determine the reliability of this counseling theory.

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