A Case Study of Emotion-Focused Therapy for Bulimia Nervosa

  • Author / Creator
    Banack, Kendell D
  • Modern, systematic approaches to case study research have been established. These approaches introduce methodological rigor while retaining the useful aspects of the original psychoanalytic research approach (McLeod, 2010). The primary goal of the current study was to examine emotion-focused therapy (EFT) for bulimia nervosa (BN) through the use of two distinct, yet related case studies employing mixed methods designs. A secondary goal of this research was to situate these case studies within a broader examination of the history and value of case studies in psychotherapy research. This research is laid out in three independent, yet complementary papers represented by Chapters 2, 3, and 4. Chapter 2 is a critical historical review of case study research in psychotherapy. The purpose of this chapter was to further understanding of the role and status of case studies in psychotherapy history and make an argument for the on-going relevance of quality case study research in psychotherapy today. This chapter begins by tracing the history, contributions, and developments of case study research in psychotherapy by linking it to four seminal and representative individuals situated within different theoretical orientations. Factors leading to the demise of the case study and the eventual establishment of systematic approaches to case studies are discussed. Chapter 3 is a mixed methods case study of a young woman with BN and a history of anorexia nervosa treated with EFT. It was written in the style of a pragmatic case study (Fishman, 1999). The main purpose of this study was to explore the session-by-session process and outcome of EFT for BN in this case. Finally, the study in Chapter 4 examined client change from pre- to post-therapy, linking client and therapist perspectives to objective measures of outcome, using the same case of a young woman with BN treated with EFT. This study combined a case study approach with a mixed methods design and is distinct from the modern case study approaches in psychotherapy as articulated by McLeod (2010). Chapters 3 and 4 are the first known studies examining the individual treatment of BN using EFT. The description of the treatment approach and inclusion of large segments of transcript in Chapter 3 will help practitioners to better understand the unique application of EFT to BN. The outcome-focused study in Chapter 4 provides evidence for the effectiveness of EFT for BN in one particular case. These studies provide examples of mixed methods approaches integrated with case study methodology. Overall, this dissertation explores EFT for BN while also situating these studies within a broader examination of the history and value of case study research in psychotherapy.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Counselling Psychology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Poth, Cheryl (Educational Psychology)
    • Dunn, William (Secondary Education)
    • Buck, George (Educational Psychology)
    • Leroy, Carol (Elementary Education)
    • McLeod, John (University of Oslo)