Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 225–232 | Cite as

Treating bulimia: A combined therapy approach

  • Susan G. Willard
  • Daniel K. Winstead


Bulimia is an increasingly common eating disorder which is separate and distinct from anorexia nervosa. The disorder is characterized by ingestion of large volumes of food, usually followed by self-induced vomiting or laxative abuse. Although sometimes seen as a symptom accompanying obesity or anorexia nervosa, bulimia is often associated with a normal weight and nutritional state. This paper includes a case study which describes 3 years of treatment and illustrates the personality characteristics common to bulimic patients, demonstrating a marked contrast with the classic anorexia nervosa patient. A combined treatment approach is illustrated which (1) emphasizes individual therapy as the means by which long-term changes in personality can be attained and sustained; (2) uses group therapy to provide peer support and behavioral intervention; and (3) utilizes imipramine to decrease panic and alleviate anxiety and depression.


Obesity Nutritional State Anorexia Nervosa Combine Treatment Personality Characteristic 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan G. Willard
    • 1
  • Daniel K. Winstead
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology & Neurology1415 Tulane University School of MedicineNew Orleans

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