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Adolescent girls’ experiences in a motivational enhancement support group for disordered eating Wittig, Colleen

Abstract

Four girls participated in a study exploring their experience in an motivational enhancement support group for disordered eating. This research is based on qualitative accounts from the participants. The accounts were analyzed to determine common themes using a phenomenological research method. No study to date has examined adolescent girls experiences in this specific type of group. The research question for this study was: What are adolescent girls common experiences in a motivational enhancement support group for disordered eating? The analysis of these data resulted in nine common themes: Feeling Validated, Identification with Other Group Members, Comparisons with Other Eating Disorder Clients, Appreciation for Parental Component, Opportunity for Interaction with Other Group Members, Satisfaction of Helping Others Through Sharing Individual Experiences, Becoming Familiar with Professionals in the Program, Apprehension about Group Participation and Awareness of the Stages of Change. This study can be of benefit to counsellors and therapists working with this population as they are better able to understand the experiences which were identified as meaningful in their treatment. Through this understanding, practitioners will be able to tailor groups to meet the needs of this population and also better understand what is meaningful to adolescent girls in therapy. This study suggests that future research is needed in this area to further evaluate the treatment of eating disorders which allows the participants to have a voice in their experience. This preliminary study also indicates that further qualitative and quantitative research is needed in this area in order to increase our understanding of adolescent girls' experiences in treatment for eating disorders.

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