Counselor Education and Supervision (ExCES)
School of Education
Lisa Lopez Levers
Debra Hyatt- Burkhart
Change Process, Eating Disorders, Existentialism, Phenomenology, Recovery, Terror Management Theory
Eating disorders have become an ever-increasing phenomenon in the cultural landscape. The irony of a culture of abundance that produces either abnormally abstemious or indulgent food practices is staggering. This study is a qualitative analysis of recovery from three major eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. It is a phenomenological and existential analysis of the lifeworld of those who have had relief from the symptoms for three years or longer. The Maintenance phase recovery in the Stages of a Change model is used as criteria for participation in this study. Terror Management Theory was used as one lens to elucidate that experience to better understand the psychological and emotional changes the subjects encountered throughout their recovery process, Additionally, Van Manen's (1997) four lifeworld existentials defined the phenomenological glance that the study sought to understand the experience of recovery. Five main themes emerged from the data. These themes characterized the experience of the recovered person. These main themes were 1) a change in self-esteem based on honesty towards self and others, 2) a new relationship with the body, 3) a positive change in family relationships, 4) a new autonomy and competence/spirituality, and 5) optimism in the face of adversity/spirituality. A discussion of implications for and uses in counseling and of further research possibilities conclude this dissertation.
Boone, A. (2014). Awakned To A Life: An Existential- Phenomenological Examination Of The Lived Experience Of Recovery From Eating Disorders (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/338