Western Sydney University

Narrative Therapy for Anorexia Nervosa

Chief InvestigatorClosing Date
Lauren Heywood21 Dec, 2023
Chief InvestigatorLauren Heywood
Closing Date21 Dec, 2023

About the research trial

This study will explore the feasibility of a narrative therapy intervention for people who have a lived experience of anorexia nervosa. We are interested in hearing what it is like for you to experience narrative therapy for anorexia, as we believe that your experiences are important to consider when developing new ways of treating eating disorders.

Recruitment details

This study involves participating in weekly narrative therapy sessions for approximately 30-40 sessions. Narrative therapy is a form of psychological therapy that positions the client as being the expert of their lives, instead of the therapist. Clients are thought of as being separate from the problem impacting their lives and encouraged to use their own inner strengths and skills to reclaim their life from the problem. Narrative therapy thinks about people’s lives as ‘stories’ and encourages clients to reflect on how they make meaning from their life experiences, and how hidden narratives in their lives can be uncovered and built upon. 

Participation in this study also involves completing regular surveys to indicate whether the intervention has been successful, and an interview for you to provide feedback on your thoughts and experiences of the overall treatment process at the end of treatment. Participation in this study involves the sessions being audio-recorded and typed up into transcripts, so that we can look at and try to understand your experiences and therapeutic shifts in more detail.

How much time will the study take? 

Participants will be encouraged to commit to attending 30 weekly sessions that are approximately 60 minutes in length. 

What’s in it for me? 

We hope that this therapy will be helpful in gaining a deeper understanding of your experiences of anorexia and the life that you hope for, and effective in assisting participants to take steps towards recovery and reclaiming their life from anorexia nervosa. Your experiences will provide us with important information that could be used to develop and extend treatments for anorexia. 

Will anyone else know the results?

No one will know that you have participated in this study (other than your GP), unless the researchers are concerned for your safety. If we are concerned for your safety, we will need to contact support services in your area. For transcripts of our therapy sessions and the interview to explore your treatment experiences, we will also ask you to choose a different name so that when this research is written into a book or journal article, no one will know that it was you who talked to us in this study. We will also ask you to read the se transcripts to let us know if there are any parts that you want to change or remove. When you have done this, we will delete the recording of the interview and therapy sessions. We will keep the interviews  and session transcripts (without your name and details you have asked us to remove) for at least 5 years after they have been written into a book or journal article.

Participation is voluntary 

Participating in this research is your choice and you do not have to participate if you choose not to. You can also stop your participation in this research at any time before and during treatment and there will be no consequence for you if you choose to cease.