Anorexia nervosa: an integrative treatment model – Journal of Psychotherapy 2015 [41] 02

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is an illness with a huge impact on all areas of an individual’s life and their context (Jones et al., 2008). AN patients live, as it were, under the dictatorship of the ‘inner critic’, a strong inner normative voice that constantly reiterates the same disapproving judgements. Stinckens (2001) uses this metaphor to refer to an ‘integrated system of critical and negative thoughts and attitudes towards the self, which was imposed from outside’. The inner critic manifests itself in various ways, causing emotional well-being and social relationships to suffer from its many demands on the patient. Moreover, AN has a dismal prognosis. Less than half of patients fully recover from the disease; 20 per cent develop a chronic eating disorder and 5 per cent of AN patients die from the effects of the disease or by suicide (Steinhausen, 2002; Steinhausen, 2008).

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