Full course description
Eating disorders are among the most prevalent disorders in adolescent and young adult females. Their exact aetiologies are largely unknown, although it has become evident that a range of factors influences an individual’s vulnerability to eating disorders (like genetics, culture, and psychology: low self-esteem, dieting, body image bias, reward sensitivity and impulsivity). An initial aim of the course is to discuss influential state-of-the art theories and empirical papers about the origin or maintenance of eating disorders. The question of whether obesity is an eating disorder is also discussed. Secondly, special attention will be paid to experimental psychopathology research methods for testing hypotheses on the origin, maintenance and reduction of these disorders. Thirdly, the gap with clinical practice is scrutinised. What is the best treatment a patient can get? And why is it so difficult to implement evidence-based or empirically supported treatments in clinical practice?
Students will be able to understand:
- clinical pictures and (trans-)diagnostic criteria of eating disorders and obesity, relation between dieting and overeating, beauty ideal and eating disorders, body image bias, conditioned craving and overeating, effective treatments for eating disorders, cognitive behaviour therapy;
- a training in writing short popular scientific articles, and reviewing popular science;
- working out an intake of a patient with an eating disorder (simulation).