The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Bulimia Nervosa
By: Emily K. Sandoz PhD, Kelly G. Wilson PhD, Troy DuFrene
Review by: Jean Kim, PhD Psych. Intern
“Often it’s only by letting ourselves really be stuck that we’re able to see the possibility of breaking free”. The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) approach presented in this book challenges the reader to consider such statements that contest problem-solving approaches to treatment of bulimia nervosa. This approach proposes that people can live purposefully without having to rid of or solve all problems. ACT involves a mindful attendance to and acceptance of all aspects of our experience, including the bad and the good. Rather than exerting energy on problem-solving, which leads us to avoid underlying pain, ACT recommends opening ourselves to all aspects of our lived experience by committing to valued living. By working toward the goal of “psychological flexibility”, the reader is encouraged to remain present in experience, contact the “you” that is more than simply the facts about you, notice thoughts without letting anyone thought dominate experience, and accept thoughts without judgment.
An introduction to the therapy approach provides the background rationale of ACT in a clear and understandable manner. The workbook then progresses through several chapters, providing several helpful worksheets that guide the reader through these somewhat abstract ideas. Exercises such as “Finding your Breath” and “Noticing Being Present” provide concrete ways of mindful engagement. The reader also is encouraged to accept setbacks, simply returning back to the original goal or value without self-judgment. Similarly, the reader is encouraged to work at their own pace.
For people looking for a clear, step-by-step problem-solving approach to treating bulimia nervosa, this book will be a disappointment. It does not offer behavioural strategies for reducing bulimic symptoms. It also requires readers to be willing to sit with their own discomfort. However, for people searching for an alternative approach to traditional problem-solving strategies for bulimia nervosa, this book would be a valuable asset.
This publication can be found at Chapters or by clicking HERE