Pilot data from the Self-Blame and Perspective-Taking Intervention for eating disorders

Bethany J. Hunt, Whitney Smith Hagan, Sarah Pelfrey, Susan Mericle, Jessica A. Harper, Jayme M. Palka, Carrie J. McAdams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Eating disorders (EDs) are characterized by altered eating behaviors and valuation of self-image, as well as difficulty establishing supportive social relationships. This pilot study evaluated feasibility, acceptability, and clinical responses to a novel and brief group-therapy intervention for EDs, the Self-Blame and Perspective-Taking Intervention (SBPI). The SBPI consisted of four sessions of experiential art therapy activities in conjunction with psychoeducation targeting interpersonal attributions and mentalization. Twenty-four outpatient, treatment-seeking women with EDs participated in the SBPI, with 87.5% completing the intervention and 94% rating their participation positively. Eating disorder symptoms, depression, anxiety, self-attribution bias, and self-esteem were assessed before (T1) and after participation (n = 20 at T2; n = 18 at T3). Separate repeated measures MANOVAs were performed to assess these clinical and self-concept variables. Relative to baseline, participants demonstrated significant improvements in all self-concept measures: self-attribution bias, trait self-esteem and state self-esteem at T2. ED, depression, and anxiety symptoms were significantly decreased at both T2 (1-4 weeks post) and T3 (3-5 months post). The SBPI altered self-concept targets acutely with sustained clinical improvements. Future work is needed to evaluate how self-concept and social constructs are related to clinical symptom expression in EDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-66
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Binge eating disorder
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy
  • Self-evaluation
  • Social cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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