The purpose of this study was to explore Marriage and Family Therapy students’ perspectives regarding food addiction and associated eating disorders, as a clinical treatment issue. In a standard addictions course housed in a Marriage and Family Therapy program approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), 20 students completed a qualitative survey where they reflected on the topic of food addiction, Binge Eating Disorder, and Bulimia Nervosa, within the context of individual, couple, and family relationships. In the study four major themes emerged, which included (1) Defining Food Addiction, (2) Perceptions of Eating Disorders, (3) Conceptualizing Systemic Treatment, and (4) Experiences in clinical training. Clinical implications, recommendations for MFT education, clinical practice, and future research are discussed. Findings suggest that while MFT students in the study were well versed in conceptualized systemic treatment, it was of a general treatment and understanding using MFT theory, and not in relation to or specifically concerning food addictions and their connection or distinction from Binge Eating Disorder and/or other eating disorders found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, potentially impacting the level of skillfully and appropriately working with clients.
food addiction, eating disorders, marriage and family therapy, qualitative research
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Recommended APA Citation
Moore, D. D., Lin, C., & Cooper, C. (2021). A Need of Further Training for Marriage and Family Therapy Students’ on Food Addiction and Related Eating Disorders. The Qualitative Report, 26(10), 3046-3066. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2021.4533