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The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bulimia: Using DBT to Break the Cycle and Regain Control of Your Life Paperback – August 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1572246195 ISBN-10: 1572246197 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572246197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572246195
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This self-help workbook is an excellent tool to help alleviate bulimia nervosa symptoms. It is also a useful guide for the practitioner who is assisting the patient in his or her quest to overcome an eating disorder. I highly recommend this workbook to sufferers and mental health professionals alike."
—Daniel le Grange, Ph.D., professor and director of the eating disorders program at the University of Chicago



"DBT has taught me how to meditate more effectively throughout the day, regulate my emotions, and tolerate the most uncomfortable and painful of times. I never knew how to ride the rollercoaster of life without resorting to bingeing until DBT helped to change my behavior and my life. Because DBT centers on mindfulness—being in the present moment—and having both acceptance of my condition as well as the willingness to change, I can now show up for my life without resorting to bingeing or other crutches. DBT has changed my life, and I have faith that it can change yours!"
—Sharon, client of coauthor Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher



"At my first dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills training session, I found it easier to speak without using vowels than to speak without judgment. I was skeptical, but desperate to have a life without my eating disorder, and once desperation won the battle over skepticism, I was in. Once I was able to chip away at the judgment, I began to think it might be possible there was a way to deal with distress that didn’t involve binge-purging. Before DBT, my emotions were something that required treatment. Happy, sad, angry, or glad, if I felt something, bulimia was right there to take me back to a state of numbness. Being able to radically and mindfully accept, without judgment, that I could actually experience an emotion and not have it end with a binge was a fascinating revelation. I still fight with bulimia, but I am armed with the tools of DBT and it’s now a battle I have a chance of winning."
—Ilene, client of coauthor Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher



"At first, I was very reluctant to join a DBT group, as I thought that I had control over my eating disorder. However, once I decided to participate in a group, I was hooked. For over two years, I have been involved in DBT. DBT has been a life-altering experience and my commitment has truly helped me to be present and create a life worth living."
—Carissa, client of coauthor Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher



"My commitment to DBT has brought me to an understanding of living in the moment. I now carry the benefits of instinctively knowing how to embrace life in an effective way. It is amazing how the exercises brought me to the awareness of just how little time I am now spending thinking obsessive thoughts about exercise and food!"
—Eileen, client of coauthor Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher



"DBT has given me an appreciation for what I believed to be the most insignificant pieces in life: what is going on around me in the present moment. My eating disorder had taken away the familiarity of the simplest joys in life and had focused my attention to my body, exercise, and food. DBT had helped me refocus my attention to the present moment, rather than the past or future."
—Annie, client of coauthor Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher

From the Publisher

In The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bulimia, two psychologists specializing in eating disorders and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) show readers how to regulate negative emotions and behaviors and overcome bulimia.

Customer Reviews

Yeah, I guess you could read other books later, but if you do that, why bother with this one?
EJS
I highly recommend it for individuals struggling with disordered eating and therapists looking for additional resources for their clients.
E. Prensky
The book offers the suggestion of "to be healthier", which is a practical purpose that will appeal to anyone.
C. Cameron

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Gaston Baslet on December 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
"The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bulimia" is a hands-on workbook for individuals who suffer from bulimia nervosa that can be used alone or can accompany a formal treatment program with a mental health professional. The book has eleven chapters that cover a psychoeducational piece, purpose and behavioral pattern identification, training in and integration of all four DBT skills and maintenance and relapse strategies. The exercises throughout the book facilitate understanding of the concepts, which could otherwise be difficult to grasp for individuals who have never been in treatment. This, coupled with numerous clinical examples, highlights the practical, hands-on nature of the volume. The ultimate premise of DBT, "to create a life worth being present in" is frequently brought up, reminding the reader of the long-term gains they could achieve with treatment. Special acknowledgment should be given to the authors for the clarity in their explanations and the adaptation of DBT to this particular clinical population. Clinicians working with eating disordered patients will find that the book is an excellent tool for patient as an extension of their treatment and for themselves as a resource to expand their technical repertoire. Individuals with bulimia will have a better understanding of the work ahead towards recovery; reading this workbook and putting the skills into practice can very well serve as their first step in the recovery pathway.
Gaston Baslet, M.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. Cameron on March 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
DBT has been proven a effective strategy for dealing with eating disorders; bulimics often have a distorted sense of reality and priorities, and this workbook can provide the patient with that realization while offering useful tools. As with many bulimia books, it provides background on this disorder, its causes and symptoms and treatments.

There are many exercises aimed toward helping the bulimic understand herself. These are often taxing to do because when one isn't in "bulimic mood", it's difficult to imagine how one feels in "bulimic mood". I found the benefit from the exercises not during or even soon after completing them -- their effect would often hit me weeks later as I came to understand their full implications.

Two exercises stood out to me in particular. One was wherein the patient needed to write out a "purpose" for her life (an important step of DBT). Many bulimics will have trouble with this, as they consider their lives purposeless. The book offers the suggestion of "to be healthier", which is a practical purpose that will appeal to anyone. The other exercise consisted of writing a letter to oneself from the perspective of one's body -- I felt very touched and ashamed as I realized all that my body did and tried to do for me, despite receiving my scorn instead of appreciation.

I subtracted one star because the authors do at times seem a bit patronizing and overly firm -- too clinical and too little compassion -- and being the sensitive issue that bulimia is, I imagine it could turn off patients.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By E. Clerkin on January 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
"The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bulimia," by Drs. Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher and Michael Maslar, is a much needed adaptation of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) for bulimia. This self-help workbook not only outlines the essential DBT "modules," including Mindfulness Skills, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, and Interpersonal Skills, but it also does a nice job orienting individuals to both DBT and bulimia. Further, the book is filled with useful and practical hands-on examples, activities, and vignettes to facilitate learning and teach individuals to synthesize their DBT skills. Much like the therapy it is based off of, this workbook takes a nonjudgmental yet encouraging and motivating stance. If used effectively and consistently, the tools in this workbook *will* help in the recovery from bulimia.

While this book is marketed as a "self-help workbook," it is important to highlight that it can be used by treatment providers. As a clinician, I have found that this workbook provides a welcome method for facilitating DBT informed treatment (both individual and group). It is especially useful in translating basic DBT skills for the specific population of individuals suffering from disordered eating.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. Prensky on October 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
This new book by Drs. Astrachan-Fletcher and Maslar fill a big need in the self-help workbook area by covering the application of DBT skills for bulimic behaviors. This is a useful and timely application of mindfulness-based skills to a significant and often difficult to treat set of behaviors. The book is well written and the handouts are easy to use. I highly recommend it for individuals struggling with disordered eating and therapists looking for additional resources for their clients.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By EJS on June 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
I have to say I wasn't nearly as impressed with this book as other reviewers were.

On the one hand it does provide an OK overview of DBT and how it relates to recovery from bulimia. But that's about what you'll get - an overview, not much detail on anything. They give you an overview of mindfulness, but there are much better books on mindfulness out there. They give you an overview of interpersonal skills, but there are certainly better resources on interpersonal skills out there, including probably better books on DBT interpersonal skills.

Maybe my issue with the interpersonal skills section is partially with this book and maybe partially with DBT interpersonal skills in general which have always seemed to be a little too basic (at least in the presentations that I've heard). In general, the advice here lacked substance - a little bit of general advice on conflict resolution and assertiveness and stuff like that, but a lot of it seemed like common sense.

Given that the authors seem to be saying that many of us will have significant skill deficits in this areas, I don't see how what they present here will be enough. Yeah, I guess you could read other books later, but if you do that, why bother with this one? What's the value-add beyond "here, let me give you these quick tips with a cute acronym?"

The emotion regulation section's a complete joke. Most of it boils down to "see if you're being realistic." How do you do that? Well, the book doesn't say. Thanks for that one Lucy - here's 5 cents. Nothing like what you'd get in CBT.

Finally, a few of their ideas for how to break behavior chains are almost laughably impossible to implement.
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The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bulimia: Using DBT to Break the Cycle and Regain Control of Your Life
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