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date: 25 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter gives an overview of approaches, theoretical ideas, and techniques which music therapists have developed to work with adults and older teenagers who have eating disorders. Eating disorders are complex psychological disorders; the restriction of food intake and control of body weight serve to meet a psychological or emotional need. Music therapy can help people to explore and understand the psychological issues that may have led them to using eating as a way of controlling their feelings and emotions. Methods such as free and structured improvisation, songwriting and listening to pre-composed music can be used to help clients to address specific aspects of eating disorder pathology, such as being able to recognise and tolerate their feelings, connect with others, and make links between thoughts, feelings, and the body. Music therapy can have a significant role within the overall treatment of a person with an eating disorder.

Keywords: eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorders, music therapy

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