Research question: “Does self-disclosure of the therapist improve eating disorder treatment.”













Final Project Milestone One

Southern New Hampshire University

January 6th, 2019













Research question: “Does self-disclosure of the therapist improve eating disorder treatment.”

Hypothesis: Self-disclosure of the therapist improves eating disorder treatment.


The key variables for this research are self-disclosure of the therapist and eating disorder treatment. This research will focus on online research whereby participants will be recruited from an eating disorder charity database. The participants will be asked about the status of their condition and how they feel about having the disorder. The neutral condition will be that the therapists will disclose their sexuality and their feelings towards the patients’ conditions and personality (Marziliano, Pessin, Rosenfeld, & Breitbart, 2018).

The study will continue for two months with the therapists making contact with the participants once every week. These conditions will form the independent variables. The dependent variable would be participants continued to receive positive self-disclosures from the therapist leading to a greater level of patient self-disclosure which lowered their shame, and encouraged the participants to continue with the treatment process. The participants will also be asked if they have been involved in any treatment before, and how they could describe their therapeutic alliance (Fuertes, Moore, & Ganley, 2018).

A longitudinal study and the rate of drop-out will be used to gather more information about the participants. The collected data will then be analyzed in relation to the independent variables by the end of the study. One of the ethical issues which will be looked into while conducting the study is informed consent. Participants will be informed about the purpose of the research and will have the right to participate or not participate in it. Secondly, the research will ensure the privacy and confidentiality of every participant.

Annotated Bibliography:

Secrecy and concealment are typical behaviors in individuals with eating problems. In the article titled “ Self-Disclosure in eating disorders,” researchers examined women with greater related eating issues and determined whether or not, these women would be willing to disclose information. In this study, different types of disclosure were calculated considering the body appearance of the individual and to restrained eating. This article would benefit my research because it provides great information that will confirm my theory and test my hypothesis.

Abstract 1.

Those who suffer from eating disorders are very emotional beings. Often times, some may not feel a need to express their need to not eat foods. Many women become self-conscious about their weight and find it hard to share their feelings on their bodies. Compulsive exercising, eating healthy, and extreme dieting has become the norm for the everyday American. Having so much focus on these things can make it difficult for one not to struggle with eating disorders. In addition, it can become quite difficult for one to share their struggle with family, friends, or a professional. These insights provide how it may be difficult for individuals to disclose information on their issue.

Tantillo, M. (2004). The Therapists Use of Self-Disclosure in a Relational Therapy Approach for Eating Disorders. Eating Disorders,12(1), 51-73. doi:10.1080/10640260490267760

Annotated Bibliography:






























Fuertes, J. N., Moore, M., & Ganley, J. (2018). Therapists’ and clients’ ratings of real relationship, attachment, therapist self-disclosure, and treatment progress. Psychotherapy Research, 1-13.

Marziliano, A., Pessin, H., Rosenfeld, B., & Breitbart, W. (2018). Measuring Cohesion and Self-Disclosure in Psychotherapy Groups for Patients with Advanced Cancer: An Analysis of the Psychometric Properties of the Group Therapy Experience Scale. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 1-21.

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