Group therapy can be extremely beneficial for women with bulimia. Group therapy is not a replacement for individual therapy, but can enhance or extend work done in individual sessions. It may be used concurrently with individual work, may be added as the client becomes ready through individual therapy, or may be the sole treatment as individual work is phased out. Group membership can provide a valuable support system as well as a place to discuss problems with others who share the
same issues. The individual with bulimia often behaves as though she bears a stigma, in other words, as if she would be rejected by others if they knew her secret. This unfortunate feeling of being stigmatized is shared by other groups in our society such as homosexuals, herpes sufferers and former mental hospital patients. Because all members of the group have bulimia, no need exists to guard the "secret" of their eating behavior. Members often express the feeling, "This is the one place I can come and truely be myself." First, we will look at factors that need to be considered in forming a therapy/self-help group for women with bulimia. Second, illustrations of the group interaction will be discussed to give the reader an idea of types of issues dealt with by the group.