chapter  5
16 Pages

The patient-clinician relationship

ByKathleen M Berg, Dermot J Hurley, James A McSherry, Nancy E Strange, ‘Rose’

The patient-clinician relationship is an essential element in the patient-centered approach to eating disorders and a key ingredient in recovery. The sharing of power and control facilitates a positive and collaborative patient-clinician relationship and promotes the patient’s sense of personal efficacy in her own life and her surroundings. A psychologist, a physician and a dietitian will describe the patient-clinician relationship in terms of the roles of the clinician, strategies to develop a therapeutic alliance, important attributes of the clinician and unique challenges in treating eating disorders. In the patient-centered approach to the treatment of eating disorders, the individual therapist assumes a variety of roles. In order to maximize the therapeutic alliance, a collaborative approach to individual psychotherapy is advocated. A trusting therapeutic relationship is fundamental to the whole process of helping affected persons accept their eating disorders, engage in treatment and move to recovery.