ABSTRACT

Introduction Women who struggle with eating disorders have closed themselves off to life in order to protect themselves from suffering. Peters and Fallon (1994) described bulimia as a disorder of denial, disconnection, and disempowerment. When interviewed, recovered women reported that what helped them was becoming more accepting of their “imperfect” bodies despite the ever-present images of perfection, talking about abuse histories to others who honored their pain and anger, moving beyond a victim stance, and shifting from the isolation caused by shame to connection with others. Recovery from an eating disorder is about opening up to life, the good and the bad, and living with a more open heart. It is through the practice of forgiveness, and the accompanying skills, that clients learn to transform anger and shame into compassion and love for themselves and others. Forgiveness is an essential component for lasting recovery from an eating disorder.