Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

Neuronal correlates of body image disturbance in binge eating disorder

Who can participate?

Individuals with Binge Eating disorder (BED) are suffering from recurrent binge eating episodes. During such an episode they consume large amounts of food in a short period of time and experience a loss of control. In contrast to individuals suffering from bulimia nervosa, individuals with BED do not compensate for weight gain via purging behavior. Consequently, they often suffer from severe overweight.

Body dissatisfaction as a maintaining factor

Individuals with BED are often very dissatisfied with their own body, feel guilty and disgusted by themselves. These strong negative emotions towards their own body often elicit new binge episodes. This causes them to get stuck in a vicious circle.

An exit from the vicious circle?

We are offering a free training to improve body dissatisfaction. The training consist of four sessions. Together with the therapist participants learn strategies to deal with the negative emotions and to look at their own body in a different kind of way. The goal of the training is to reduce negative emotions and increase body satisfaction.

Diagnostic measurements

Previous studies have shown that the provided training is effective in increasing body satisfaction. However, the exact mechanisms on a neuronal level are still unknown. For this reason we are measuring changes in blood flow via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before and after the training. During the fMRI measurement, participants are viewing images of themselves and an unknown body.

Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy