Recipe for Recovery: Necessary Ingredients for the Client’s and Clinician’s Success

Beth Hartman McGilley and Jacqueline K. Szablewski

This chapter elucidates ingredients of two inextricably linked topics not well described in the clinical literature. First, despite a wide body of research now supporting the assertion that the quality of the therapeutic alliance is the best predictor of psychotherapy outcome (American Psychiatric Association, 2006 ), little rigorous attention has been paid to the qualities of the eating disorder (ED) therapist most conducive to a positive healing relationship. Second, even with close to 50 years of research, a comprehensive, comparable, consistent, and clinically meaningful definition of recovery has yet to be articulated and accepted in and across the ED treatment field. To assist in bridging these gaps, we begin with a discussion of those therapist qualities associated with effective therapeutic alliance, followed by an exploration of what constitutes recovery. We hope to describe the mysterious mixture of textures, flavors, and hallmarks that indicate that the healing has indeed been done.

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