Clinicians' understanding and use of their personal recovery in the treatment of eating disorders
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The limited estimates available (Barbarich, 2002; Bloomgarden, Gerstein, & Moss, 2003; Costin & Johnson, 2002) indicate that the prevalence of eating disorders (EDs) among professionals who treat EDs is significantly higher than the prevalence of EDs in community samples. Despite this indication, little is known about how “recovery” is defined or how recovered clinicians use their personal recovery in the treatment of EDs. The present study contributes to this largely underdeveloped body of literature by providing an in-depth examination of a sample of nine clinicians’ understanding and use of their personal recovery in the treatment of EDs. More specifically, this study used a feminist research orientation (Striegel-Moore, 1994) and the Corbin/Strauss (2008) approach to qualitative analysis to produce findings in the form of two classificatory schemes with accompanying diagrams regarding recovered ED clinicians’ (a) understanding/definition of ED recovery and (b) use of personal recovery in the treatment of EDs. To enhance the credibility of the findings, verification standards and procedures were incorporated into each stage of the recursive research process, including member checks of transcripts, demographic information, and the classificatory schemes and diagrams; the use of multiple data analysts and routine team meetings; reflexive journal writing on behalf of all three researchers; theoretical sampling; and peer debriefing. A discussion of the major findings and conclusions drawn from the current study, their implications for practice and training, and recommendations for future research is included.