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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: June 2020

Chapter 12 - Transitions


We can think of transitions as ‘life events’ or ‘life-cycle changes’. In addition, there can be specific challenges for those with eating disorders due to the specific cognitive difficulties they present. These include a lack of flexibility and difficulty in terms of seeing the ‘bigger picture’ when faced with a particular issue. Those patients with anorexia and strongly obsessional disorders can find ‘set shifting’ particularly difficult – that is, when the ‘rules’ change, they struggle to shift to the new rules instead of the old ones. It is hard for them to learn new adaptive skills or mobilise and generalise learned adaptive skills to a new situation. Their capacity to adapt is further impaired by starvation and low weight, which exacerbates rigidity of thinking.

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