Expanding exposure-based interventions for eating disorders

Erin E. Reilly, Lisa M. Anderson, Sasha Gorrell, Katherine Schaumberg, Drew A. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Initial trials evaluating exposure-based interventions for eating disorders (EDs) in the 1980s demonstrated mixed results. Since that time, innovations in exposure therapy for anxiety disorders have yielded insights that can be used to refine and expand the approach to effectively target ED behaviors. This article provides a brief summary of relevant advances in exposure therapy for anxiety and outlines how these advances may be adapted and evaluated for use with ED samples. More specifically, we propose shifting to an inhibitory learning framework, considering treatment targets other than fear, and increasing variability in exposure techniques represent three important areas for future study. Overall, this article aims to provide professionals in the field with a framework for how to incorporate cutting-edge advances in exposure therapy into rigorous intervention research for EDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1141
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • anxiety disorders
  • behavioral treatments
  • eating disorders
  • exposure
  • treatment


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