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Eating Disorders

Self-help books on Eating Disorders


There are so many popular psychology texts in the shops that it can be difficult to know where to begin. This set of book-lists was compiled by staff of the University Counselling Service to respond to those students who have asked us what they might read on this topic.

Our selection is not intended to be the 'final word' - we are sure that there are many other good and helpful books out there; in any case we recognise that what is helpful is very subjective and depends on personal circumstances.

Books are listed in alphabetical order by author. Copies of some of these books are available to borrow on a weekly basis from the University Counselling Service.


The descriptions given are intended to provide a summary of the contents but should not be taken to imply that the Counselling Service endorses the opinions expressed.


Eating Disorders

Date of information: Jan 2006, updated Oct 2012

Eating Disorders: Obesity, Anorexia Nervosa, and the Person Within
Hilde Bruch, Basic Books, 1979

Deals with emotional causes and effects of abnormal eating patterns and presents case histories of patients with weight problems.

Understanding Your Eating
Julia Buckroyd, Open University, 2011

Makes sense of how food and eating may be misused and become entangled with emotions.

Anorexia Nervosa and The Wish to Change
A.H. Crisp, N. Joughin, C. Halek & Bowyer, Psychology Press, 1999

This book is available from the Eating Disorders Association or from St. George's Hospital, London. Gives advice on how to recover from anorexia with a step by step programme.

Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia - How to Help
Marilyn Duker & Robert Slade, Open University Press, 2002

Considers the theories, the issue of control, and perspectives that enable a person to move towards a real sense of self.

Bulimia Nervosa & Binge-Eating
Peter J Cooper, Robinson, 1995

A CBT self-help book that will help you understand your Bulimia and binge-eating and suggest clinically proven techniques to aid recovery.

Overcoming Bulimia & Binge-Eating: Self-Help Course
Peter J Cooper, Robinson, 2007

A three-part CBT self-help programme to help you overcome your Bulimia and binge-eating.

Overcoming Anorexia Nervosa
Chris Freeman, Robinson, 2002

A CBT self-help book describing techniques to bring this problem under control and help you to work towards eventually overcoming it altogether.

Coping with Bulimia
Barbara French, Harper Collins, 1987

Describes symptoms and warning signs of bulimia, identifies common risk factors, and discusses therapy and recovery programs.

Overcoming Overeating
Hirschmann & Hunter, Ebury Press, 2000

The authors offer an alternative approach to dealing with chronic overeating, placing eating back into its natural place in life so that food becomes something to be enjoyed rather than feared.

Making Peace with Food: Freeing Yourself from the Diet/Weight Obsession
Susan Kano, Harper Perennial, 1989

Offers a guide for breaking free from obsessive behaviour regarding food and dieting through the use of cultural and psychological analysis.

Talking About Anorexia: How to Cope with Life without Starving
Maroushka Monroe, Sheldon Press, 1992

A guide intended to help with the first steps of recovery. Includes information about the stresses that underlie anorexia.

The Invisible Man
John F Morgan, Routledge, 2008

A CBT self-help book with information and strategies for men with eating disorders.

Fat is a Feminist Issue (Books I & II)
Susie Orbach, Arrow, 1998

Intended to help the reader conquer compulsive eating, showing how the binge-purge cycle might be broken.

Breaking Free from Emotional Eating
Geneen Roth, Plume books, 2004

This book is clever, funny and helpful to anyone who considers food an issue. It is packed with information on your relationship to your body and why dieting doesn't work. Learn to rediscover yourself and your true needs and you won't ever need to diet again!

Breaking Free from Anorexia Nervosa
Janet Treasure, Psychology Press, 1997

When anorexia nervosa strikes an individual and their family, everyone is thrown into confusion. This book attempts to answer some of the questions that are asked by everyone.

Anorexia Nervosa: A Survival Guide for Families, Friends, and Sufferers
Janet Treasure, Psychology Press, 2013

A knowledge base and step-by-step guide for anyone dealing with anorexia.

Getting Better Bit(e) by Bit(e): A Survival Kit for Sufferers of Bulimia Nervosa & Binge Eating Disorders
Ulrike Schmidt & Janet Treasure, 1993

The book concentrates on the key behaviour changes necessary for the sufferer to achieve a happier and more fulfilled life. It highlights real problems and solutions experienced by many different people in relation to bulimia and binge eating.