Body Project

A four-session group intervention to prevent the onset of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating among female high school and college students with body image concerns.

Body Project is a prevention program designed for high school and college-age girls using four weekly one-hour group sessions. Groups consist of 5-10 young women. Through a series of verbal, written and behavioral exercises, the program attempts to create dissonance in participants by engaging them in a critique of the thin ideal. Participants are also engaged in body acceptance exercises and role-plays to counter thin-ideal statements and resist peer pressure. Facilitators (group leaders with Masters-level training in a clinical mental health discipline or supervised college peer educators), use activities that are counter-attitudinal to the thin ideal and use motivational enhancement, skill acquisition, social support and group cohesion to create dissonance within the participants. The Body Project is not sufficient as a stand-alone treatment for individuals meeting current criteria for an eating disorder, so attempts should be made to exclude such individuals.

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