The perceived impact of the anorexic voice on CBT-E outcomes

Posted 13/08/2019

What is the purpose of this research?

Some people with Anorexia Nervosa say they hear an internal voice that comments on their eating patterns and behaviours. In research this is referred to as the ‘anorexic voice’ but people may have different names for it. Enhanced cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT-E) is a commonly used treatment option for Anorexia Nervosa, but it is not always very effective.

The purpose of the study is to explore the relationship between the ‘anorexic voice’ and CBT-E. The research will do this by speaking to people who have experience of both the anorexic voice and CBT-E at various stages of their treatment. Through these interviews we hope to be able to identify what impact the anorexic voice has on people’s ability to recover from Anorexia Nervosa through CBT-E. Hopefully, this will allow us to understand ways in which the voice can be challenged in therapy, making the treatment of Anorexia Nervosa more successful.

Who can take part?

You can take part in this study if you have lived experience of the anorexic voice and have had CBT-E in the past, or are currently having this treatment. You must also be female, have a diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa from a healthcare professional, and be over 18 years old.

What does the study involve?

The study will involve completing some questionnaires which will ask about your mood, eating patterns, and experience of the anorexic voice. You will then be asked to take part in an interview with the lead researcher (Harriet Collie) where she will ask you some general questions about your experiences of the anorexic voice and CBT-E. The interview can take place in person or via the telephone, whichever is more convenient for you. You will also be asked to provide some general information about yourself such as your age and BMI. If there are questions you would prefer not to answer (including about your BMI) this is not a problem and can be skipped. The whole process should take no more than 1.5 hours.

How can you take part?

To read more information about the research, please click here. This will also allow you to express an interest in taking part in the research, if you wish. If you have any questions about the study, please contact Harriet Collie at

Name of researcher: Harriet Collie, Trainee Clinical Psychologist

Cardiff University