Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Doctoral Project


Len Jennings, PhD, LP; James Burns, PhD


This qualitative study explored the experiences of recovered professionals in the eating disorder field related to their personal recovery process and their experience as professionals. Six professionals who identified as ‘in recovery’ or ‘recovered’ were interviewed using a standardized open-ended interview approach, and transcripts were analyzed using a modified grounded theory method. Categories that were identified through the data analysis were: 1) Nature of Recovery for Professionals and Clients, with themes around biological, psychological, and social factors, and a caveat around access to treatment; 2) Nature of the Work, with themes around strengthening the professionals’ own recovery, being both challenging and rewarding, strengthening the therapeutic relationship, and instillation of hope, with caveats around self-disclosure and client comparing self to therapist; and 3) Related to Hire, with themes around therapists without a history still being effective, not being able to ask potential hires about an eating disorder history, suggestions for hiring recovered professionals, and colleague relapse. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.


Eating disorders, recovering professionals

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.