Challenging stigma with recovery stories


In her Honours Thesis, our Intern Psychologist Emma Sheens undertook research on the impact of challenging the stigma of anorexia through sharing stories of recovery. We were delighted to see Emma present on this topic at the recent Australia New Zealand Academy of Eating Disorders conference in Sydney on August 1 & 2.

emmaThis research explored the impact that recovery stories have on challenging stigma towards anorexia nervosa. Results indicated that exposure to a recovery narrative challenged peoples perspective of anorexia, enabling them to recognise the subjective experience of those living with anorexia. Their views shifted, from minimising the effects of the condition, to understanding its severity and legitimacy as a mental illness. Further, perspectives shifted from being reductionist to embracing the complexity of the illness, it’s aetiology and the significant challenges of recovery. These findings highlight the benefits of using recovery narratives to change popular discourse and stimatised views. Recently published, you can read the research here.

Well done to Emma, for researching such a vital topic and for disseminating these important findings via a published journal article and at the conference.



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