BMJ Case Reports 2013; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-006604

Melting down the Ice Queen: an integrative treatment of anorexia nervosa

  1. Agna A Bartels-Velthuis1
  1. 1Center for Integrative Psychiatry, Lentis Mental Health Care, Groningen, The Netherlands
  2. 2University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Agna A Bartels-Velthuis PhD, a.a.bartels{at}


A 23-year-old woman with anorexia nervosa (AN) and a strong need for control was offered an integrative treatment, empowering the patient to be an active participant and advocating shared decision-making. To emphasise this, both the therapist and patient describe their views on the therapy. The integrative treatment resulted in more psychological flexibility and behavioural improvements, as is evident from an increased weight, a decreased dietary restriction and an increased valued action. The strength of this integrative treatment is based on accepting and encouraging patient's self-chosen treatment method, within healthy limits, and thereby creating a flexible, supportive and empowering therapeutic alliance. More research is needed to test the efficacy of combining complementary therapies within conventional treatments of AN.

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