The purpose of this study was to explore the content of personal constructs in people diagnosed with bulimia nervosa (BN). We expected to find differences in the predominant content of the construct systems between women with and without BN. We analyzed the constructs elicited using the repertory grid technique from 120 women aged between 18 to 45 years, divided into two groups: a clinical group of women diagnosed with bulimia (n = 62) and a control group of university students (n = 58). The constructs were categorized using the Classification System for Personal Constructs (CSPC), composed of six themes which are broken down into 45 categories. For this study, a new area called “Physical” was included, and it consists of three categories. The results indicated that women diagnosed with bulimia used significantly more constructs related to the body, while the control group used more constructs from the personal area. In addition, the congruent constructs from the clinical sample were predominantly moral, or related to values and interests, while discrepant constructs were personal and physical. The findings provide evidence for the clinical use of the CSPC as an instrument for exploring the content of personal meaning systems. Understanding the patient’s personal constructions about herself and others is useful for treatment. Moreover, it is important for clinicians to explore the content of constructs related to symptomatic areas, which could be hindering change, and focus on them to facilitate improvement.
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