Negative Childhood Experiences Emotions and the Anorexic Voice

The researchers

My name is Georgette Morrison and I am a Trainee Clinical Psychologist on the South Wales Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology. I am carrying out this study as part my training. The research is being supervised by Dr John Fox (Clinical Psychologist, South Wales Programme in Clinical Psychology) and Dr Marc Williams (Clinical Psychologist, South Wales Programme in Clinical Psychology).

What is the purpose of this research?

Many individuals diagnosed with anorexia nervosa describe their disorder as being represented by an internal ‘voice’, which has been called the anorexic voice. This voice is often experienced as a second or third person commentary on thoughts and behaviours relating to weight and shape. This study aims to gain an understanding of the experiences of childhood negative events among those who identify with having an anorexic voice. It is hoped that this study will provide a greater understanding of the experience of childhood negative events and the anorexic voice so that treatments of anorexia nervosa can be tailored to the needs of people who have this experience.

Do you have to take part?

You are under no obligation to take part in the research. Even if you do agree to take part you may change your mind until the end of the interview, without having to give a reason. Participation is entirely voluntary. You may wish to take this information and speak with somebody independent, such as a friend, family member, or trusted professional when deciding whether to take part in the research.

The interviews will take place up until February 2021.

What will you do in the project?

If you decide that you would like to take part in the research, please fill in the ‘consent to be contacted form’ on Qualtrics. If you agree to be contacted I will be notified and I will contact you using the contact details you give. When we first meet on the telephone, you can ask me any questions that you may have and if you would still like to take part we can arrange a date to meet via video link at a time that is convenient to you.

Before the interview begins I will check whether you have any further questions, and make sure that you still want to go ahead with the interview. If you want to take part I will read a consent form to you and ask you to give verbal consent to show that you agree to take part in the research. You will be asked if you consent to the interview being recorded.

After this I will interview you for around 90 minutes. I will ask you questions such as what life was like for you when you were growing up, how you experience the anorexic voice, what your experience of having a diagnosis of anorexia is, and your opinions about how they influence each other. You will also be asked to complete The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) (Bernstein and Fink, 1998) with the researcher. You do not have to answer any questions that you do not want to. I will record the interview so that I can type up what we both said during the interview. After the interview you will have the opportunity to ask any questions or discuss any concerns that you may have about taking part in the research.

Participation in the research will not result in payment and will need approximately one and a half hours of your time.

What will happen to this information?

After the interview I will type out what we both said so that I can think about the interview in more detail and develop an understanding of common themes between participants. All audio recordings and typed transcripts will remain anonymous; your name or details will not be linked to your interview transcript. All transcripts and audio recordings will be kept in a secure storage facility such as a lockable filing cabinet.

My supervisors will look at anonymised sections of the transcripts to support me in thinking about the interviews. As part of my training programme I need to write up my findings in a research report. I will include anonymised extracts from interviews within the report, and a full anonymised transcript will be included in an Appendix. Your demographic information will not be linked to the transcript in any way so that participants cannot be identified in any way.

In the future, I hope to publish my research in an academic journal and present my findings at relevant conferences. At the end of the research interview I will ask you if you would like a summary of the findings once I have written up the research. Alternatively, you are welcome to read my full research report.

What are the potential risks to you in taking part?

During interviews you will be asked to think about your negative childhood experiences, your diagnosis of anorexia nervosa, and the anorexic voice, and there will be a questionnaire about your negative childhood experiences at the end of the interview. This is personal information and has the potential to be distressing for you. You may experience a range of uncomfortable emotions during the interview, such as sadness, or experience negative thoughts about what happened. Every effort will be made to minimise any distress, for example stopping the interview if you wish, or taking breaks. There will also be a 20min debrief included at the end of the interview where we will discuss how you are feeling.

After the interview you will have the opportunity to ask me any questions or raise any concerns about the research interview.

Likewise, if you disclose information during conversations with the researcher indicating that you or someone else is currently at immediate risk, e.g. current abuse, the researcher will need to act. At this point we will stop the interview and I will inform you of what the next steps will be

You will also be provided with signposting to helpful resources

What are the potential benefits of taking part?

Whilst I am unable to guarantee that taking part in the research will help you personally, the findings from the research are useful in helping us better to understand anorexia nervosa and how treatment can be developed to support this. You may also find that talking about your experiences has been helpful to you.

What will happen if I don’t want to carry on with the study?

If you decide you wish to withdraw from the study please let me know by contacting me on the email address or telephone number given at the end of this information sheet. Unfortunately, as your responses will be kept anonymously, you will not be able to withdraw your interview data once the interview has finished as the researcher will not be able to relate interviews to individuals

What if there is a problem?

If you have any concerns about any aspect of this research, you can contact me, and I will do my best to answer your questions. Alternatively, you can contact my research supervisor, Dr John Fox, whose contact details are below.

Will my taking part in this study be kept confidential?

All information gathered during the research will be kept strictly confidential. All identifiable information such as names and addresses will be removed. As with any meeting with a health professional there are some limits to confidentiality. I am obliged to breach confidentiality and inform another professional, (likely to be your GP), if you disclose any information that suggests that either you or anybody else is at risk of harm. If possible I will aim to discuss this with you first.

Who has reviewed the study? 

This study has been reviewed and approved by the Research Ethics Committee for Cardiff University.

This process is to protect your rights, safety and dignity

To Take Part please follow this link: 


Contact Details:

Georgette Morrison (Trainee Clinical Psychologist)
Telephone number: 029 208 70582

Dr John Fox (Clinical Psychologist)
Associate Programme Director/ Clinical Director, South Wales Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology
Telephone number: 029 208 70582

Dr Marc Williams (Clinical Psychologist)
Senior Academic Tutor, South Wales Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology
Telephone number: 029 208 70582

School of Psychology Research Ethics Committee

Secretary to the Research Ethics Committee School of Psychology
Tower Building
70 Park Place , Cardiff, CF10 3AT



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