The aim of this study is to understand the illness experience and describe the common themes in the group process with a qualitative research method. Four women with an eating disorder diagnosis from the Eating Disorders Unit in Istanbul University, Psychiatry Department attended eight sessions group psychotherapy. Group process was examined with a phenomenological research design. According to the results, two major themes were found; illness experience and group process. Illness experience includes food, body image, impact of disorder, cognitive factors, emotional factors, prognosis, preoccupation, denial of femininity, weight and thinness, attitudes towards illness, exercise and self-othering. Group process includes; here and now, universality, relationship with therapist, anxiety toward group, instillation of hope, group cohesiveness and group efficacy. Major themes about illness experience and group process are consistent with the eating disorders literature. It is assumed that research findings could contribute clinical practices in the field of eating disorders in terms of understanding the disease and the development of effective treatments.
Eating disorders, phenomenological research, group process