Megan Knedgen, PsyD, is a 2023 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle.

Dissertation Committee

Dana Waters, PsyD, ABPP, Committee Chair

Wendy Oliver-Pyatt, MD, CEDS, Committee Member

Melissa Kennedy, PhD, Committee Member


avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, interpretative phenomenological analysis, adults, DSM-5

Document Type


Publication Date



This phenomenological study explored the lived experiences of adults with a DSM-5 diagnosis of avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) aiming to describe key features of ARFID as it is understood by treatment-seeking adults. Nine treatment-seeking adults with a full-threshold diagnosis of ARFID (aged 20–42) were recruited. In-depth, semi-structured, qualitative interviews were conducted to explore participants’ experiences and perceptions of avoidant and/or restrictive eating. Transcripts were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis, through which three group experimental themes were generated: (a) “A tradeoff between safety and freedom,” (b) “A broken self,” and (c) “Being seen: A double-edged sword.” This study’s findings highlighted participants’ perspectives on ARFID which may help enhance treatment quality, retention, and engagement, as well as inform the development and implementation of future interventions.


Megan Knedgen, PsyD, 2023

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0003-0890-6897