Home > Treatments & Therapies > Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Eating Disorders

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Eating Disorders

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 7 Aug 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Eating Disorders anorexia bulimia

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a common type of treatment for eating disorders. This branch of psychotherapy aims to help break large problems or situations into smaller more manageable parts and treats eating disorders in this same way. In the general community, little may be known about cognitive behavioural therapy as it is used to treat eating disorders, so below are some answers to frequently asked questions on this subject.

What Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a branch of psychotherapy that is based on the idea that all thoughts (cognition) and actions (behaviours) are related. This may not always be clear, so CBT aims to help individuals break down problems or situations into more manageable parts and examine the ways in which thoughts, emotions and actions were related in each.

What Does Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Do?
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) allows individuals to examine the relationships between their thoughts, feelings and actions and in doing so allows individuals to understand that if they change the way that they think and feel, they will change the way that they act.

How Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Administered?
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be attended either in private or group therapy sessions. Usually these sessions are approximately 60 minutes long, and they usually occur weekly or every fortnight. CBT is a relatively short term treatment, usually lasting no more than six months or so.

Why Does Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Work with Eating Disorders?
For individuals suffering from eating disorders, understanding the relationships between thoughts, emotions and actions is highly important. Once these relationships are understood, the individual suffering from an eating disorder can replace the negative thoughts and emotions which have led to abnormal food and eating behaviours and with more positive thoughts and emotions that will lead back towards a healthy lifestyle. However, in order for these relationships to be clear, it may take several weeks of tracking thoughts, feelings and food and eating behaviours before the individual will accept this proof. Often therapists will ask individuals to keep a journal or food diary in order to more accurately record their thoughts, feelings and actions towards food and eating during a given period of time.

Does Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Cure Eating Disorders?
No, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) does not cure eating disorders. The recovery from an eating disorder is a long journey, and there may be relapses along the way. When relapses do occur, attending “top up” therapy sessions may make a difference.

What Exactly Does Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Teach?
In addition to teaching individuals how to identify the links between their thoughts, emotions and actions, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) also teaches individuals how to avoid and tolerate stressful situations, and how to best deal with stress to avoid a relapse into disordered eating. In addition, CBT also teaches individuals that they themselves hold the power to their recovery, which can be comforting to individuals who feel that their lives are otherwise out of their control.

How Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Accessed?
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is only offered by qualified, trained therapists so a referral from a GP, hospital or clinic is one way of accessing this type of therapy. Engaging a private professional is another means of accessing cognitive behavioural therapy.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • dorahallows
    Re: Pica Disorder
    I started eating walls in my early teens and I go through phases where I can control it and don't get the urge to eat it anymore but the past two…
    16 April 2018
  • JoJO
    Re: Pica Disorder
    @Kay - you really need to see a doctor about this because it is not right and it could ruin your health. Please seek some advice.
    13 April 2018
  • Kay
    Re: Pica Disorder
    I have a problem i eat walls so much and i dont know how to controll it im only 13 and i been eating wall for 6 years. All around my house i had made…
    13 April 2018
  • TamsO
    Re: Eating by Texture
    @ Paul - can you drink smoothies and fruit juice? Vitamin tablets are an option to consider also, but they don't replace the fibre. There are…
    12 April 2018
  • Paul
    Re: Eating by Texture
    Ever since I can remember I have had real issues with the texture of fruit and veg to the point where I’m gagging and almost to the point where…
    10 April 2018
  • Bloom
    Re: Pica Disorder
    I eat wall white putti(white cement) applied on the wall since 12 ,every time my parents use to paint it and I used to ruin it by eating. They took me…
    8 April 2018
  • Imbubblezz
    Re: Eating by Texture
    I feel like I have found my long, lost family! I keep reading about AFRID, bit it speaks about underweight people - and this most definitely is…
    5 April 2018
  • Hof
    Re: Oesophagus Problems for Bulimics
    @Andprice - if you have been bulimic for over 20 years, then it is likely you will have some stomach problems as a result.…
    3 April 2018
  • Andprice
    Re: Oesophagus Problems for Bulimics
    I've been in recovery for ten years...with very mild lapses (e.g. Forced vomiting after drinking excessively although this is…
    2 April 2018
  • KerryH
    Re: Heart Problems and Eating Disorders
    Butterfly84... Unfortunately, if you do not eat then your body will continue to defy you. The stomach distention will…
    22 March 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the EatingDisorderExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.