Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Eating Disorders

Therapy has been helping many people all over the world. Here, we will discuss how specific treatments help those with eating problems.

dealing with an eating disorder


Learning and Understanding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders – What is it Really and how Does It Work?

For many, food is life. In fact, consuming food is the common denominator in gatherings and events. So how does one develop eating conditions? And how does cognitive behavioral therapy work for them?

It is one of the most vital aspects of our daily lives. However, for some, food consumption may not always be a delightful act when one’s eating habits become a condition.

Having an eating disorder means that a person’s food consumption habits are irregular, inadequate, or excessive. This real condition may be damaging to one’s health, well-being, and even one’s self-esteem. Due to this problem then, one may become overly concerned with regard to his or her healthy weight and shape and overall physical health. Three main types of it include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating condition.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a clear leading treatment for people of different shapes and weights, has been found to be an effective treatment for eating disorders, particularly borderline personality disorder, clinical perfectionism, self induced vomiting. CBT can help patients to identify and change negative thinking patterns and behaviors that contribute to their disorder. It can also help patients to develop healthy coping skills and improve interpersonal difficulties.

During CBT, patients have the opportunity to work with a therapist to find the source of negative thinking and transform those thoughts into a positive, growth mindset. — Greta Gleissner LCSW

What is the importance of transdiagnostic cognitive behavioral therapy? Can cognitive behavioral therapy help with eating disorders?

Using Beneficial Treatment For Eating Problems

Cognitive behavior therapy for eating disorders is a psychological therapeutic approach acknowledging the issues that involve both cognition and behavior. These factors will only result in a cycle of negativism within one’s self. Eating disorders are actually the top causes of low self-esteem and pessimism.

The treatment duration of CBT for eating disorders is typically 12-20 sessions, although some patients may require additional treatment. The average relapse rate appears to be low, and patients who receive CBT on an outpatient basis generally have a good prognosis according to the American Psychiatric Association practice guideline for the treatment of patients with eating disorders.



Thus, cognitive behavioral therapy helps an individual recognize his or her behavior, cognition, and habits and strives to create a strategic plan to improve his or her unwanted and injurious eating behavior by also tapping into one’s cognitive issues. Most often, one’s thoughts and emotions play a pivotal role in the person’s health and in the habits, especially in eating, that they perform.

Addressing The Two Important Factors Of The Mental Health Condition

Through this model, the eating disorder may be eased by identifying and addressing both the abnormalities in mental and demeanor that cause the eating disorder.

Regarding the mental element, an individual may tend to be overly anxious about his or her self-worth, weight, and physical appearance. On the other hand, the behavior factor will show that potentially due to this anxiety, the individual will intensely focus on body appearance resulting in a massive constriction of his or her diet or it may turn into excessive eating due to stress and pressure.

CBT is an effective treatment for eating disorders, according to a study published in the “Oxford University Press.” CBT had a marked effect on patients with eating disorders, resulting in a good outcome. The study found that CBT is especially beneficial in providing education and problem solving skills to patients with eating disorders. Diagnosis may prescribe a CBT bed to patients.

It is quite possible that the false self is really doing an ok job at being the true self through the symptoms of an eating disorder. — Judy Scheel Ph.D., L.C.S.W., CEDS

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Eating Disorders

  1. Behavioral Phase

In this behavioral phase, tools and strategies will be maximized to manage the individual’s feelings and emotions that often lead to unhealthy eating behavior. A plan will be formulated to develop new behaviors that would eliminate unusual eating consumption habits. You can achieve this plan by providing activities and homework during and after the treatment session.

  1. Mental Phase In The Treatment

In this phase, the contrary ideas and thoughts that trigger irregular eating habits are determined and identified. These thoughts often include concerns about one’s physical appearance, weight, and image. Upon recognizing these, a method to restructure one’s thinking patterns into more positive and refreshed thoughts will be introduced. Through this phase, an individual’s mindset will be strengthened to be more positive and accepting of one’s self.

  1. Maintenance And Relapse Prevention Phase

One of the primary goals of cognitive behavioural therapy for binge eating disorder (according to eating disorder psychopathology experts) is to allow the individual to be once again healthy. Thus, more cognitive behavioral treatment sessions and activities will be performed to identify underlying and broader issues and conflicts that may eventually cause the individual to return to the old habits. Monitoring the performance of new behaviors in the enhanced cognitive behavioral therapy will also be performed through constant communication after the mental disorders’ sessions, according to the diagnostic and statistical manual.

For more information on the benefits of treating eating disorders and eating behaviors through enhanced cognitive behaviour therapy, check this out:




Final Thoughts And Takeaways To Consider

Eating is usually an activity that involves joyous conversations, gratitude, and fond memories. Thus, to maintain a healthy eating diet and habit, it is best always to keep a positive mindset and to be mindful of symptoms that might be leading to the need to treat eating disorders. Moreover, weight and physical appearances may be of importance based on health and clinical excellence, but one might always keep in mind that it is not and should not be a determinant of one’s value and self-worth. Also, trust the process of enhanced cognitive behavior therapy for related eating disorders treatment.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or interpersonal psychotherapy, is an evidence-based practice that has been proven to be effective in treating eating disorders. CBT focuses on helping the individual change their thinking and behaviors around food and body image. This can be done through dietary rules, body checking, self evaluation, regular eating, self evaluation, and evidence based practice.

The final stage of CBT is to help the individual maintain their progress and decrease relapse rate. The national institute of mental health states that CBT has a 70-80% success rate in preventing relapse. This makes it one of the most effective treatments for eating disorders, albeit one of the most complex forms.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can CBT be utilized for anorexia nervosa?
  2. Is overeating manageable with CBT?
  3. What type of therapy can treat bulimia?
  4. Why does CBT work for anorexia through randomized controlled trial?
  5. Are there some forms of therapy that help manage eating disorder treatment?
  6. Can CBT help achieve weight loss?
  7. How long does a person need to do CBT for anorexia?
  8. Who can try CBT?
  9. What are some of the most effective CBT techniques?
  10. What is the most challenging part of treating anorexia nervosa?


Frequently Asked Questions About Foods That Fight Depression

People seem to have a lot of opinions about everything going on in the world. Some would go as far as digging dirt on other people and making it a big deal at present. That is especially true about racial or gender discrimination. However, most people seem to forget that, aside from gender and race, individuals also get discriminated against because of their size.


Living As A Fat Person

When I was in elementary school, I was called the fattest kid in my class. I was already over 100 pounds during fourth grade, after all. When I reached the sixth grade, I became130 pounds. Then, I managed to maintain that weight until I went to college and suddenly became 180 pounds.

I knew I grew really big at the time. Despite that, I was not one of those people who tried every single diet or pill or tea out there to lose weight. I would credit that to the fact that I had years to deal with the fact that I was not a slender person. I would never be the model material that everyone admired or at least be able to wear a size 0. I did not easily get hurt, even when some folks would joke about me taking up two seats in the train or making the earth shake whenever I walked across a hallway. I promised myself that I would never let them get to me for as long as I lived.

What Made Me Break My Promise, You Might Ask?

Well, when you are a young adult and a  fat girl like me, you would most likely want to change for a guy. At least that’s what happened to me.

I was already in my fourth year in college back then. I only had one more semester to go before I could be an adult and live independently.


At that point, I still never had a boyfriend. I held myself in such high regard. I always said that I would never change myself for anyone. If A guy wanted me, then he would want all of me – fats and all.

One day, a cute guy in the university named Marcus showed interest in me all of a sudden. He majored in business management while I majored in finance, so we would sometimes cross paths during lectures and other inter-department activities.

I had always harbored a little crush on Marcus since freshman year, but I never told anyone that. It was mostly due to shame and worry that people would think that I was too idealistic for hoping that he would like me back. I had seen Marcus date girls who were my exact opposite –  you know, skinny, blonde, and… not very smart. So, imagine my surprise when Marcus appeared on my side when I was walking to one of my classes.

Marcus started talking to me like we had known each other for years. He wanted to know how I was doing, where I was going, and all the other basic stuff. From there, we became instant friends.

My attraction towards Marcus grew when he never commented about my body or my eating habits. Despite that, being around him made me self-conscious to the extent that I decided to enroll at a local gym and hire a dietitian to lose a significant amount of weight. Who knows, once I became a size 6, Marcus might like me, right?

But I did not need to wait for that long since Marcus asked me to be his girlfriend a month later. Out of excitement, I did not second guess his intentions and said yes to him immediately. Unfortunately, we had only been dating for a month when I found out that Marcus got close to me because of an ongoing bet that he had with his friends about how fast he could make me fall for him.

Deeply humiliated, I began eating as if there was no tomorrow. I would not have stopped if my friends did not get in the way. They barged into my room with a big box and dropped all my food there. I protested, but they did not listen. They told me that I was depressed over a silly excuse for a man.

“If you genuinely want to eat, eat something that can lessen your depression!” my friend exclaimed.


What food is a natural antidepressant? 

Banana is a natural antidepressant.

What foods are good for mental health? 

    • Citrus fruits
    • Dark green vegetables
    • Eggs
    • Legumes and nuts
    • Salmon

Do bananas help with depression? 

Yes, bananas help with depression, thanks to the protein called tryptophan than it contains. When it enters the body, it can transform into serotonin, which is a mood-lifting brain chemical.

Are eggs good for depression? 

Yes, eggs are good for depression, considering they contain essential nutrients like vitamin D, omega-3, and various amino acids.

Does B12 help with depression? 

Yes, vitamin B12 helps with depression. Studies show that people who get diagnosed with this disorder have low levels of this particular vitamin.

What is the best natural antidepressant? 

St. John’s wort is the best natural antidepressant.

What vitamins help with depression? 

    • Vitamin B
    • Omega-3
    • Vitamin D

What can I take instead of antidepressants? 

You can take vitamins instead of antidepressants.

What vitamin is a natural antidepressant? 

Vitamin B is a natural antidepressant.

What is a happy pill for depression? 

Prozac is a well-known happy pill for depression.

What vitamins help with anxiety? 

    • Omega-3
    • Magnesium
    • Multivitamins
    • Vitamin B complex
    • Vitamin D

How can I increase serotonin and dopamine naturally? 

    • Consume a lot of legumes and lean meat. Velvet beans can also do the trick, but you need to eat them in moderation.
    • Avoid consuming too many dairy products.
    • Take probiotics.
    • Listen to instrumental songs.
    • Try meditating.
    • Stay under the sun for less than an hour daily.

What is the fastest way to increase dopamine? 

Exercising is the fastest way to increase your dopamine level. The fewer toxins you have in the body, the more you can feel light and happy.

What foods are high in serotonin? 

    • Eggs
    • Lean meat
    • Nuts
    • Pineapples
    • Salmon

What supplements help with motivation?

    • Curcumin
    • Magnesium
    • Probiotics
    • Vitamin D

Final Thoughts

It hurt to be a laughingstock in other people’s eyes for a while. I honestly thought of putting Marcus in a headlock one evening just to hurt him back. However, thanks to my friends, I realized that he was not worth my tears and effort. There would be many Marcuses globally, and I would only feed their satisfaction by reacting to them.

I went back to the gym started eating healthy to lose weight. This time, it was for my own health, not because I wanted to please anyone.

How Attending An Eating Disorder Conference Could Help You


Experts gathered together in the 2019 Eating Disorder Conference held at Drumlins, Syracuse New York last October. The conference featured various topics that gave its audience a better understanding of eating disorders and how to deal with it appropriately. But why would you want to pay for the registration and attend an entire day of lectures? Here are three reasons why:

1. Various Topics Discussed By Experts




Conferences invite people who are experts in the field to share their knowledge. Often, these experts discuss topics that are products of years of their hard work—listening to what their lectures would impart valuable information in a few minutes. Experts might touch on issues that deal with your condition or experience. If you have questions, these experts are the best people to answer them.

2. You Will Be Amongst Your Peers

Do not feel intimidated by conferences. Instead, be comforted by the thought that your peers surround you. Attendees of conferences share the same interests. They could be experts, part of the academe, students, and merely curious people. Learning like this does not only occur in lectures. You could discover new things and understand your condition better by conversing with others and sharing your story.


3. Conferences Open New Opportunities

Participants in conferences may come from different fields in your topic of interest. The event would allow you to socialize with them while learning new things. It will enable you to explore further possibilities and maybe point you to a direction you have been uncertain of. You may discover new areas of study, an opportunity for research, or meet someone who shares the same experiences.

Conferences gather people to learn together. It is a chance to share your views, experiences, and learnings over the years. Having an eating disorder may be challenging to deal with alone, but attending conferences would make you realize that there is a community that supports you. No matter what your purpose in attending a conference is, it is for sure that upon leaving the venue, you will always bring home new knowledge with you, and that could never be a bad thing.

Family Support Guidelines When Your Loved One Has An Eating Disorder


This goes out to the person who has intense anxiety around the thought of eating at a restaurant, and paints on a false smile, while underneath is frantically tallying calorie counts in your head. You wish you could just “eat normally,” yet it feels like your list of “food rules” is getting increasingly more strict. — Jennifer Rollin MSW, LCSW-C

Having a loved one or a family member who is suffering from an eating disorder can be heart-breaking. It will not only affect the person but everyone in the family as well. It can cause stress, confusion and even emotional meltdown thus; you need to be guided accordingly on how to handle a person who has this kind of condition.

Continue reading “Family Support Guidelines When Your Loved One Has An Eating Disorder”

Benefits Of Psychotherapy On Eating Disorders

Many people with eating disorders are deeply ashamed of their problems. Society stigmatizes mental illness and in the case of eating disorders, many believe that the condition is self-inflicted. Good thing there are beneficial mental treatments that can help. Let’s discuss more about it in this article.




When you become obsessed with your diet and eating habits, emotions begin to hinge on that obsession. — Dawn Delgado LMFT.

Due to the shame and stigma about this disorder, many young people will not seek the help that they require, and it is always family and friends who notice the signs and symptoms and seek psychotherapy on behalf of the sufferer.

Psychotherapy, also called talk or play therapy, is a process whereby a trained therapist helps people address underlying interpersonal issues, emotional difficulties, mental disorders, and anxiety disorders. There are many different types of psychotherapy, but all aim to bring about positive changes in the patient.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, psychotherapy can be an effective in reducing fewer sick days. It aims to prescribe medications, revitalize intimate physical contact, and promote positive changes to health.

what exactly are the psychotherapy advantages?

Psychotherapy: Road To Recovery

Although co-existing mental conditions and underlying health problems may be medicated, there is no appropriate medication for eating disorders. Instead, therapy with psychotherapy benefits has proven to be the most suitable approach to overcoming the mental condition, which you can read more about elsewhere online.

Before the patient can even begin on the road to recovery, they must start on a nutritional plan, which will help them to recover physically and psychologically. Gaining weight and retaining it may be very upsetting for someone with an eating disorder so talk psychotherapy will have to deal with the resultant anxiety and focus on mental coping skills.

Talk therapy with psychotherapy involves the benefits of talking through emotions and experiences with counselors trained to listen without passing judgment. The patient must make connections between past experiences and current lifestyle circumstances. They must understand what triggers mental eating problems, learn to avoid the triggers, and learn to cope with everyday stresses.

When a loved one or dear friend is hiding or lying about self-destructive behavior, it always feels like we need to take action immediately. Even if it means destroying or disrupting a relationship. — F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W.

Talk psychotherapy for eating disorders is a little different from traditional talk psychotherapy in that the patient will be expected to maintain a journal and will be given homework, challenging obsessions, and anxieties.  At the heart of talk therapy with the benefits and usefulness of psychotherapy is education on how past actions and life experiences affect current beliefs and actions. The ultimate objective and benefit is a well-rounded and happy life.



A man seeking psychotherapy


Most people suffering from psychological eating disorders require long-term psychotherapy to beneficially overcome the mental disorder symptoms and to ensure that they don’t suffer a relapse later in life. The basis of the mental eating disorder must be interrogated and co-existing mental conditions must be identified so that they can be treated concurrently.

Research shows that psychotherapy work can help people maneuver through daily life challenges and negative thought patterns to improve communication and reduce panic disorder. It is a process that can be beneficial for people with various types of mental and emotional problems. Licensed marriage therapists who have specialized training in psychotherapy can provide this more intensive form of therapy.

There are a number of talk therapies or psychotherapy available. They are:

Many of these counseling is very beneficial in overcoming mental eating disorders, and most are used in combination to maximize the advantages of psychotherapy. Because mental eating disorders are complex, differing from person to person, the choice of therapy will be very personalized, and therefore the treatment regime must start with the selection of a therapist who specializes in mental eating disorders, and with whom the patient feels comfortable. Building a relationship of trust with the therapist is beneficial and an important start on the road to full recovery.

Remember that eating disorders aren’t really about weight and food.  They are expressing something else troubling happening in their life. — Susan Albers Psy.D.

Psychotherapy Benefits



A mental eating disorder has as its basis, deeply felt and often irrational thoughts and beliefs. Talk therapy with psychotherapy benefits is used to help the patient to identify these mental thoughts and beliefs, understand that the beliefs are illogical, and start to challenge them.

Talk therapy with psychotherapy beneficially works because it does not focus on weight, but helps people to talk about their emotions and their self-esteem and body image issues. Relationship issues will also be dealt with during talk psychotherapy, as these issues are often triggering irregular eating behavior. Talk therapy is a gradual process and it will take several months to accomplish the goals and see benefits.

Psychotherapy can be incredibly beneficial in the long term for those struggling with mental illnesses. It can help promote mental well being and personal responsibility, and has even been shown to help reduce the symptoms of some mental disorders. Animal assisted therapy, psychiatric nurses, and primary care physicians are all trained in psychotherapy and can help patients enter into this type of treatment. Psychotherapy can also help patients with fewer medical problems and those who do not have health insurance but wish to enter psychotherapy.


The family forms a very beneficial part of the recovery process and is crucial in the support of the younger sufferer. Parents should be deeply involved in the recovery process when the sufferer is a teenager or young adult and should be empowered to help their child to a full recovery.

Parents and sometimes siblings and partners are included in the family therapy.

Sometimes the psychotherapy sessions have a lot of benefits and of great assistance and in others family fractures become apparent. Some sufferers feel that the inclusion of the family has helped them to understand the disorder whereas others are embarrassed by the involvement of the family.

Group Therapy And Support Groups

Support groups are self-help organizations where people who have had or have unresolved grief meet to discuss problems and solutions relating to their shared problem. Group psychotherapy is beneficially less expensive than individual psychotherapy and can help sufferers to feel less alone (while family therapists maintain patient confidentiality risk regarding someone’s mental health condition). Group physical therapy involves mental health professionals and generally forms part of the treatment plan to treat mental health conditions or mental health services like bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, etc.




The underlying problems, which may include depression and anxiety, should be treated first, as this may be driving the irregular eating patterns. When undergoing psychotherapy research treatment options like psychodynamic therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy, cognitive therapy, etc., mental health assessment efforts will be made by a mental health professional to improve self-esteem and to teach the patient stress management tools for added clinical psychology advantages. Negative feelings will be challenged, and the patient will be taught to identify the triggers to self-harm and how to avoid them.

Remember though, that a person’s willingness to seek psychodynamic psychotherapy treatment and cognitive and behavioral approaches and form a therapeutic alliance with other mental health professionals is beneficial for them to treat depression, improve self-awareness and psychotherapy outcomes, and reap the therapy perks after a few sessions.


What is the main goal of psychotherapy?
What is psychotherapy and its importance?
Who can benefit from psychotherapy?
When is psychotherapy most effective?
What are the boundaries of psychotherapy?
How does one gauge the effectiveness of this type of therapy?
Does psychotherapy really work?
What are the five main approaches to psychotherapy?
What is the primary role of the psychotherapist?


Getting Help – How to Overcome an Eating Disorder

Assessing the Situation


If you suspect that you may have an eating disorder, the first course of action should be to analyze your family’s past, your current mental state, and attitude towards food. It’s extremely rare for an eating disorder to develop without some kind of risk factor. Eating disorders often run in families, so it’s important to remember that if a family member has an eating disorder, you may be at risk of one. In that same vein, you may have some kind of mental illness that the eating disorder has sprouted from. Mental disorders also often run in families. If you’ve already been diagnosed with some kind of anxiety disorder, depression, or mood disorder and you feel as though you’re developing an unhealthy relationship with food and eating, it may be time to visit your doctor.

In our weight-biased culture, when a fat person loses weight, it is almost always seen as a good thing. Even when that weight loss is caused by an eating disorder. — Alexis Conason Psy.D.

Continue reading “Getting Help – How to Overcome an Eating Disorder”