Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an active type of counseling. Sessions usually are held once a week for as long as you need to master new skills. Individual sessions last 1 hour, and group sessions may be longer.
During cognitive-behavioral therapy for eating disorders, you learn:
What To Expect After Treatment
You can use your cognitive-behavioral skills throughout your life. You may find that additional "tune-up" sessions help you stay on track with your new skills.
Why It Is Done
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is used to treat the mental and emotional elements of an eating disorder. This type of therapy is done to change how you think and feel about food, eating, and body image. It is also done to help correct poor eating habits and prevent relapse.
How Well It Works
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is considered effective for the treatment of eating disorders.1 But because eating disorder behaviors can endure for a long period of time, ongoing psychological treatment is usually needed.
There are no known risks associated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.
What To Think About
For cognitive-behavioral therapy to be most effective, be sure to work together with your counselor toward common goals. If you think you are not working well with your counselor, discuss your concerns with him or her or your primary doctor.
If you have a mental health condition along with an eating disorder, your doctor may suggest medicine. Treating a problem such as depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder may help you recover from an eating disorder.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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