The Most Effective Treatments to Address Eating Disorders

At least 9% of the global population suffer from an eating disorder once in their lives. If you or your loved one suffer from such an issue, you are not alone. Fortunately, modern medical sciences and developments in psychology allow us to recover from eating disorders with the right treatment.

The most common forms of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. You or your loved one can use different therapies to treat such disorders. Here are some of the top therapies that may help.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This therapy aims to identify your thought patterns that are contributing to the disorder. Such thoughts and beliefs are associated with things. The most common thoughts are food, weight, or appearance-related. Once the thought patterns are identified, the therapist will then create a plan to change and manage them. This is an effective treatment as CBT treats eating disorders like other mental disorders.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)

It is the second most popular treatment for bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder. Here, your disorder is analyzed with social and interpersonal relationships. The four problem areas used for IPT are interpersonal deficits, role disputes, role transitions, and grief. Your therapist or doctor works to find the exact reason. Once identified, they then help you develop strategies to overcome the root cause of the issue.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT is a popular treatment plan for anorexia nervosa and binge eating disorder. This form of therapy focuses on managing difficult emotions. Here, the therapist or doctor encourages you to learn skills to change the behaviors associated with your eating disorder. These skills include interpersonal skills, emotional expression, flexibility, coping with distress, and mindfulness.

Family-Based Treatment (FBT)

It is a therapy method used for children or adolescents that suffer from an eating disorder. With FBT, the family members of the patient are used as vital parts of the treatment. They are involved in helping the patient maintain healthy eating patterns, maintain a healthy weight, and interrupt unhealthy behaviors such as purging or binge eating.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Family Therapy

It works on the principle that your eating behaviors respond to unpleasant feelings like pain or anxiety. So this treatment focuses on changing your actions. If you undergo this treatment, you will be asked to examine yourself and your core values. This is followed by developing goals that help meet these values. The goal of ACT is to accept all feelings, including anxiety and stress, and commit to changing the following actions.

Please note that while ACT is growing in popularity and is considered a viable therapy, more research is required to see its efficacy.

Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT)

Another popular treatment for anorexia nervosa is CRT, which focuses on mental flexibility. Here, the therapist suggests some tasks and exercises to help deal with the thinking patterns associated with the eating disorder. Tasks include drawing shapes with both your hands, switching attention between two topics, or finding ways to navigate maps.

While all these eating disorder therapies are well-established and largely accepted by the medical and psychological industry, you need to find the one that works best for you or your loved one. Only a certified therapist or doctor can help you choose the right therapy for you or your loved one.

The strategies you learn at therapy help you change your thought patterns. In turn, that helps you recover from your eating disorder. If you or your loved one has an eating disorder, remember that help is always available and recovery from it is possible. You don’t have to suffer and endure it for too long.