The management of an eating disorder is ideally managed by a few professionals: a GP, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, and Dietitian who liaise with each other and work together to provide the individual with the care and support they need to recover from their eating disorder.
The foundation of psychological treatment is in forming a secure and trusting relationship with the psychologist in order to address the underlying issues that led to the development and maintenance of the eating disorder.
These issues are often anxiety, depression, poor self esteem and difficult interpersonal relationships. Depending on the individual being treated, a psychological approach and treatment plan are selected with the aim of overcoming these underlying issues, equipping the individual with helpful psychological strategies and life skills to assist them in coping with stressors and triggers.
The following models of psychological therapy can be used in treatment:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – CBT has been consistently shown to be effective in treating eating disorders. CBT explores the thoughts and feelings that cause behaviours, and encourages people to explore their eating disorder-related behaviours in this context. By challenging unhelpful thinking styles and the beliefs that underlie them, it is possible to develop healthier behaviours. Using the CBT approach, the way a person thinks about themselves and food will be identified, along with the factors that reinforce and maintain disordered eating behaviour. Subsequently more positive ways of thinking about food and self will be developed.
- Mindfulness Based Therapy – Mindfulness based therapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) have all been found to be extremely effective in treating individuals with eating disorders. These therapies place an emphasis on mindful meditation, mindful eating and a range of other techniques aimed at increasing the awareness and acceptance of eating behaviour. This approach is different from CBT in that it is focused on disengaging or “letting go” of negative thoughts, rather than challenging them.
To make an appointment with one of our Psychologists, call 3067 9129 today!