Eating disorders are mainly caused by psychological problems that interfere with someone’s overall eating habits and nutrition sources. The issues can range from only eating very small amounts of food to over-eating on a grand scale. Unhealthy forms of weight regulation such as using laxatives, vomiting or even over-exercise can have debilitating effects on your overall health, wellbeing and functionality. An eating disorder usually starts off small and then becomes bigger over time. It generally falls into three types, binge-eating, bulimia and anorexia. All of which can cause long term physical damage to your body.
CBT techniques were found to be one of the briefest treatments of eating disorders and its related issues and with lower relapse rates.
What CBT does
It focuses on the causes of the disorder from the past and the immediate problems that maintain an eating disorder.
- Cognitive restructuring:
This helps people to identify difficult, unhelpful and distorted thought patterns. It then modifies your thought process by showing you how to have a more reality-based structure of thinking. This is often related to body image, food and emotions.
- Behavioural chain analysis:
This is a tool to help clients identify the things that make them maintain the behavioural patterns that they actually wish and need to change.
- Emotion regulation strategies:
Eating behaviour reflects difficult emotions. For example comfort eating. CBT can help people to regulate and cope better with their emotions.
This will help to connect thoughts to the present moment by disrupting rumination about food and body image. It helps to make healthy behaviour possible.