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What is the Best Therapy for Eating Disorders?

Best Therapy for Eating Disorders

Every eating disorder is unique, and so must be the treatment for it. When it comes to types of therapy for those with eating disorders, ‘one size does not fit all’, as they say.

It’s important to match the type of therapy to the needs and goals of each individual. Different therapies for eating disorders might be more or less effective based on what type of disordered eating is at hand. What works for one person may not work as well for another.

From cognitive behavioral therapy to family-based theories and even interpersonal therapy – there is an assortment of strategies available to help people dealing with eating disorders of all types. 

Let’s not forget that in most cases finding success requires trying different approaches until you find a method that works best for you. 

Ready to take a dive in? Let’s chat. 

The Different Levels of Eating Disorders:

Eating disorders are serious illnesses, but depending on the eating disorder, some can be more severe than others. 


Anorexia is considered to be the most serious eating disorder out there, ranging from mild to severe. It can cause low body weight, a distorted body image, and an inability to recognize the severity of the problem. 

People with mild anorexia typically engage in restrictive eating patterns or eating rituals, whereas the severe form of the eating disorder can lead to shutting down one’s metabolic functions and organ failure. 


Bulimia, an eating disorder characterized by normal eating punctuated with episodes of binge eating and purging behavior, can range from mild to severe in terms of its severity level. 

On one end of the spectrum, those suffering from mild bulimia may feel immense guilt after eating a large amount of food and engaging in self-induced vomiting up to four times per week.

Mid-to-severe levels of the disorder bring about much more serious ramifications for the sufferer – both physical and psychological. Individuals at these levels have been known to have distorted eating patterns and feelings of intense fear related to gaining weight, symptoms that can go beyond merely feeling guilty after eating. 

Binge-Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder typically results in obesity or being overweight with potential associated medical issues like diabetes or high blood pressure. 

The different severity levels of the disorder classify it into mild binges, moderate binges, and severe binges. 

While there are overlapping characteristics between each type of binge eating, mild and moderate binges will generally differ from periods of extreme episodes of eating in individuals with severe binges—not just in frequency, but also in severity. 

In short, binge eating can wreak havoc on your emotional and physical life depending on how deep the eating disorder has crept into your system.

Ultimately, eating disorders come in varying levels of seriousness but all should be taken seriously as they all have life-long consequences.

The Different Levels of Therapy For Eating Disorders

From deeply rooted psychological therapy to mere check-ups, eating disorder treatments offer a variety of tactics to take on the challenge of keeping your body healthy. 

Whether it be one appointment every now and then to simply discuss eating habits or delving into more intensive weekly sessions with a therapist, there’s something at every level capable of aiding in the battle against eating disorders. 

It’s all about finding the path that works best for you!

What Is The Best Therapy For Eating Disorders?

Given the sheer variety of treatment options available when it comes to eating disorders, it can often be difficult to know which type is best for you. 

Therapy for Eating Disorders

Thankfully, the truth of the matter is that no one therapy is best for everyone: it all depends on your needs and individual circumstances. 

So, if you’re struggling with an eating disorder, don’t fret about finding the best treatment – just find what works for you to get your body healthy again.

1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT-E)

​CBT works by helping patients address the underlying thoughts or feelings that are contributing to their eating disorder. 

By understanding the mindset behind their anorexia or bulimia, they can develop effective strategies and long-term goals to help them become comfortable with food again.

Though they often get confused, the two treatments have different approaches that can benefit those seeking therapy. CBT focuses on identifying and changing thought patterns that may trigger unhealthy behaviors while CBT-E looks to reformulate self-perception which can lead to more positive behavior changes. 

2. Family-Based Treatment (FBT)

For those who struggle with eating disorders, the challenge of facing therapy can feel incredibly daunting.

Fortunately, therapy for eating disorders has come leaps and bounds since its conception. Now, family-based therapy offers a more welcoming approach to therapy that uses the support of family and loved ones to create a nurturing environment in which to achieve recovery. 

Rather than relying on lengthy individual therapy sessions alone, family-based therapy gives both the patient and their family members the tools they need to successfully tackle any binge-eating-induced hurdles life throws in their path.

3. Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)

Rather than simply treating the symptoms of an eating disorder, IPT focuses on the underlying emotional issues that contributed to its creation of it in the first place. 

During therapy, clients learn how to better understand and express their emotions, as well as connect more deeply with their friends and loved ones. 

In addition to addressing mental health components, this therapy also looks at how social factors have impacted a person’s life. By making a conscious effort to repair these connections and cultivate healthier ways of processing emotions, individuals can find lasting relief from their eating disorders.

4. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is often a lifesaver for those trying to overcome eating disorders. For many, there can be a feeling of hopelessness in managing and understanding their own behavior and emotions. 

But DBT helps individuals better regulate and strengthen their own inner resources with therapy that offers hope, skills, and insights into how they can navigate through life’s challenges. 

It’s an incredibly useful therapy tool that brings balance in stressful circumstances. 

5. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is gaining traction as a viable therapy for an eating disorder. 

In contrast to traditional methods of simply trying to change behaviors, ACT emphasizes mindful acceptance of discomfort in order to make lasting and meaningful changes. 

Practitioners of ACT advocate for a positive, internal dialogue that consists of values-based decisions instead of condemning negative thoughts and emotions associated with the disorder. Some say it’s a glass-half-full approach to therapy for eating disorders!

6. Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

If you have struggled with an eating disorder, psychodynamic psychotherapy might be the answer you’re looking for. 

This therapy works by examining a person’s early social experiences and relationships to determine how they are impacting behavior in the present. 

When it comes to therapy for eating disorders, psychodynamic therapy aims to make sense of how past relationship dynamics influence current body image issues and self-esteem concerns. 

Plus, with its emphasis on individualized treatment plans and its focus on establishing strong therapeutic relationships, there’s no doubt this is one of the best types of therapy for eating disorders. 

7. Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT)

Cognitive Remediation Therapy is a great therapy program for those trying to conquer their eating disorders. In fact, it’s almost a one-stop shop for all your therapy needs!

From learning new problem-solving skills to understanding behavioral goals in therapy, CRT  helps you gain the tools you need to get a better grip on your eating disorder. 

Not only this, but it’s not just about understanding and practicing specific skills; this therapy encourages self-awareness and can be extremely beneficial long term. 

So if you’re fed up with your eating disorder, why not give CRT a try? It could be the beginning of something wonderful.

Using Therapy With Medication and Education

It goes without saying that therapy, medical intervention, and nutrition are essential components of treatment for eating disorder recovery. 

Not only do therapy sessions allow an individual to gain insight into their specific issues, but also provide invaluable tools for behavior modification, growth, and development. 

In addition, when a person understands how food works in their body chemically, it can be a game changer – the knowledge can be empowering. 

Medical interventions such as medication can help manage the underlying mood concerns that may be contributing to an eating disorder. Proper nutrition provides our bodies with energy, in addition to giving us key nutrients we need for our mental and physical health. 

Best Type of Therapy for Eating Disorders

When all three aspects of therapy, medicine, and nutrition are employed together in treating eating disorders, patients benefit from recovery strategies tailor-made just for them; it’s an approach that offers hope for lasting change and improved health outcomes.

Is Online Therapy For Eating Disorders Effective?

Online therapy for eating disorders has been gaining traction in recent years, but is it actually effective when trying to manage and overcome this difficult disorder? 

It’s hard to definitively answer this question as experiences may vary between individuals as online therapy is a relatively new field. 

On the one hand, online therapy can be more accessible and cost-efficient than other forms of treatment, while also providing much-needed anonymity and comfort. 

On the other hand, online therapy may not be enough support for deeper and more serious cases, where more face-to-face contact with a qualified professional may be necessary. 

Ultimately, seeking online therapy doesn’t have to be an either/or decision – many people opt to use online sources in tandem with traditional face-to-face therapies to get the best results depending on their personal needs and situation.

How Do I Decide On The Right Type Of Therapy For My Eating Disorder?

Making the important decision of which type of therapy to pursue for an eating disorder can be difficult and overwhelming. The right choice will depend on many factors such as diagnosis, severity, financial resources, age, etc.

 It’s a good idea to get professional advice from a doctor or mental health provider so they can help you to identify which type of therapy might work best for you. 

Additionally, you may want to try different types and find one that is comfortable and compatible with your values. Learning about the various treatment options in advance will give you more confidence in making this decision. 

Above all, it’s important to remember that the path toward recovery and well-being involves hard work but also has rewarding outcomes – if you take the time to explore different therapies, you’ll find what works best for you!



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