Other Treatments for Eating Disorders

Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Therapists can help you develop a healthier and more realistic self-image. They will help you find new ways to think about your body and yourself. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been especially successful when used for people who have bulimia. If you have bulimia, this type of therapy will help you normalize your eating patterns(ending bingeing and purging and teaching you to eat small amounts of food more regularly.

If you have binge eating disorder, CBT is used to help increase your self-esteem and motivation to stop bingeing. It can also help treat depression, which is common among binge eaters.

Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy may help you understand and cope with concerns about your relationships. It may help you cope with anxiety and depression that may coexist with your eating disorder. It is also useful in addressing social factors that influence your eating behavior.

Interpersonal therapy can help you express your feelings, develop a stronger sense of individuality, cope with change, and address past trauma that might have played a role in your eating disorder.

Group Support

There are many different types of groups for people with eating disorders. Groups may be part of an inpatient or outpatient program, be led by a private therapist, or exist independently. A therapist, recovered person, or other individual may lead support groups for people with eating disorders. Topics may include coping strategies, body image, nutrition information, spirituality, family issues, art therapy, or a combination of topics.

Family Therapy

Complex family behaviors and attitudes often play a role in eating disorders. Many people cannot recover unless their families recognize their roles in the problem and make changes. Close family members need to understand the disorder and support the patient.


If you have anorexia nervosa and are hospitalized, you will receive strict dietary control and monitoring until you gain a desirable amount of weight. Ultimate success depends upon your commitment to change.

You may be hospitalized if:

  • Your weight is 25%-30% below your ideal body weight
  • You have signs of serious physical or emotional deterioration

Most people with bulimia do not have to be hospitalized unless they develop anorexia, need medications to withdraw from purging, or have major depression.

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