Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is considered a leading evidence-based treatment program for eating disorders. It is a psychotherapeutic approach that includes a variety of techniques. With the help of this approach, people learn ways to establish interaction between their thoughts, behaviours, and feelings and design strategy to alter unhelpful behaviours and thoughts to improve functioning and mood.
CBT is a time-bound, goal-oriented therapy involving homework outside the sessions. CBT focuses more on the coordination between client and therapist and active client participation throughout the process. CBT has turned out effective for several mental health conditions, including generalized anxiety disorder, depression, OCD and phobia.
The cognitive model of eating disorders put forward the core maintaining problem in all eating disorders, which is over-concern with weight and shape. Although the ways through which this concern manifest may vary from person to person. It can be any of the following conditions
All these components can interact to create the symptom of an eating disorder. Strict dieting, including eating a small amount of food, skipping meals, and avoiding forbidden foods, can become the reason for low weight or the condition of binge eating. Low weight leads to the situation of malnutrition and also becomes the reason for binge eating.
However, bingeing leads to a state of intense shame and guilt and a renewed attempt to diet. It leads to efforts to undo purging through compensatory behaviour. Patients generally feel trapped in this cycle.
CBT is a structured form of treatment. It takes 20 sessions, and goals are fixed in it. During the session, the therapist weighs the patient's situation, reviews the formulation of the case, and reviews homework, problem-solving and teaching skills.
CBT includes enlisted components
Usually, CBT doesn't recommend as the first-line treatment. But if the condition of the patient becomes adverse with time, then CBT is suggested. People with binge eating disorders, bulimia nervosa and other specified eating disorders are considered good patients for CBT.