Eating Disorder treatment comes on many levels, and in different settings – there is no one-size-fits-all approach. It includes a combination of psychological counselling with nutritional monitoring, and in some cases, medical and psychiatric intervention as well. Treatment depends on each individual’s history with food and body image concerns. Before beginning your quest to find a treatment provider or other kinds of support, it is extremely important to educate yourself about what different types of therapy and other treatment options entail.
Psychotherapy is the most common type of treatment for someone with disordered eating patterns and related issues. Different types of psychotherapy work differently on everyone, and you should discuss these with your treatment provider before getting started.
While this isn’t a specific type of psychotherapy, it is the most widely accepted form of eating disorder treatment. Evidence-based treatment simply means that this approach to therapy has some research supporting its use in patients with eating disorders. It also means that this approach has been found to be effective in reducing eating disorder symptoms, while not promising that it works for everyone!
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is a short-term therapy option, focused on the cognitive process, beliefs, values and principles of an individual that allow eating disorder behaviors to thrive in them. The focus of CBT is to break these thought cyclesand re-establish beliefs about appearance, shape and size.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
DBT also focuses on behavior changes to attack disordered eating patterns. By the end of a DBT treatment cycle, you will leave with a skill set of practicing mindful eating, emotion regulation, stress tolerance etc. thatwill help you replace your disordered eating behaviors.
Family Based Therapy
FBT focuses on recovery by involving the family members of the clients towards full body restoration towards better health. Simultaneously it also works on family issues and enables the caregivers to be more proactively present. It is especially helpful for adolescents.
Remember, therapy can be a slow process, and might require some trial and error. Each individual’s journey with therapy looks different. It’s important to understand that anyone seeking therapy has full control over what they wish to share, and at what pace. Everything is strictly confidential and there is flexibility when it comes to choosing the right therapist that fits someone’s needs. It is totally normal (and common) to try out multiple therapists and see which feels the best.
TYPES OF PROFESSIONALS
Therapist: They use different types of therapy to bring out the mental distress that is causing behavioural problems. They help an individual manage different aspects of their life better.
Nutritionist/ Dietician: They help their clients understand their relationship with food while recommending a healthier one. They work towards ensuring that necessary food is being consumed for a holistic health of the client.
General Health Doctor: Disordered eating patterns can cause multiple complications in the body. Therefore a team of health doctors- general physician, dentist, gynaecologist, endocrinologist etc can help with physical- related issues of the body.
Psychiatrist: They prescribe medication which can be useful to subside the severe symptoms and mental discomfort experienced by the client. Some of these medications can be antidepressants, anti anxiety, SSRIs etc.