Cognitive Behavioral Therapy In An Outpatient Eating Disorder Facility To Change Destructive Thought Patterns

Health & Medical Blog

Eating disorders are difficult to treat, as the underlying cause of the eating disorder is hard to uncover. Eating disorders can be caused by a range of problems and often occur because of a combination of medical, emotional, and environmental factors that must be addressed in order for the individual to heal. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, offers people suffering from eating disorders a new way to address negative thought patterns. The focus is on learning how to develop a more positive self image and to learn how to manage appropriate food consumption.

Eating Regular Meals with CBT

One of the reasons that it is so important to get therapy for an eating disorder is that anorexia nervosa can become a life threatening illness if not treated. CBT is used to help patients develop a better attitude towards food and learn how to eat regular, balanced meals. A CBT therapist might provide the individual with a meal plan and work closely with the individual to make sure the eating plan is followed exactly. Even when it's difficult for the person to consume the meal, it is part of a CBT program to meet these challenges head on and get the patient to eat the meal by normalizing the behavior.

Reinforcing Positive Thought Patterns In Group Sessions

CBT can also help a group of individuals in eating disorder treatment to work on developing positive thought patterns. Instead of thinking, "I'm such a pig for eating this," a CBT therapist would restate that sentence and say, "I'm taking care of myself by eating this." When patients sit together in a group to talk about their challenges of the day, a therapist that oversees the group can reword negative statements into more positive thoughts.

Understanding that Control is a Main Factor of an Eating Disorder

Many people develop an eating disorder as a way to feel in control of their own life. Whether a loss of control exists because of an abusive partner, a medical condition, or problems with a parent, when a person who is susceptible to an eating disorder feels out of control, the consumption of food is one of the things they can control. In addition, patients who have low self esteem often don't feel worthy of good nutrition and will use food as a way to punish themselves.

Eating disorder treatment requires a multi-dimensional approach and takes time for the individual to overcome this disease.


7 October 2016

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