Therapy for Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are serious, but treatable mental and physical illnesses that can affect people of every age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic group. According to NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) an estimated 20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives. While no one knows for sure what causes eating disorders, a growing consensus suggests that it is a range of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors. 

There are several different types of therapy that are used to treat eating disorders. It involves talking with a trained professional that will help one learn about themselves to recognize and face their underlying issues. With help, those living with an eating disorder will become more confident and learn ways to cope with difficult situations.


Some clinical focused therapies used to treat eating disorders, include:

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT connects thoughts and actions as an approach to coping with painful emotions. Components of DBT include the practice of mindfulness and emotional regulation. DBT will help you to better deal with conflict and stress, while gaining increased control over your thoughts and emotions.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT concentrates on ways to become aware of and accept your emotions and experiences. This therapy helps you to develop a healthier relationship with your emotions and thoughts. ACT helps you to recognize thoughts and urges that are tied to the eating disorder, which can then assist you in understanding these impulses.

Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERP)

ERP aims to help you overcome fears and anxiety. It focuses on assisting you in resisting the use of compulsive behaviors that might typically be used to cope with these feelings. The primary goal is for you to remain connected to the trigger without the use of the ritualistic behaviors. It helps you overcome fears of forbidden foods and decrease urges to binge/purge.


To work with a therapist who specializes in treating eating disorders, click here.