What is an eating disorder?
Eating disorders involve a distorted relationship with food, body image, and emotions. They can often be linked to underlying issues such as low self-esteem and difficulty managing emotions.
If you are experiencing any of the following signs, it may be an indication of an eating disorder:
- Feeling guilty or ashamed after eating and attempting to restrict food intake
- Using compensatory behaviors such as exercise or other weight control methods to “make up” for eating
- Obsessing about weight, shape, or eating habits
- Losing control of your eating and engaging in binge-eating behaviors
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. With appropriate treatment and support, it is possible to overcome these challenges and build a healthier, more positive relationship with food and your body.
Therapies for eating disorders
Cognitive-behavioral therapy for eating disorders (CBT-E) is a specialized form of CBT that has been shown to be highly effective in treating adults with eating disorders. CBT-E is tailored to the unique needs and challenges of each individual, making it an appropriate treatment for a wide range of eating disorder diagnoses.
CBT-E typically consists of four stages:
- In stage one, the focus is on gaining awareness and understanding of your difficulties and helping you stabilize your eating patterns. This involves learning to recognize patterns in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors around food and other behaviors.
- In stage two, progress is reviewed and plans are made for stage three.
- In stage three, the main body of treatment, we will address the underlying processes that are maintaining your eating difficulties. This may involve addressing restrictive eating habits, improving your ability to cope with daily stressors and emotions, and addressing concerns about body image.
- In stage four, the focus shifts to maintaining your progress and preparing for potential setbacks in the future.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, CBT-E can provide you with the tools and skills you need to overcome your challenges and build a healthier, more positive relationship with food and your body
The Maudsley Model of Anorexia Nervosa Treatment for Adults (MANTRA) is a highly recommended evidence-based treatment for adults with anorexia nervosa. MANTRA takes a holistic approach that considers the biological and psychological factors that contribute to and maintain anorexia.
According to MANTRA, anorexia is often seen in people with a certain type of personality and is maintained by four broad factors that are exacerbated by the physical effects of starvation. These factors include:
- A rigid, detail-oriented, and perfectionistic way of thinking
- Difficulties with emotions and relationships
- Positive beliefs about anorexia
- The behaviors of others around the illness
MANTRA also acknowledges that uncertainty about change is common in anorexia, and this is often where treatment begins. By addressing these factors and helping individuals develop new ways of thinking and coping, MANTRA can be a powerful tool for recovery from anorexia nervosa.
Specialist Supportive Clinical Management (SSCM) uses clinical management skills, a sustained focus on improving eating disorder symptoms, and supportive therapy techniques to help you achieve your treatment goals. In addition to addressing symptoms, SSCM also emphasizes improving enjoyment and quality of life.
SSCM is a flexible approach that allows you to dictate the content of each session based on your needs, feelings, and desires. You will be supported, and encouraged to use your existing skills and strengths to work towards your treatment goals. SSCM takes a practical, gentle, and supportive approach that builds on your pre existing strengths.
Your treatment plan will be unique to you and will combine your own insights with my expertise to help you recover from your eating disorder. By reviewing your symptoms and progress towards treatment goals in each session, SSCM can help you make meaningful and lasting changes in your life.