CBT for Eating Problems
Eating Problems and CBT
There are several criteria which are associated with people with eating problems.
When eating habits are different from an earlier period of a clients life they can present as: –
- Reducing food intake significantly until the caloric intake is so low that the person is starving themselves.
- Continuous thoughts, feelings, and images connected to body shape and image, body weight and their relation to eating itself.
- Deterioration in physical health and well-being due to eating problems (indigestion, stomach acidity, tiredness, fatigue, sleep problem, nervousness etc.)
- Self destructive behaviours connected to the above symptoms: binging and purging (vomiting), use of laxatives, and/or intense and unrelenting exercise regime.
The centre for CBT sees clients within three areas associated with eating problems.
A. Obesity – Overeating and a raised Body Mass Index have been attributed to many other related psychological problems. These include poor self esteem, self worth, body image, self confidence, lack of motivation, social withdrawal, social anxiety and depression.
B. Bulimea Nervosa – Clients suffering from BN binge-eat and them vomit, starve, exercise excessively or abuse laxatives to compensate for the weight gain associated with there binges. This regime keeps their weight in the normal range but at great cost to long term health and well-being.
C. Anorexia Nervosa – Clients present with a Body Mass Index at least 15% below normal. There is an obsessional fear in the area of weight gain, and constant rumination (thinking, images, beliefs, attitudes) around body image and food intake, are invasive throughout the day.
The statistics for eating disorders are that they are often seen in young women and adolescents, with Bulimea Nervosa affecting 2% of young women. Anorexia Nervosa is less common and affects 3 out of every 1000 young women. The predominant sufferers are female and 20% of university and college students are shown to have some symptoms associated with an eating problem.
Causes of Eating Disorders
No clinical studies can identify a single cause for the development of an eating disorder, factors can include: poor self worth, family problems, expectations of their peer group.
The emphasis on extreme slimness for women in society with the promise of success, popularity, and happiness associated with female stereotypes have a large impact on how women see themselves.
How Does CBT Work?
CBT use psychological approaches which are based on scientific, clinically proven research, and has been shown to be effective for problems associated with eating disorders. CBT begins with an assessment using diagnostic tests, and a semi-structured interview.
A client is given clear cut diagnosis and an individualised treatment plan.
CBT for Eating Disorders
With any problem the first step is to identify the problem and make a decision to contemplate the changes necessary to overcome an eating problem. It is usually the risk to physical health (blood disorders, gastric system problems, kidney and heart problems due to an electrolyte / salt imbalance) that motivates clients to take the first step to get help for their problem. One in five suffers of Anorexia Nervosa will, if untreated, die from the disorder
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been clinically proven as an effective treatment for Bulimea Nervosa, Obesity, and Anorexia Nervosa. Recovery from Bulimea can recover from their condition within four to six months. Anorexia sufferers can take between one and two years to recover.
Obesity problems are effective with CBT because both weight loss, and relapse prevention are included. These address the core problems underlying the yo-yo factor of weight loss.
A six billion pound industry devoted to dieting prosper because it is not enough to deal with weight problems if their underlying causes are not resolved.
Virtual Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Convenient, private and secure
Online Therapy is available to anyone, anywhere in the world at home or in the office using a tablet, mobile phone or laptop / computer and a good internet connection.
This service would appeal to client's for a variety of reasons.
- Clients location would make it difficult / impossible to access Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy.
- Clients time-pressure, work deadlines, and work-based travel make it difficult to commit for the normal counselling time-scale.
- Clients family commitments make it easier to have treatment on-line at home.
- Clients prefer an initial face to face assessment, and then combine both treatment modalities.