Eating disorders have a wide variety of symptoms, causes, and difficulties. Bulimia is one of the most common forms of disordered eating. It involves periods of binge eating (excessive food consumption) followed by purging (typically vomiting or laxatives) that can lead to poor health, stress, anxiety, depression, and more.
But therapy can help. Therapy with an experienced therapist or counselor can help patients with bulimia manage the symptoms and take better control over their eating habits.
How Can Therapy be Used to Treat Bulimia?
Therapists – especially those that specialize in eating disorders – use extensively researched techniques to address bulimia’s causes, symptoms, and methods of control. You and your therpaist will
Making sure that you discuss with your therapist which treatment options are right for you is the best possible direction for recovery from bulimia. The root causes of this condition can vary widely based on the experiences of the patient. This means professional treatment should begin after a personal connection is developed between the patient and the therapist or psychiatrist in charge of their treatment.
Before you’ve had a chance to go over those potential treatment options, feel free to familiarize yourself with some of the different forms of therapy for bulimia:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on how we think and react, and work towards reframing those and develop that process into a healthy response. This can involve role-playing potential interactions, writing down your thought processes so that you can look at them later and reflect, or practicing problem-solving with your therapist to better combat those previous thought patterns that made binge-eating and bulimia a problem in the first place.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy – Originally developed to help treat bipolar personality disorder (BPD), dialectical behavior therapy has since seen a lot of success in the treatment of patients with eating disorders, substance abuse problems, or suicidal tendencies. The main focus of dialectical behavior therapy is that two opposing ideas can be true at the same time, and learning to move forward with this understanding can develop actionable change in a patient’s behavior. One of the main ways this technique is used is for emotional regulation, giving a patient the chance to acknowledge their negative emotional responses and identify them. This allows us to make beneficial choices for our health easier, such as our diet or other eating habits.
- Family-Based Treatment (FBT) – This method is particularly used for adolescents with eating disorders. It involves the family in the patient’s treatment and recovery, aiming to empower parents and caregivers to play a proactive role in helping the patient return to healthy eating habits.
Other methodologies may include interpersonal therapy, psychodynamic therapy, mindfulness based therapy, and many others. You and your therapists will work together to determine the treatment option that makes the most sense for you.
Healing from a psychological condition takes time and effort, both from the patient and from the psychotherapist or psychiatrist that is the leading your treatment. If you are looking for a way to begin treatment for your bulimia or other eating disorders, these forms of therapy have proven track records. Contact us to learn more about these types of therapy, or get connected to a therapist near you for help.