If you have a loved one with an eating disorder, then it is extremely important to get your family member or friend some help as soon as possible. Both in treatment and outpatient programs are helpful and you can expect psychotherapy to be a large part of the treatment process. Psychotherapy involves a few different specific types of therapy. Keep reading to learn about a few and how they are important to your loved one's recovery.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT for short is a treatment that focuses on the patient's perception of themselves and the world around them. Specifically, individuals with eating disorders have negative cognition patterns that translate into negative actions. The actions themselves are linked to the negative perceptions. To treat the eating disorder, a therapist will examine these perceptions with your loved one. The perceptions will be linked to the negative thoughts and actions.
Once the perceptions are investigated, the therapist will work with your loved one to change the unhelpful thoughts. There will be a focus on positivity and healing and this will help to increase the patient's mood.
CBT is a long-term type of therapy that may include mindfulness, acceptance therapy, positive psychology, and other types of psychological investigation.
This type of therapy is typically a short term variety that is meant to identify problems and the changes that the individual desired to make. In the case of an eating disorder, the changes involve a healthy perception of food and the body.
In the therapy, a professional will work with people who are motivated to change. This is one of the hallmarks of the therapy, so your loved one may be treated with interpersonal psychotherapy more towards the end of their treatment plan once CBT progresses.
During the therapy, role playing may be involved and patients will be asked to evaluate situations and how they can deal with them in an emotionally healthy manner. In this way, your loved one will become more self aware so that good decisions can be made in the future and that habits like binging, purging, and withholding food can be avoided.
The therapy also works on how a person deals with interpersonal relationships so that friend and family relationships can be healthy ones.
There are some limitations to the therapy and individuals with eating disorders will often slip back into negative thinking on occasion. This is one reason why it is important for parents and other loved ones to involve themselves in the therapy as well. You can acquire a better understanding of the emotional issued involved so you can support positive thinking and the changes required for healing.