Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Binge Eating

How does Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) work for Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating is a serious mental health illness that affects many people. It is estimated that over 1 million people in the UK are suffering from an eating disorder.  CBT for Binge Eating is one treatment that can help. One study found it to be an effective treatment for people with Binge Eating.

Binge Eating can have a serious impact on physical and mental health, leading to depression, anxiety, and even obesity. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available that can help individuals struggling, to treat binge eating and heal their symptoms.

Binge-eating disorder

Is characterized by eating an unusually large amount of food in a short space of time. People who binge eat also experience other feelings and behaviours such as anxiety, shame, and restriction. It is also characterized by repeated episodes and these will be at least 3-5 episodes per week. 

Further reading

Signs and symptoms of binge eating

Help stop binge eating with these 9 helpful tips

What is cognitive behavioural therapy (cbt) and How Can It Help with Binge Eating?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is a form of therapy that can give you significant relief from your binge episodes. CBT teaches people to identify unhealthy behaviors and replace them with more positive coping strategies, such as identifying and changing your thought patterns, developing healthy eating habits, and increasing self-esteem.

It is an evidence-based treatment that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It teaches you to identify the thoughts and emotions that lead to binge eating and to replace them with new patterns of eating. You are encouraged to challenge maladaptive thoughts and behaviors, that can help you to reduce your binge eating episodes. 

Therapy can also address the underlying issues that contribute to binge eating, such as low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. The therapist can help the client learn to identify and manage their negative emotions and develop healthier coping strategies that help with reducing binge eating behavior. 

CBT can be a powerful tool for helping those with binge eating disorder gain control over their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. With the help of a qualified therapist, clients can learn to recognize the triggers for their binge eating and develop strategies for overcoming them.

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CBT Techniques for Binge Eating

Techniques include cognitive restructuring and behavior modification. If the therapist is a counsellor or psychotherapist, the therapy may include interpersonal therapy.

Cognitive restructuring helps you to identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs about binge eating. You will learn to identify triggers and self-monitor your eating patterns. 

You will learn to have more positive thoughts regarding your weight and change your negative body image. 

Behavior modification helps you to reduce problem behaviors by changing the way you respond to your triggers and helps you to change non-helpful behaviours such as dietary restriction, self-harm and sabotage.

Interpersonal therapy helps individuals to identify and address interpersonal issues that may be contributing to binge eating. These may be traumatic events in your childhood and or your upbringing.

Disordered eating has been a way of coping and treatment may help you manage any other mental health issues. 

How Long Does It Typically Take to See Results from Cbt for Binge-Eating Disorder

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an effective and evidence-based treatment. This type of therapy typically produces results within 6-20 weeks and is a collaborative process between you and therapist. With consistency and commitment from both the therapist and you, positive changes in behavior and attitude toward food can be expected.

Together you will form a treatment plan which will also help you to prevent relapse. 

During sessions, people learn to better recognize and manage their triggers as well as cope with their emotions so they can stop resorting to binge eating behaviors. Additionally, people will be given personalized strategies to help manage the urge to binge and stop the cycle of binge eating.

Treating binge eating disorder can take time as we are undoing years of unwanted behaviour. It is developed to help you become more comfortable within yourself and give you new skills for coping. 

People should talk to their therapist or doctor about how long it might take to see results. Each therapy session is tailored towards the individual and it depends on many factors including; the severity of your disorder, how long you have been bingeing for, and other factors that are causing your binge eating, for change to happen.

In fact, research has shown that people have other significant factors that contribute to binge eating, such as low self-esteem. 

You may also have other psychiatric disorders such as ADHD, OCD. 

Each individual is different, therefore no one can predict the exact amount of sessions you will need. For many people, the results are worth the effort and can help them make lasting changes in their relationship with food.

Further Reading

What to expect during therapy for binge eating

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What Types of Professionals are Qualified to Provide Cbt for Binge Eating?

There are a variety of mental health professionals that can provide treatment for binge eating disorder for individuals. Licensed clinical psychologists, clinical psychotherapists, counsellors, board-certified psychiatrists, and registered dietitians may have received specialist training. 

Though not every profession mentioned has received training in CBT, so you want to check out each care providers credentials and CPD record.

Psychotherapy and counselling, or talking therapies as they are known, can also be helpful to help you to understand the underlying causes and help you with the anxiety and other mental issues associated with binge eating.

Registered dietitians can provide nutrition counseling and help individuals develop healthy eating habits to prevent binge eating.

Group sessions may be available from your care provider. 

You can buy guided self-help books that can help you before you get professional help.

Other types of binge eating disorder treatment

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of therapy that focuses on helping people become more mindful of their thoughts and emotions, and gain a better understanding of how they interact with each other. It is more emotionally based compared to CBT.  It can help you to cope with overwhelming difficult emotions that contribute to your eating symptoms. 

Other therapy options that can support you if you are using cbt are hypnotherapy and counselling. 

Help to stop Binge Eating

Studies have shown that CBT is effective as a treatment for people with bed. This study shows that it is effective on it’s own without the use of other pharmaceutical drugs. However it can be helpful to know that effective treatments are available. 

Further reading

12 step programme for food addiction

The difference between binge eating and food addiction

About Vanessa McLennan

Vanessa is an emotional eating expert with a passion for natural health, superfoods and psychology. She helps women from all over the world to successfully lose weight by escaping the diet cycle and end their emotional eating patterns. She holds a diploma in Hypnotherapy as well as qualifications in EMDR, EFT, Emotional Eating, IBS therapist. Check out her free guide to help you break free of the diet cycle