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Cognitive Therapy Archives - Suzanne Wallach

The Benefits of Cognitive Therapy for Eating Disorder Recovery

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy is a relatively short-term form of psychotherapy based on the concept that the way we think about things affects how we feel emotionally. In cognitive therapy, a person focuses on present thinking, behavior, and communication rather than on past experiences. It is a therapeutic approach that is oriented toward problem solving, where with the help of a mental health professional, an individual in therapy is encouraged to identify unhealthy thought processes and work to change them. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which combines cognitive therapy and behavior therapy, is the leading evidence-based treatment for eating disorders. CBT was developed in the 1960s by psychiatrist, Aaron Beck. CBT is a structured, time-limited, goal-oriented form of psychotherapy that “targets multiple areas of potential vulnerability (e.g., cognitive, behavioral, affective) with developmentally-guided strategies and traverses multiple intervention pathways.” CBT has several benefits in the context of eating disorder recovery:

  • Facilitates cognitive restructuring: Cognitive restructuring aims to help people identify unhelpful or distorted thinking patterns and modify them with more reality-based or effective thinking. With eating disorders, this often focuses on targeting people’s unhelpful assumptions and beliefs surrounding food, body image, and emotions.
  • Promotes mindfulness: People with eating disorders often spend a substantial amount of time ruminating about food and body image. Mindfulness training is a tool that can help people connect to the present moment, which disrupts the rumination cycle, and paves the way for healthier behaviors.
  • Encourages behavioral chain analysis: As Verywell Mind explains “when it comes to addressing maladaptive behavior, a chain analysis can be useful for identifying the different factors that contribute to that behavior.” This can highlight various interventions that are more easily designed to target the symptoms associated with disordered eating.
  • Anxiety reduction: Many people with eating disorders experience high levels of anxiety, particularly related to food and body image. CBT provides strategies to manage and reduce anxiety, improving overall mental well-being.
  • Relapse prevention: CBT equips individuals with skills to identify early warning signs of relapse and strategies to prevent relapse (e.g., developing a plan for handling triggers and setbacks, etc.).

CBT is a valuable tool for treating people with eating disorders. Through CBT a person’s unhelpful cognitive distortions and behaviors are challenged and disrupted, essentially prohibiting one’s ability to maintain dysfunctional eating habits. By helping individuals to identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors, CBT can support the development of a nutritional relationship with food.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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