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Time2change - Laois CBT


Katie O'Hara - Reg. Psych., M.Sc. CBT

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders

Cognitive-behavioural therapy is an active type of counselling. Sessions usually are held once a week for as long as you need to master new skills. Individual sessions last 1 hour, and group sessions may be longer. During cognitive-behavioural therapy for eating disorders, you learn:ยท

  • About your illness, its symptoms, and how to predict when symptoms will most likely recur.
  • To keep a diary of eating episodes, binge eating, purging, and the events that may have triggered these episodes.
  • To eat more regularly, with meals or snacks spaced no more than 3 or 4 hours apart.
  • How to change the way you think about your symptoms. This reduces the power the symptoms have over you.
  • How to change self-defeating thought patterns into patterns that are more helpful.

This improves mood and your sense of mastery over your life.

This helps you avoid future episodes and ways to handle daily problems differently.

What To Expect After Treatment

You can use your cognitive-behavioural skills throughout your life. You may find that additional "tune-up" sessions help you stay on track with your new skills.

Why It Is Done

Cognitive-behaviorual therapy is used to treat the mental and emotional elements of an eating disorder. This type of therapy is done to change how you think and feel about food, eating, and body image It is also done to help correct poor eating habits and prevent relapse.

How Well It Works

Cognitive-behavioural therapy is considered effective for the treatment of eating disorders. Because eating disorder behaviors can endure for a long period of time, ongoing psychological treatment is sometimes needed. Cognitive-behavioural therapy is considered to be highly effective for treating bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.


Bodywhys is the national voluntary organisation supporting people affected by eating disorders.