Online therapy for eating disorders. What treatment can I get online?
The term eating disorders incorporates a range of disorders, the main three eating disorders, and so the focus of this article include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. This article will be exploring the online options such as online therapy eating disorders.
What is an eating disorder?
As the term eating disorder is an umbrella term incorporating a wide range of disorders there is no definitive definition, typically it involves an individual with an unhealthy and dangerous eating pattern. The main 3 eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia and binge eating.
- A person with anorexia will severely limit their food intake despite already being a low weight as they feel they are overweight.
- A person with bulimia will typically binge eat (eat a large amount of food in a short period of time) and then make themselves vomit, take laxatives or exercise excessively to negate the calories they have just consumed. As they take action to undo the calorie consumption people who binge eat are typically a normal weight.
- Finally, binge eaters eat in the same way as a person with bulimia, but they do not take action to undo the calorie consumption that has just occurred, because of this people who binge eat are typically overweight.
How can people recover from eating disorders?
Recovery from an eating disorder can take months or even years, if you feel you have an eating disorder then it is important to seek out help from a professional. This could be an in-person therapist, your GP, commencing online therapy eating disorders or joining online eating disorder support groups. The type of help you receive will depend on the professional’s specialisms and your specific needs. The treatment you receive may also differ depending on the root cause of the eating disorder, it is not uncommon for an eating disorder to develop as a consequence of another disorder, such as anxiety, stress or depression.
The key to recovery from an eating disorder is to stay committed to the therapeutic work, it is not an easy journey, but it is a worthwhile and rewarding one.
What online eating disorder treatment options are available?
There are many options for eating disorder help, you may find it helpful to join online eating disorder support groups, these groups typically provide advice and support for people with eating disorders and their loved ones. By speaking and making contact with other people who understand your illness you may feel less isolated and alone. This may help you to maintain or begin a treatment plan for your eating disorders.
Another online option is online therapy eating disorders. There are a variety of therapeutic approaches that can be used to enable people to recover from eating disorders. In terms of online availability, online eating disorder treatment can draw from a variety of therapeutic approaches, including mindfulness, DBT and CBT.
Mindfulness is based on Buddhist principles, it proposes that most suffering is caused by people focusing on the past or the present. It therefore suggests that suffering can be stopped by focusing on the present, and remaining aware of our feelings, thoughts and experiences rather then trying to avoid them or cling onto them.
Mindfulness therapy online can be used to treat all types of eating disorder, by remaining mindful and accepting some of the mental processes leading to binge eating or anorexia may be stopped. For example, a mindfulness therapist could help you to notice and accept your urges to binge but provide techniques such as mindful eating to help you move past any binge eating thoughts.
Mindful eating involves slowing down and noticing the thoughts and sensations you are having, this means when your body tells you are full, or if you notice that you are getting distracted whilst eating causing you to eat more then mindful eating helps you to notice and act in the present which should help to prevent binge eating situations.
These principles and techniques can be adapted for a variety of eating disorders, not just binge eating.
DBT stands for dialectical behavioral therapy, it is an approach that mixes the principles of CBT with the mindfulness principle of acceptance. DBT has a focus on emotional regulation and managing reactions to events, this can be particularly suitable for people suffering from eating disorders.
DBT for eating disorders online typically consists of weekly sessions with a therapist where you will learn about your reactions to your thoughts and feelings about eating. Rather then seeking to completely change the reaction as with CBT, a mindset of acceptance and self-love is cultivated. DBT can also involve online eating disorder support groups with other people suffering from eating disorders which can help to improve social skills and reinforce the skills learnt in one to one therapy sessions.
CBT stands for cognitive behavioral therapy. Its principles are based on the concept that it is a person’s reactions to thoughts, feelings and situations that have more importance then the situations and thoughts themselves. Because of this CBT focuses on the here and now, and on techniques that can be used to reduce symptoms in the present. CBT proposes that through cognitive and behavioral work a variety of mental health disorders can be approached. This approach is evidence based and has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of a variety of mental health conditions.
In terms of eating disorder treatment CBT can be very effective as it is an evidence-based approach, this means through clinical trials it has been shown to have a significant treatment effect for a multitude of mental health problems. Online CBT sessions for eating disorders include discussions with a therapist, worksheets to complete and behvaioral experiments to carry out between sessions.
All therapeutic approaches have been shown to be equally effective so your decision about which online therapy eating disorders is most suitable for you is entirely personal.
Is online therapy for eating disorders effective?
Online therapy can be just as effective as in person therapy, so long as you are committed to recovering from your eating disorder. The actual content from the therapist will be the same, but for some people the absence of physical contact may prove detrimental to their progress. Only you will know the importance that physical contact has to you, some people find they prefer the privacy and flexibility that comes with online therapy.
How can Psychology Help help me overcome my eating disorder?
Psychology Help has therapists trained in a multitude of therapeutic approaches including CBT and mindfulness, all therapists are qualified and licensed and have years of experience helping people with issues including:
If you feel online eating disorder treatment could help you with an eating disorder, or if you would like more information about the therapies offered at Psychology Help then get in contact through the make appointment button and a member of the team will get back to you shortly. With Psychology Help you can have you first therapy session in just 24 hours!