Eating Disorder Therapy Approaches at The Highlands

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders

Clients with eating disorders have developed many complicated ways to cope with fears, circumstances, and events. When treatment begins, clients often feel vulnerable, uncertain, and even angry, because they no longer have their eating disordered behaviors to use as protective mechanisms. Cognitive Behavior Therapy for eating disorders provides clients with practical ways to replace negative actions with positive ones. At The Highlands we also provide many opportunities to practice and improve these real life skills, so that clients feel more confident when they ultimately return home. CBT can be effective in individual, group, and family therapy settings. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy provide short-term goals, but is most effective when used over time. Each of our levels of care utilize this important evidence-based treatment. Our licensed dietitians, licensed therapists, staff psychiatrist, and family therapy specialist each use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for eating disorders and co-occurring issues, including:
  • Addiction issues of all kinds
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Panic disorders and phobias
  • Communication and relationship issues
  • Chronic pain issues
  • Borderline Personality Disorder

Examples of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Eating Disorders

During Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders and Co-Occurring issues, The Highlands’ skilled clinicians work with clients to identify problematic patterns of thinking and behaviors. Tasks for each clients will be different, because no two clients are be exactly alike in their patterns of behavior. Examples of techniques in cognitive behavioral therapy for eating disorders:
  • Replacing a negative thought with a positive one, such as about one’s personal attributes
  • Determining specific situations that are being avoided, and then gradually approaching these situations
  • Writing down problematic  thoughts and tracking them over time, to identify patterns of problematic thinking
  • Developing techniques to tolerate and accept difficult emotions
  • Improving interpersonal communication skills through role play and cognitive restructuring
CBT is also a highly effective treatment approach for clients with co-occurring psychological issues and substance abuse. Interventions in these areas may include:
  • Engaging in self-monitoring activities to recognize triggers for craving for drugs or alcohol
  • Identifying high risk behaviors that accompany drug and alcohol use
  • Removing/altering antecedents and consequences of drug/alcohol behaviors so they can be more easily eliminated