Treatments for Eating Disorders
Since I’ve been researching this topic for my presentation, I figured I’d share since many of you have deal with disordered eating. The information used was from a book by Mash and Barkley and an online source, http://www.aedweb.org/eating_disorders/treatment.cfm. Excuse the citations but it’s in APA format. Please note that there are many more treatments; these are simply the most popular/most researched.
Interventions for Eating Disorders
Regardless of whether one is seeking inpatient or outpatient treatment, it’s recommended that there be a multidisciplinary approach. This may include a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, dietician, and nursing staff/consulting team (if client is hospitalized.) If a multi-disciplinarian approach is not used, the treater should have access to outside referrals.
- Inpatient treatment provides a structured and contained environment for clients, allowing clinical support around the clock.
- Inpatient treatment is necessary for various reasons: when a person is non-responsive to outpatient treatment, if there are medical instabilities or metabolic abnormalities, if their weight is 15-25% below average or if there’s a psychiatric emergency (such as suicidal thoughts.)
- Some programs are now affiliated with day hospital programs-this means that they can “step-up” and “step-down” to the appropriate level of care depending on their clinical needs.
- Partial hospital programs are for clients who could benefit from more support than outpatient can provide, but do not want/need inpatient treatment. The program generally runs 3-8 hours daily, providing therapy sessions and scheduled eating.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
**Empirically supported treatment for BN, and a promising treatment for BED and AN (Mash and Barkley, 2006).
- CBT techniques “combat distorted body image, erroneous beliefs and assumptions, and misinterpretations of environmental messages” (Mash & Barkley, 2006). Individuals with eating disorders often associate thinness with happiness and being overweight with weakness and failure. CBT techniques challenge incorrect beliefs, assumptions and ideas about body image.
- Self-Monitoring-These techniques are helpful for people with BED and BN. Clients will be given a template to record parameters and context of their binge, including thoughts and feelings before and after a binge. Social Skills– the goals of this training are to increase interpersonal communication, deficits in social competencies and assertiveness, and basic problem solving.
- Weekly weigh-in and education about weight-to deter away from preoccupation with weighing self-daily.
**Equally as effective as CBT but takes more time.
- Helps the client recognize and alter maladaptive interpersonal interactions.
- Individuals then learn how to cope with feelings of negative interpersonal interactions
- Self confidence building
**”Adolescents receiving family interventions for AN outperformed those receiving individual treatment on measures of maintained body weight at a 5-year follow up” (Mash & Barkley, 2006, p.801).
- Family therapy can be used as sole treatment or as part of a mutlicomponent treatment package.
- Ranges from supportive, informational counseling to more intensieve work focusing on changing family structures/patterns.
- Depending on the family system, clients are encouraged to find age appropriate seperation from family., express personal needs and feelings clearly and enhance communication between parents (Mash & Barkley, 2006).
- Psychiatric medications have been found to be effective for some individuals with an eating disorder, specifically antidepressants (fluoxetine).
- Found to be really effective when paired with CBT.
- Help gain a fundamental understanding of nutrition
- Conduct dietary counseling and eating plans.
- Can be an effective source of support and information for clients who are regaining weight or who are trying to normalize their eating behavior.