CBT-E is a therapy designed to address a variety of eating problems. Typical problems that can be addressed with this therapy include overeating, emotional and stress eating, dietary restrictions and malnutrition, body dissatisfaction, self-induced vomiting, excessive sports, low body weight. Although a diagnosis of an 'Eating Disorder' might be considered an extremely critical condition and not everyone can identify with such a diagnosis, the reality is that any of these types of complaints has a huge impact on a person's quality of life and daily functioning. They affect the satisfaction of physiological needs, the social and relational spheres of life, productivity at work and finances. The aim of therapy is to get rid of these disturbing behaviours and perceptions so that the patient can live a full and enjoyable life.
Effectiveness of therapy
This type of therapy is one of the most researched and effective in dealing with the psychopathology of eating problems. Research to date has shown that two thirds of patients no longer experience any complaints of eating problems after the therapy has ended. This therapy is quite intensive, specialised and suitable for all types of eating disorders – anorexia, bulimia, compulsive overeating, eating disorders not defined elsewhere. However, CBT E is also an individualised approach, taking into account each patient's current situation, complaints and preferences.
Phases of therapy
In the first phase, meetings with the specialist are held twice a week. The aim is to get to know the patient's eating problem and to stabilise eating habits. During this period, the patient receives personalised education on the dynamics of the eating disorder and concerns about body weight.
In the second phase, progress is systematically evaluated and a treatment plan for the next phase is drawn up together with the patient. Appointments are now scheduled weekly.
In the third phase, there is increased focus on factors that contribute to the psychodynamics of the eating disorder. This most often includes topics such as: body anxiety, upsetting and emotional life events and dietary restrictions.
In the fourth phase, therapy sessions are scheduled fortnightly. In this phase, focus is on the future. Maintaining lifestyle changes is discussed and potential downfalls are addressed.