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Treatments for Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can be treated successfully with a combination of psychotherapy (“talk therapy”) and cognitive-behavioral approaches, along with nutritional counseling, medical care and medications. 


    • Restoring adequate nutrition
    • Bringing weight to a healthy level
    • Reducing excessive exercise
    • Stopping binge-purge and binge-eating behaviors

Primary Treatment Approaches

Family-Based Therapy

Shown to be highly effective and faster-acting than other treatments, family-based therapy (FBT) is usually a first-line approach to treat children, adolescents and some young adults with eating disorders. Because it is short term and the child can remain at home, FBT reduces medical repercussions, increases the chances of complete recovery and is more cost-effective than residential treatment.

Enhanced CBT (CBT-E)

For all forms of eating disorders for both adults and younger people, CBT-E aims to modify distorted beliefs and attitudes about the meaning of weight, shape and appearance—all of which relate to developing and maintaining the eating disorder. After helping clients gain healthy eating behaviors, CBT-E teaches them to recognize and change distorted thoughts that lead to eating disorder behaviors.

Adolescent-focused therapy (AFT)

So far, AFT is the only individual treatment that effectively treats adolescent anorexia, which is understood to be an undesirable attempt for teens to manage their developmental challenges. AFT focuses on helping teens strengthen their sense of self, manage difficult emotions and develop greater autonomy, while reducing risky behaviors and restoring weight.


Learn more about Evidence-Based Treatments offered at CFI…



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