How does a psychologist help with eating disorders?
A psychologist can help the patient with eating disorder understand their triggers that lead to their eating problems and teach them skills to cope with them. A psychologist can help the patient understand how their thought patterns, emotions, and behaviours contribute to their eating disorder and help them replace them with constructive ones. A psychologist can also help improve the quality of the patient’s relationships, issues in which could also be a maintaining factor of their eating disorder.
What approaches do psychologists use for treating eating disorders?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) are two common approaches psychologists use for treating eating disorder. CBT focuses on the identification and replacement of unhealthy patterns of thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, and replacing them with healthy and constructive patterns. This therapy’s effectiveness comes from its targeting of the distorted thought patterns as well as maladaptive behaviours that characterize eating disorders. IPT, a therapy that focuses on improving relationships, is useful as it targets the interpersonal issues that play a role in maintaining eating disorders.
How many sessions with a psychologist are required for eating disorders?
How many sessions required with a psychologist depends on various factors including the patient’s readiness to improve, adherence to treatment, severity of the eating disorder, other sources of distress, any co-morbid mental health conditions, and the effectiveness of the sessions for the patient.
How can a psychologist involve the family in treating eating disorders?
Family therapy can be effective in helping the patient to recover from eating disorders. A psychologist can involve the family to temporarily take the responsibility of making decisions about eating for the patient – what, when, and how much is eaten, in order to restore them to good physical health. A psychologist can also help the family identify and change the dysfunctional patterns of communication and parenting that could be contributing to the patient’s eating disorder, and replace these with a supportive environment.