An eating disorder is a psychological disorder that is characterized by abnormal and unhealthy eating habits. There are several different types of eating disorders. And they are caused by various things. For some people, an issue such as a stress disorder may lead to an eating disorder. Another individual may develop an eating disorder because of a past trauma or abusive situation. Peer pressure and low self-esteem could also cause eating disorders to develop. Everyone who deals with these issues has unique and individual stories. But, in each case, the best way to get help is through therapy. Dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, is one kind of therapy that can help those who are dealing with a disorder. Many individuals have never heard of DBT or they are just unsure about how it works. But, we’ll talk about the effectiveness and benefits of DBT for eating disorders right now.
What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?
When an individual is suffering from a psychological disorder like bulimia, binge eating disorder, or anorexia nervosa, it’s important that she get the best professional help possible. Far too often, people underestimate the seriousness of an eating disorder. Some individuals even feel that those who deal with these disorders choose to do so. They feel that a person can end the eating disorder in her life by simply choosing to do so. However, this just isn’t the case. People don’t develop eating disorders because they want to. Eating disorders are the result of mental illness. They are very serious and should be treated as such. Professional therapy can help individuals overcome the mental, emotional, and physical difficulties that come with having an eating disorder.
Perhaps, you’ve heard of CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s a type of therapy that focuses on the cognitive, or mental, processes of the individuals in treatment. CBT helps people learn to recognize and deal with negative or harmful thinking patterns. This kind of therapy addresses her cognitive behaviors and helps her to understand them better. It also helps her to develop healthier ways of dealing with those behaviors. Dialectical behavioral therapy is a type of cognitive therapy. DBT also deals with cognitive behaviors and patterns. However, DBT for eating disorders focuses more specifically on how people respond to social interactions. Often, people who are suffering from eating disorders have a difficult time connecting with others. This could be due to the emotional and mental stress that comes with dealing with such a difficult disorder. But DBT for eating disorders works to help resolve this.
The Benefits of DBT for Eating Disorders
So, now that we’ve discussed what DBT is, you may wonder how exactly it works for people who are dealing with an eating disorder. How is this kind of therapy effective? What are the benefits of DBT for eating disorders? These are all viable questions. After all, it’s important to make sure that those who need treatment are getting the best possible help. Dialectical behavioral therapy addresses several different areas:
- Social Interactions – As we mentioned, DBT helps to establish healthy social interactions. It helps individuals to become more comfortable with themselves, thus, helping them to become comfortable around others.
- Stress Management – People in therapy can learn about how to deal with stress in a healthy way. This helps people to avoid eating disorder relapse since they are developing other ways to deal with the difficult moments in their lives.
- Emotional Control – Dialectical behavioral therapy helps individuals to focus on, understand, and manage their emotions.
- Mindfulness – DBT allows patients to practice mindfulness, or the act of being present. This allows them to focus on their internal thoughts and processes without being affected by negative outward influences.
If you’d like to learn more about treatment for eating disorders, just contact us here at Willow Place for Women.