Binge Eating Therapy
For compulsive overeaters without serious health issues, a trip to a therapist is often the first step in binge eating disorder treatment. Binge eating therapy can be done in a group or individually, often depending on the type of compulsive eating treatment and issues being dealt with. Types of psychotherapy used in binge eating disorder treatment include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
- Group therapy
How Therapy for Binge Eating Works
Cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavioral or interpersonal binge eating therapy are individual, one-on-one, treatments. In these treatments, the therapist focuses on discovering the reasons and causes for binge eating, identifying binge eating triggers and giving the person the tools with which to deal with binge eating compulsions. Below are some examples of these therapy treatments.
- In cognitive behavioral therapy, you may discover that you are triggered to binge eat when someone makes a negative comment about your looks. This binge eating therapy would then focus on ways of dealing with that trigger, so you no longer overeat because of it. This treatment focuses on identifying dysfunctional thinking patterns around food.
- In dialectical behavioral therapy, you may learn about how to deal with work stress, how to express appropriate emotions and how to build relationships with your coworkers. This new positive behavior reduces the desire to binge eat. This treatment teaches mindfulness and self-acceptance.
- Interpersonal therapy focuses on your current relationships with others. This binge eating therapy aims to reduce compulsive eating by improving relationships, how you interact with others and communication skills.
- Psychotherapy delves deeper into an individual's life and experiences and may be necessary, particularly if an overeater is recovering from a trauma.
Group therapy is a common binge eating treatment. This type of therapy for binge eating often takes a form similar to a 12-step group like Alcoholics Anonymous. Group therapy has the benefits of allowing the binge eater to meet others like them and be in a supportive, nonjudgmental environment where all the participants understand what each other is going through. Group therapy for binge eating also has the advantage of being ongoing and a useful place to find support if the overeater finds him or herself bingeing, or wanting to binge, in the future (binge eating support).