Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an action-oriented form of psychosocial therapy. This therapy assumes that maladaptive, or faulty, thinking patterns cause maladaptive behavior and “negative” emotions. Maladaptive behavior is behavior that is counter-productive or interferes with everyday living. The treatment focuses on changing an individual’s thoughts (aka “cognitive patterns”) in order to change his or her behavior and emotional state.

CBT is based on several core principles, including:

  • Psychological problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.
  • Psychological problems are based, in part, on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior.
  • People suffering from psychological problems can learn better ways of coping with them, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.

Source: American Psychological Association

CBT helps eating disorder patients to develop coping skills that allow them to learn to change their own thinking, problematic emotions, and behavior. Multiple research studies have shown that this method leads to significant improvement in functioning and quality of life. In many studies, CBT has been demonstrated to be as effective as, or more effective than, other forms of psychological therapy or psychiatric medications.

CBT treatment usually involves efforts to change thinking and behavioral patterns. Strategies might include:

  • Learning to recognize one’s distortions in thinking that are creating problems, and then to reevaluate them in light of reality.
  • Gaining a better understanding of the behavior and motivation of others.
  • Using problem-solving skills to cope with difficult situations.
  • Learning to develop a greater sense of confidence is one’s own abilities.
  • Facing one’s fears instead of avoiding them.
  • Using role playing to prepare for potentially problematic interactions with others.
  • Learning to calm one’s mind and relax one’s body.

Source: American Psychological Association

CBT Therapy

Not all CBT will use all of these strategies. Instead, the therapist and patient will work together to arrive at an understanding of the problem or problems and then develop a treatment strategy. CBT therapists emphasize what is going on in the person’s current life, rather than what has led up to their difficulties. A certain amount of information about one’s history is needed, but the focus is primarily on moving forward in time to develop more effective ways of coping with life.

Our Eating Disorder Treatment Philosophy

The Meadows Ranch combines evidence-based theories of teaching coping and containment skills to get at the source of the eating disorder so that a person can have a long-lasting recovery. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be a very helpful tool in treating eating disorders and the anxiety, depression and other mental health issues that often accompany them. It can be effective in help anyone learn how to better manage stressful life situations.

Get Answers to Your Questions

If you or a loved one would like to know more about eating disorder treatment at The Meadows Ranch, give us a call to speak to one of our trained intake coordinators. We’re here to help.

Call 866-390-5100