What is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)?

CBT is used in the treatment of many different mental health and physical problems.  It aims to help you look at the way you think and behave in order to feel better.

Cognitive behavioural therapy - enhanced (CBT-E) uses an assortment of new approaches and methods to improve outcomes including specific modules to address difficulties outside the core eating disorder, for example:

  • perfectionism
  • low self-esteem
  • interpersonal difficulties.

We offer a variation of CBT – E.


What does it involve?

A practitioner will guide you and give you individual support. You will work with your therapist to make positive changes in your life that will improve the way you manage any issues you may have.

Your therapist will read through modules with you.  You will discuss these together.  You will also discuss food diaries and will complete thought record work.

Each week tasks will be set for you to complete outside of therapy.  This is an important part of treatment and will be discussed at the following session.


How does it work?

The therapist will help you to:

  • understand your thought patterns
  • identify harmful and unhelpful ideas/thoughts which can trigger your health problem, or make it worse. 

The aim is to help you to be able to challenge similar ideas in the future.


How many sessions will I need?

The number of sessions you will need, will depend on your individual circumstances.  This usually ranges from between six and nine sessions.


What are the benefits of CBT – E?

Compared to other talking therapies CBT-E can be completed in a relatively short period of time.

You will learn useful, practical and helpful strategies that you can incorporate into your everyday life to help you cope better with future stresses and difficulties.

It can be as effective as medication. 


Are there any disadvantages to CBT – E?

CBT-E may not be suitable for everyone. Attending regular sessions and doing work between sessions can take up a lot of time. The structured nature of CBT-E also means it may be unsuitable for people with more complex needs. 

CBT can involve confronting your emotions and anxieties.  You may experience initial periods where you are more anxious or emotionally uncomfortable.

There is always a risk that negative thoughts and bad feelings may return.  However, the skills you will learn through these sessions will make it easier for you to control them.



The results of one study indicate that guided self-help CBT using a self-help book may be beneficial, first line treatment for reducing binging or purging symptoms.









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