Treating Bulimia Assignment Essay
Throughout the years, doctors, psychotherapists and psychiatrists have worked in order to create efficient methods to treat this disorder. Fortunately, people can recover from bulimia nervosa and its main treatments are interpersonal therapy (IPT), family therapy, medication, and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Interpersonal therapy does not focus on reducing the bulimic symptoms, instead, it aims at identifying and work on the interpersonal problem(s) of the patients that appears to be related to the development of their eating disorder. This therapy is helpful for people who do not want clear behavioural directives, but they are looking for a treatment with some structure, focus and containment (Apple, 1999). IPT usually results in changes across all areas of symptoms, the only issue is that, compared to CBT, it takes longer to achieve its effects (Fairburn, 1993). The family therapy treatment (20 weeks long) is often offered to children and adolescents. In this intervention, doctors meet the family members along with the patient and provide them with practical strategies to overcome this eating disorder. There has been a number of positive response to this type of therapy, but mainly in adolescents with a relatively short history of bulimia nervosa (Stewart, Voulgari, Eisler, Hunt & Simic, 2015). Since people with BN also tend to have anxiety, depression, social phobia or obsessive-compulsive disorder, the therapists might decide to provide to the patients, in combination with a psychotherapy treatment, antidepressants such as fluoxetine (Prozac). This essay, however, will focus on the last treatment method previously listed: cognitive behavioral therapy.
CBT is one of the most widely recognized treatments used in several clinical domains. In the case of bulimia nervosa, CBT is chosen when patient age does not mandate family therapy and when their symptoms are moderate to severe.Treating Bulimia Assignment Essay Despite CBT recognizes that this disorder is also caused by biological factions, its model bases the intervention on the assumption that BN develops due to cognitive disturbances and behavioral disturbances. The former ones cause people to be overly concern about their eating habits and the shape/weight of their bodies while the latter ones affect the persons’ eating controlling behaviour. As bulimic people internalize these beliefs they develop a dysfunctional schema. This cognitive schema is express through the patients’ external behaviour, as they become extremely focused on their body and they aim to obtain unrealistic levels of thinness and control (Wilson, Fairburn, Agras, Walsh & Kraemer, 2002). Studies have shown that CBT is the intervention with the most evidence-based positive outcomes (e.g., Craske, 2010). This therapy is well-structured, has a time-limit, it is focused on the present, and it is directive which means that the clinician actively offers advice and information to the patient instead of just basing the therapy sessions only on the information supplied by the client. These stylistic features seem to be perfect for bulimic people as they usually experience lack of control in terms of their eating and in other areas of their life, therefore CBT helps them to find a safe, containing structure where they can work on changing their maladaptive behaviors.
Cognitive behaviour therapy program for Bulimia Nervosa involves approximately 20 sessions (one session per week) (Fairburn, Marcus, & Wilson, 1993). These sessions are divided into three phases. In the first one, bulimic patients learn the negative physical and psychological problems caused by binge eating, purging and extreme dieting.Treating Bulimia Assignment Essay Along with this psycho education, the therapists teach patients to establish a regular pattern of eating and to learn how and when to monitor their own weight. In the second phase, patients learn how to adjust the cognitive distortions and behavioral dysfunctions related to eating habits and weight. By doing so the patients reduce their concerns regarding their body and the dieting behaviour. Moreover, in this phase, the therapist uses a schema-based approach that analyses and modifies other problems that affect the psychological well-being of the patients. The last phase of the cognitive behavioral therapy for bulimia nervosa focus on maintaining the learnt healthy behaviors and prevent future episodes of binge eating and purging. At the end of the last session, participants are provided with a personalized program me that will help them to prevent the chances of relapse. CBT is usually administrated individually, however, therapists can decide to conduct a group-intervention. Despite these phases are presented in a sequence in the manual, in reality, it is up to the clinician to decide the series of the phases, based on the personality of the patient and the severity of the symptoms. For instance, if at a certain point during the therapy treatment the patient returns to frequently binge eating and purging, then the clinician will shift the focus of the therapy session back to the first or second phase.Treating Bulimia Assignment Essay
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