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Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders

NYU Langone specialists offer cognitive behavioral therapy for adults with eating disorders. It aims to lessen anxiety about eating by changing the beliefs and behaviors that help a person maintain the emotion. Cognitive behavioral therapy may help a person cope with issues that trigger unhealthy eating episodes, such as negative feelings about his or her body or a depressed mood.

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Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the first treatments used for most people with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. This treatment can also be beneficial if you have other conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and other eating disorders.

There are two parts to cognitive behavioral therapy: the cognitive component, which helps a person change how he or she thinks about a situation, and the behavioral component, which helps a person change how he or she reacts to the situation.

During cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, you work with a specially trained therapist to learn how your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors influence each other. To eliminate unwanted feelings or problematic behaviors, the therapist teaches you strategies for modifying your thoughts and responding differently during certain situations. The goal is to provide a better sense of control over behavior and eating patterns.

In this form of therapy, a clinician educates you about the specific emotional difficulties you may be experiencing. NYU Langone experts can teach you an array of coping skills to manage the distress, negative thoughts, and problematic eating behaviors that often accompany these emotional difficulties. Our clinicians can meet with you individually or in a group.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a short-term, problem-focused approach. Our therapists have many years of experience using cognitive behavioral therapy to treat people of all ages with eating disorders.

Our Research and Education in Eating Disorders

Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.