Bulimia and Therapy: What You Need to Know



Treating an eating disorder often takes a lot of time, support, and investment on the part of the person suffering from it and the people around them. Since the condition is rooted in the mind rather than something that you can physically treat, it’s often difficult to outright go for a “cure” when it comes to bulimia.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t bulimia treatment plans that have been proven to help. It’s just that the subjective nature of the disorder doesn’t lend itself well to an all-around cure, meaning each individual who suffers from it will most likely have different reactions to each treatment method.

The following are commonly applied and accepted ways of helping people with their eating disorders. If you know someone who is going through a similar ordeal, being familiar with how exactly they are being treated can give you more clarity on how to help them outside their therapies.

Family-Based Counseling

Due to the majority of eating disorders developing while the person is still young, family-based counseling has proven to be the most common way of helping people with eating disorders. Using the person’s family as a focal point for counseling and therapy, the goal of this treatment is to strengthen family bonds and improve their dynamics during this trying time in their lives.

Girl consulting

Other than that, the purpose of family-oriented counseling is to improve the conditions that the person may be experiencing while they’re home. With the relative age and social standing of the people that this treatment applies to, having a more family-oriented recovery plan can go a long way.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

On the other hand, CBT is much more individual-oriented. It aims to help the patients understand themselves (and the issue they face) on a more personal level. In particular, it examines their behavior and the way it affects their actions. CBT focuses on the relationships that people have with their problems, which make it a very good method for tackling disorders that stem from the mind.

For bulimia, CBT aims to change the attitude of the person towards the food they eat and the way it affects their self-worth. This approach helps the person realize that their attitude about themselves isn’t as bad as they think. The approach takes the concept of self-fulfillment and uses that to progress.

Complementary Treatment

Other forms of treatment are also used in conjunction with the two earlier methods. Mindful meditations and exercises, such as yoga, can help in strengthening the mind and body, as well as providing useful physical activity for the person to focus on.

Other activities such as equine therapy have also proved a viable option for helping people get through the ordeal. The idea of combining a physical and mental approach in terms of complementary therapy is still a new and growing field. We could expect to see more innovations in the future.

Other forms of treatment can vary from person to person. Bulimia sufferers should be taken with the aim of making their time better and helping them move forward even when faced with such difficult challenges.