Research shows that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the most effective form of therapy for the treatment of eating disorders especially bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and other specified eating disorders. CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach to treat eating disorders and involves different techniques. The different techniques allow you to comprehend the interaction between your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and plan strategies to change negative thoughts and behaviours to improve your mood and health.


Structure of CBT for Eating disorders

The cognitive behavioural model acknowledges the importance of thoughts (cognitive) and actions (behaviour) has an important role in maintaining the eating disorder.


Cognitive factors

Consists of negative body image, self-evaluation, beliefs about self worth, and overthinking your weight and body shape.


Behavioural factors

Consists of behaviours to control weight such as restraint, restriction, purging, binge eating, self-harm, body avoidance and body checking.


The different CBT techniques


  • Cognitive restructuring

You are encouraged to challenge your thinking processes of your self and your body and identify unhealthy behaviours and thoughts that are interfering with the treatment. Instead of unhealthy thoughts you will develop new healthy thoughts that will help you to change your perspective of yourself.


  • Coping strategies

Coping strategies are developed to manage negative emotions such as distractions and urges, but also to prevent negative thoughts in order to cope with overwhelming triggers and feelings.


  • Nutritional counselling

It is necessary with education around nutritional needs and planning meals and monitoring your food choices.


  • Relapse prevention

Focuses on the skills you will learn in the sessions with your therapists and to develop a relapse and recovery plan. This also includes improvement of self-confidence as you will become more comfortable with the skills you will learn and able to identify triggers to help prevent relapse.


  • Homework assignments

It is common that CBT is time limited and goal oriented, and also includes tasks you have to complete outside sessions with your therapist. CBT requires collaboration between you and your therapist, and an active participation from you as a client.



Our therapists at WeightMatters have received specialised training, and can work with all presentations of disordered eating and eating disorders as well as other mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and trauma.